The Case of the Shameless Cash-in?
Sherlock Holmes will be resurrected in a new novel, officially sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate, reports the Guardian. The evergreen detective will be recalled to life by author Anthony Horowitz, who penned the popular Alex Rider series of children's books.
The endeavour follows in the suave footsteps of James Bond, whose further adventures have been chronicled by Sebastian Faulks, Charlie Higson and now Jeffrey Deaver, at the behest of Ian Fleming's enterprising scions.
The new Holmes book will be out in September, though its contents remain a mystery. The archetype sleuther has, of course, featured in many new adventures since Conan Doyle sent him off into bee-keeping retirement - from the ridiculous Young Sherlock Holmes film of the 1980s to the Star Trek holodeck of the 24th Century. And who could forget the acclaimed BBC miniseries last year (apart from the second episode, which was a bit rubbish).
The new book is not even the first project to have family approval. After Arthur Conan Doyle's death, his son Adrian worked up a number of stories featuring Holmes and Watson. But the 'official' imprimatur is sure to notch up more sales of this new title than any wannabe fan fiction could expect.
We might need to update our map of all locations in the Sherlock Holmes books.