Back in 2001 the Guest of Honour at our Annual Dinner was the brilliant writer and comedian Barry Cryer, who proved to be a real devotee of the great detective. He’s proved it again with Mrs Hudson’s Diaries: A View from the Landing at 221B, written with his son, actor and writer Bob Cryer (The Robson Press, http://www.therobsonpress.com; £12.99). Given Cryer senior’s record, you might expect a farcical punfest, but that’s not what this nice little book is about. (And it’s not one of those that have Mrs H as the true Baker Street detective, either.) There’s plenty of humour here, but it arises partly from the contrast between Mrs H’s sometimes uncomprehending but always down-toearth reports and our knowledge of events as recorded by Dr Watson, and partly from the self-important annotations by one ‘Oliver Philpott’ – who may be related to Charles Pooter. Sarah Hudson herself is not a comic character: she’s a real and very likable personality, whose life extends beyond the pages of the Canon into the world outside. Her story is sensational only in passing and it’s told with charm and affection.
Roger Johnson, editor of the Sherlock Holmes Journal, 17th October 2012