Top 10 Rules for a Sherlock Novel?

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Over at Mulholland Books, Anthony Horowitz, author of the just-released The House of Silk, a novel authorized by the Conan Doyle Estate about which we’ve been hearing great things, has blogged his Ten Rules for Writing a Sherlock Holmes Novel.  They are:

1) No over-the-top action; 2) No women; 3) No gay references, either overt or implied, between Holmes and Watson; 4) No walk-on appearances by famous people; 5) No drugs, at least none taken by Sherlock Holmes; 6) Research and try to get the details right; 7) Use the right language; 8) Not too many murders; 9) Include the best-known characters, but try to do it in a way that suprises; 10) When doing publicity, never be seen smoking a pipe or in a deerstalker.

Pretty sure Lyndsay Faye would agree with that last, but read his entertaining rationale behind each admonition, and tell us whether you agree. And if you’ve already gotten a peek at the novel, confide how you liked it, too!


  1. KateH

    Except for numbers 6,7, and 10, this list smacks of priggishness and stick-in-the-mud-ness, even dullness. I’m rethinking the placement of this book at the top of my TBR pile. If one won’t take an excellent idea and move it in anyway, is it because one isn’t capable of being a good storyteller, or because one doesn’t understand how the imagination works? Whatever the reason, I feel sorry for Mr. Horowitz and his uptight mind.

  2. Clare 2e

    It’s possible, too, that some of the provisions had to do with satisfying the Conan Doyle estate who put their imprimatur on the novel.

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