Watson: I say, Holmes, what’s that plant over there with all the yellow fruit?
Congratulations to Andy Lane, who has been commissioned by Macmillan Children’s Books to write a three-book series of teen Sherlock Holmes novels. They will take Holmes from a 14-year-old schoolboy to a university student, and reveal how he develops his famous deductive skills.
World rights for the titles were obtained by Macmillan from Robert Kirby of United Agents, who was representing both the author and the Estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle separately.
The first case will be one that Conan Doyle referred to but never related: The Colossal Schemes of Baron Maupertuis, in which Holmes uncovers a series of murders during his stay with eccentric relatives in Surrey after his soldier father is unexpectedly posted to India. The first novel will appear in Spring 2010.
Andy promises “a doomed love affair for later in the series” to explain Holmes’s adult difficulties with women, and will show how Sherlock picks up his skills as a violinist, boxer, and fencer. “I wanted this to be as authentic as possible, trying to imagine the boy who might become the famous man,” said Andy. “It’s a great privilege to be authorised by the Estate to re-imagine Sherlock Holmes.”
There’ll be further information at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair next week.