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A Study In Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes

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3.80  ·  Rating details ·  461 ratings  ·  39 reviews
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. Edited by noted mystery author Joseph R. G. DeMarco, A Study in Lavender queers the Holmes universe; the authors have devised stories in whic ...more
Paperback, 303 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Lethe Press (first published 2007)
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Philip Jones
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It is not my practice to review Sherlockian fiction of such a specialized nature, however, I purchased this book because I collect Sherlockian pastiches and felt I needed to add the stories to my database. I made the mistake of reading the first and was caught in a carefully devised trap. The editor must have given very careful directions to the contributors, for I found very little here of a sexual nature. Instead, I found earnest and thoughtful fiction that concentrated on the problems caused ...more
Sofia

My favourites in this anthology where The Case of the Wounded Heart and The Adventure of the Hidden Lane

The editor/writers choose/wrote stories which adhered well to the Sherlock canon. I got the feel of the pervading atmosphere of those times. There was some repetition regarding backgrounds as each writer wrote that it and so the reader gets to read this multiple times.


The Adventure of the Bloody Coins -Stephen Osborne
The Case of the Wounded Heart -Rajan Khanna
The Kidnapping of Alice Braddon -
...more
Eva Müller
The stories:
The Adventure of the Bloody Coins: A story in which Mycroft is a suspect and Holmes helps him. Somehow too short too say much about it. Occassionally with short-stories I have the feeling to read a first draft and not a completed story and this was one of these cases. The crime got solved pretty quickly and everything seemed a bit superficial. That's a shame because I think if it had been a bit longer and the relationship between Sherlock and Mycroft had gotten more depth I would hav
...more
Basil
Mar 24, 2020 added it
Shelves: lgbtq, holmesian
This was the best collection of pastiches i've read so far! i appreciated that they were pg or pg-13. not all of the stories features holmes/watson, and i really liked how the different authors interpreted and brought in lgbtq+ themes in their works. that said, a lot of them still frustrated me either because of the characterization or tropes/clichés in the supporting characters. also, ther short intros before every story were kind of redundant and in some cases, kind of spoiled what was to come ...more
Margaret
One of the best volumes of Sherlock Holmes short stories I have read in a long time.

The stories all have an interesting take on the world of Sherlock Holmes. Every story has a gay component to it. Sometimes it is Holmes who is gay, sometimes it is the client, or the victim, and in one story, Lestrade.

I found the stories all to be interesting and insightful into life for people who were criminals merely for the fact they existed, whether or not they acted upon their sexual orientation.

It is rare
...more
Devann
I'm always pleasantly surprised when I find an anthology that is actually good and this one did not disappoint! I think what made it work is 1. the excellent theme and 2. the stories all being different. It wasn't just a book full of stories about Holmes and Watson as a couple - although there are a few of those of course. There were also stories featuring Mycroft, Lestrade, various clients, and even one from the villains POV [although sadly no Moriarty]. I would definitely recommend this to any ...more
Becca
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer-reads
I saw this book and knew it had to be mine. I love Sherlock Holmes in all of his incarnations, and I love queer literary theory, so this seemed like a perfect book for me: Sherlock-verse. Queered. Awesome.
And I read it.
And it was.... Very nice.

No, it was fine. It was okay. But it was just a little, forgive the adjective, flaccid. The cases were good-- engaging little stories, and the characterization was generally on and enjoyable. But the queerness was, I'm sorry to say, handled problematical
...more
Rozonda
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This anthology of tales that uncover the reality of homosexuality in the Victorian world by setting it in the Sherlock Holmes universe does it with grace, elegance and originality-no matter if it's Holmes and Watson who are shown as homosexuals,or their clients. It reflects very accurately the ambivalence of the era- when homosexuality was publicly abhorred but at the same time doctors were starting to write and talk about it and to consider whether it was an illness or not,and when homosexuals ...more
Kelly
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not bad, all around. There were a few stories that I found especially well done, but overall it struck me as rather mediocre. I actually enjoyed the forward more than several of the stories. There were several stories that had very little to do with Holmes and Watson but instead focused very intensely on the clients. That said, The Bride and the Bachelors and The Adventure of the Hidden Lane were both very interesting approaches to Holmes' sexuality and how it affected his relationship with Wats ...more
Schnaucl
I enjoyed this anthology, though a few of the stories did suffer from the Watson isn't terribly smart/completely oblivious problem. I really wish the final story had continued because it ends on a frustratingly ambiguous note.

Many of the stories were actually quite sweet and the couple involved was not Watson/Holmes.

The beginning section lays out some evidence that suggests Holmes may have been canonically gay. It's interesting. I'm not sure I totally buy it but interesting nonetheless.
Lauren
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A nice array of stories in the familiar Holmesian universe, but with The Gay added. I enjoyed the whole thing!
Maike
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rainbow
I liked most of the stories.
Jing
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The quality of the stories vary somewhat, although I'm such a big Holmes fan that most of the time the writing has to be pretty terrible for me to not find something to enjoy in a story starring (or really just featuring) Holmes and Watson. This is basically Archive of Our Own in book form, and I mean that in the best way possible--there are zillions of incredibly talented authors on that website who deserve to be published.
James
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
I found this to be a hugely mixed bag.

About half the stories in this collection are basically serviceable; a lot of them sort of end up running into each other, riffing on similar themes over and over, often adhering to a specific set of tropes. A couple of them are then very good, with more interesting set ups and good prose. I got this book cheaply, and consider it to have been worth the cost for those stories I enjoyed.

There are also a couple that I found distinctly uncomfortable and to play
...more
Sem
May 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: holmesiana
That's it. I'm done. I can't finish it. I had about 10% to go and will consider it read. I'm in too much mental pain to continue. Two or three of the stories were quite good but the bad ones were so very bad, so Malebolge-eighth-circle-of hell-bad, that I refuse to give it more than 1 star. And I'll say something I've never said before and that is - how could anyone here give it 5 stars? The stories are, by and large, trite - the plots might have been serviceable thirty or forty years ago but no ...more
Lauren
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
While Star Trek fans who saw a romantic connection between Kirk and Spock are credited with coining the term "slash," the idea of audiences noticing romantic tension between two male characters (who are not canonically in a relationship) came far before that, and therefore it is no surprise that there are many who believe that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson's relationship could have potentially been more than platonic, and that there are quite a few interpretations of their relationship in this ...more
H Lynnea
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: temp-read
Overall, I quite enjoyed this collection. I feel that the various authors captured the voices of Holmes & Watson well. My least favorite was "Whom God Wishes to Destroy," as I don't feel it went as well with the rest of the stories.

A few notes: This book is not explicit - if you want that, there's lots of fanfiction out there, some of it very well written. This is primarily what would be called Casefic - stories about cases Sherlock Holmes and John Watson may have investigated that, for one reas
...more
Terry
Jan 31, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whilst the short stories in this Sherlock Holmes were interesting and also written in the style of Conan Doyle, for me there seemed to be something missing in most. Perhaps it is in the nature of short stories to have everything over and done with before they are started but I personally believe after reading this collection that this form is not really valid for a Holmes story.
This is not a "bad" book and I can see that it would appeal to people on the move where they could read a complete stor
...more
Shannon
If Holmes were to write the missing story, I think Vincent Kovar nailed his voice. The language is splendid, and begs to be told aloud. After reading ‘The Bride and the Bachelors’ some unknown reference sent me off on a research spree of giddy discovery.

‘Whom God Destroys’ is not about Sherlock Holmes at all, yet fits right into this collection. Can I call something as creepy as this an unexpected delight?

Even though I didn’t find an authentic Watson narrator among this collection, several stor
...more
Chelsea Cahill
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I went into reading this with the expectation that I would enjoy it, being a fan of Sherlock Holmes and more specifically the idea that he or others around him could be LGBT+, and it did not disappoint. The ten stories in this collection gave a good sampling of sexualities amongst the characters and also how they dealt with those within the confines of the time period and how it affected familiar character relationships. Would have liked to see more women involved as characters, but I suppose th ...more
Joe
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was hoping this would be good and not just an attempt to cash in in the sudden mainstream awareness of the homosexual subtext that can be seen in the Holmes stories (thank you Robert Downey Jr!). And luckily I was proved right!

This is a very interesting exploration of homosexuality in Victorian times and I heartily recommend it.

For a longer review please check out my blog at eBook Addict
...more
S
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A nice set of short stories with intriguing plots. The stories chosen for the collection really ring true to the canon stories, and there's not as much "Holmes and Watson were lovers!" as you might think. This book had Sherlock Holmes dealing with the reality of homosexuality in Victorian London -- a subject that ACD could never have broached with a squeamish public, even though it would have certainly been encountered by a detective like Holmes.



Noora
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelsey Yost
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked this well enough, however I was hoping for more stories that included a Watson/Holmes. I'm all for more representation of the stories and problems that were sure to have happened in that time, but I guess I assumed these would be more than that. They were fine stories, that focused beyond the relationships (one barely even had a queer element) and I guess I just wanted more: more queer, more Watson/Holmes, more relationships.
SA
Jan 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
An interesting collection of stories--certainly some better than others--united by the obvious theme and little else. If you're in a Sherlock vein, this will be entertaining, but it won't scratch the itch half as well as Kissing Sherlock Holmes. ...more
Monchari S
Mar 28, 2013 rated it liked it
This book contains 6 or 7 adventures by different authors.
3 stars for me, not that it’s not good, just the stories were quite far out of my expectation when I bought it. However, if cut this disappointment it’s one of an enjoyable book.
(anyway, they are least familiar to ACD’s original writing style in my opinion)
Richard Thomas
An interesting pastiche of short stories from a gay angle which I read on kindle out of curiosity. Some work; some don't. For a British reader, the use of US idioms and terms does jar a little in places but worth the read.
David Proctor
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow what an amazing collection of stories. After having been a fan of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes work for nearly a decade and having read everything Doyle wrote on the subject, I feel very comfortable in strongly recommending this to any Doyle fan it is truly in the same style as the Masters work.
Tanya Hakala
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tanya by: Katie Raynes
Some of the stories were better than others, but overall I enjoyed it.
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