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November 28 , 2010

A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes


What other characters from English literature have captivated hearts and minds as thoroughly as Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion John Watson? Many fans imagine the relationship between these men is deep and more than platonic. In A Study in Lavender, the Holmes universe is queered and authors have devised stories in which Holmes and Watson are lovers, or investigate mysteries of inverts hidden from the laws and cultures of the Victorian era; even the indomitable Lestrade has his turn at love; and famous actors who helped put Holmes on the silver screen face trysts they never dared to film.

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New tales of queer mystery and detection by: J.R. Campbell, Elka Cloke, William P. Coleman, Michael G. Cornelius, Joseph R.G. DeMarco, Lyn C.A. Gardner, Rajan Khanna, Vincent Kovar,Stephen Osborne, Katie Raynes, and Ruth Sims.

"Study in Lavender, edited by Joseph DeMarco, is a new anthology from Lethe Press that features a variety of queer-themed stories set in the Sherlock Holmes canon(s); some are (obviously) about Holmes and Watson's relationship, but others deal with characters like Lestrade or focus on cases that involve queer folks. It's a neat project featuring predominantly early-to-mid-career writers, some who regularly write queer fiction, some who write romance, and some of whom are more familiar to speculative fiction readers Rajan Khanna, Lyn C. A. Gardner, Michael G. Cornelius, and Elka Cloke, for example. Scholars and fans have been arguing about the implications of queerness in the Holmes canon for a long time it's a popular topic. Two men in an intense emotional relationship, living together, sharing spaces and finances and their lives; well. It's suggestive, and it's intriguing. Both of the most recent big-name interpretations of the Holmes stories the Robert Downey, Jr. movie and the BBC's delightful Sherlock have played with the intensity of the relationship between Holmes and Watson, explored it and made suggestions about it. This book seeks to do the same, but much more openly, as well as exploring the possibilities of other queer folks whose lives may have intersected that of the Great Detective." – Brit Mandelo for Queering SFF at

"A positive plethora of corpses, deerstalkers, gas lamps and 'unnatural' acts. Lethe Press and a bevy of talented authors including Stephen Osbourne and Ruth Sims faithfully tint Holmes and his world in a delicious lavender hue. A Victorian joy!" – Erastes, acclaimed gay historical romanticist & author of Mere Mortals

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