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Tag: Sherlock Holmes (1-3 of 3)

On the Books: Apple might pay ebook buyers up to $400 million

If Apple is unsuccessful in appealing its loss in last year’s ebook price-fixing case, it will have to pay consumers $400 million. In a previous suit, Apple was convicted of colluding with other publishers to fix the price of ebooks. Apple agreed to the settlement even though it plan to go through with its appeal. If the appeal is successful, the company will pay nothing; if it isn’t, well, a lot of iBooks users are going to be really happy. “The outcome would represent a consumer recovery of over 200 percent of maximum estimated consumer damages,” according to a court document.

Elmore Leonard’s unpublished short stories will be collected and published in one volume next year. [The Guardian]

The estate of Arthur Conan Doyle plans to appeal the recent ruling that put Sherlock Holmes in the public domain. It has asked the Supreme Court to delay the earlier ruling while it prepares its case. [Publishers Weekly] READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Judge declares Sherlock Holmes officially in the public domain

The Seventh Circuit Court ruled that Sherlock Homes is now in the public domain, freeing up the 127-year-old-character to be used without the permission of Conan Doyle’s estate. Leslie Klinger, author, editor, and Sherlock Holmes enthusiast, filed the case against the Doyle estate while preparing the short story anthology In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, which collects tales by contemporary writers that riff on stories from the Holmes canon. Judge Richard Posner agreed that the copyright expiration meant that Klinger doesn’t need the permission of the Doyle estate to publish the book. This also means that everyone making Sherlock Holmes film and TV adaptations—BBC (Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman), Warner Bros. (Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law), and CBS (Elementary with Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu)—will no longer have to get the permission of or pay royalties to the estate. No word yet on whether the estate wants to take the case to the Supreme Court. [The Hollywood Reporter] READ FULL STORY

Weekend Book Pick: Liked 'Elementary'? Try 'The List of Seven' by Mark Frost

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In honor of Elementary‘s stellar ratings, this weekend’s reading recommendation will be Sherlock Holmes-based. It’s not canon, but as a fan of the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, I found this book to be true to the spirit of Holmes, just with a supernatural twist.

The Choice: The List of Seven  (1994) by Mark Frost.

You’ll like this if: You’re a fan of, well, Elementary, obviously, but also the BBC’s Sherlock or the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series. (Sorry Robert Downey Jr., much as I love you, I can’t include your Sherlock Holmes movies on here.)

What it’s about: This Sherlock Holmes story follows not Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes, but rather Arthur Conan Doyle himself. A poor doctor living in London, Doyle is fascinated by the occult. When a woman asks him to attend a seance, the doctor inadvertently stumbles on a cult of Satanists known as the Dark Brotherhood. Doyle is nearly killed to ensure his silence, but a mysterious man named Jack Sparks comes to his rescue and they team up to unmask a conspiracy that threatens not only London, but the entire world.

Why you should read it: Okay, I realize the plot of The List of Seven sounds like the first RDJ Sherlock Holmes movie, but it’s much more than that (or less, as in less explosions and less slow-mo). This book is surprisingly dark. Sparks, or so Frost tells us, is the inspiration for Doyle’s Holmes character, but that doesn’t mean he’s a carbon-copy of the detective. No, Sparks is much more emotional, much more volatile. He uses Holmes’ same cool reasoning, but he’s not infallible the way the real Doyle’s Holmes was. And that makes for a more interesting story. His past is haunting — readers should beware a reveal towards the middle of the book that is particularly traumatizing — but it gives the tale a sense of immediacy. This faux-Holmes has a much more personal stake in the mystery that’s afoot.

Similarly, Doyle is not the bumbling Watson we see so often in the lesser adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes stories. He’s a thinking man, one who is capable of getting along well enough without Sparks, but is made a better man when with him. They’re a team, you see. And, like the more modern adaptations of the Holmes stories, The List of Seven is not so much about emphasizing Holmes’ genius as it is about the friendship between two flawed men who are essentially each other’s soul mates. Also: it’s Holmes vs. the supernatural! How can you resist? A warning, though: skip the sequel (The Six Messiahs). It’ll only tarnish the memory of this excellent novel.

FUN FACT: Does the name Mark Frost sound familiar to you? That’s because he created Twin Peaks.

Read more:
Weekend Book Pick: ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy
Weekend Book Pick: ‘Relic’ by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Weekend Book Pick: Miss ‘True Blood’? Try Alaya Dawn Johnson’s ‘Moonshine’

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