Tag Archives: Sherlock Holmes



To celebrate the brilliant Sherlock Holmes adaptation by the BBC and DR Who team Phoenix Ark Press publish an excerpt from the series HORRID HEROES AND CRAZY CROOKS, about the great detective himself, by David Clement-Davies.


Now here’s a hero you should meet
At 221b Baker Street:
The great detective Sherlock Holmes
Whose tale they’ve faked in endless tomes
With simply not one shred of truth,
Since Sherlock was NO Master Sleuth,
But just a fraud, of crackpot theories,
Outrageous schemes and pointless queries,
Who’d sit there chewing on his pipe
Inventing plots and talking tripe
While criminals, I’m sad to say,
Did ghastly things and got away!
Much worse than that, the urban flunky,
Was secretly a shameless junky
Who drank weird liquids at his bar
Like Creme de Menthe and Advocat
And when he’d downed a proof pure beaker
Would bellow out a loud “Eureka”
His hair would frizz, his pupils whirl
Then green smoke from his nostrils curl
As he’d conclude some crime or other
Had been committed – by his Mother!
Which proves the plots were always lost
As Sherlock got his wires crossed.
Just like the day the milkman rang,
In days when Londen hawkers sang,
To leave a pint of double top
But since he’d spilt some curdled slop
Across his boot the previous night
He’d stained his dark shoes milky white
Sherlock concluded that the guy
Was working as a Russian spy
Paid by a sect of singing jews
Who only danced in two-tone shoes.
Another time the butcher’s boy
Arrived with joint and savaloy
But Sherlock shopped him to the law
Because he’d read, the week before,
The story of some loon who’d done
His boss in, for a pound of tongue.
Alas, when Watson came for tea
As ever punctual – half past three,
With cries of “Holmes, the game’s afoot”
But tripped across a bag of soot
He nearly died there, in the hall
As Sherlock shot him through the wall
Thinking his face, now black and tan,
Was of a conjuring Arab man
And all the work to sweep his grate
A plot to prestidigitate!
And so the bungling list went on
Delighting every London Con
Until, one night, the dozy bloke
Was snoring, furled in orange smoke,
Dreaming his hat had flown in fear
Across a moor, to stalk a deer
Who spoke in riddles like Lestrade
And made his home at Scotland Yard
When came a thumping at his door
“Enter, dear Watson,” Holmes called out
But in walked a dame, of figure stout
Peroxide wig, large powdered nose
And straggling crimson pantihoes
Suspenders, handbag, satin bloose
And quite outrageous high-heeled shoes.
At which Holmes made his worst mistake,
Since, as you’ve guessed, this dainty fake
Was neither maiden blonde nor tarty,
But was in fact…YES… Moriarty:
The terror of the London Bill,
Napoleon of Notting Hill,
And if you paid his crooked fee
Professor of psychiatry!
Yet now Holmes cooed ‘Oh, Stars above’
And Sherlock promptly fell in love,
As Moriarty winked and snickered
Then flashed his criminal cami knickers,
And in a voice like lemonade
Swooned “Mr Holmes, I need your aid,
I’m being molested by some swine
Who sends me presents all the time
Red roses, chocolates, poems flirty
And postcards that are frankly dirty
Then fixing Sherlock with his eye
The dainty Prof began to cry.
“The cad” the drunken sleuth now bawled
“Just tell me what the blighter’s called
And when I’ve caught the filthy varlet
I’ll call this one A Case in Scarlet!”
Professor M began to smile
He dried his tears – crocodile,
But then the cunning Panto Dame
Wrote ‘John’, a famous copper’s name
Who was no stalker, you can bet
But Chief Commissioner – of The Met!
Who must be said, no hint of blame,
Possessed a most unfortunate name.
Yet still Holmes purred “Leave this to me
While Mrs Hudson makes you tea”
So dashing from the room he rendered
A greedy glance at those suspenders.
But, now The Prof was all alone,
He scampered to the telephone
To call the newsdesk and report
The scandal to The Sunday Sport.
Then chuckling loud he closed the call
As Mrs Hudson, from the hall,
Appeared there with a silver tray
Of buttered crumpets, scones, Earl Grey,
But clocked the dame, and something rankled:
That stubbly chin, those thick set ankles.
She dropped the feast, stubbed out her fag
Then rugby tackled him in drag:
That giant wig, she pulled it off
Exposing underneath – the Prof.
“Too late,” snarled M, “this evening Holmes
Will be in prison, sorting combs.”
“Not so,” cried H, “I’ll give you hell”
Yet then she fell in love as well.
“My dear, you’re strange, so soft yet strong”
Purred Mrs Hudson, loud and long,
“Oh marry me, take me away,
I can’t stand Holmes another day
I’ll dress in hobnails, burn my bra,
Become a criminal superstar
And while you mind our house and crib
We’ll strike a blow for Women’s Lib!”
Poor Hudson fancied, I suppose,
Those spikey heels and gorgeous clothes.
Well M agreed to wed the strumpet,
He’d tasted Mrs Hudson’s crumpet,
And since they both admired cross dressing
They had a small Transvestite blessing
As Mrs H became in time
A studied Josephine of Crime
While sad Holmes hit the news that night

At least in gaol he started taking
A course in classic music making
Which was his most outrageous sin
The way Holmes played that violin!


Horrid Heroes and Crazy Crooks is under Copyright to Phoenix Ark Press 2014, All Rights Reserved. The image is http://investigazioni24.wordpress.com and please contact the blog if you would like it removed.

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Sherlock Holmes, security, disclaimers, Ra Ra Rasputin, and releasing the Phoenix Files!

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination, or used fictitiously…” Every novelist knows that is the legal disclaimer that appears in the front of any published novel, and every movie lover will have seen something similar tagged to a film. But where does it actually come from?

Phoenix’s boss found out last year, when researching a private biography in the Paris National Archive. Those files had been kept closed under the seventy year rule, probably similar in time-period to the valuable protection of authorial copyright, namely a normal lifetime’s distance after an author’s death, and included a police dossier on the arrest of Adrian Conan Doyle, the rather dissolute son of Sir Arthur, creator of the great detective himself, Sherlock Holmes. Adrian and his brother, in very Sherlock Holmes vein, had been arrested at Bolougne-Sur-Mer in the 1930’s, for trying to smuggle weapons through customs, onto a Packet Boat. They would not have had a chance in today’s high security climate, because both were carrying sword sticks, of all swashbuckling things, revolvers, and several boxes of ammunition. 21 and 19 years old respectively, they were questioned, fined and released, though according to his biographer, Adrian would later develop an obsession with weapons, and Medieval torture instruments. Among some fascinating ‘secret’ records though, was another dossier on Prince Yusupov.

It was of course Felix Yusupov who was responsible for the origins of the above disclaimer, certainly in movie theatres, after he sued MGM, for its portrayal of him in the 1932 film ‘Rasputin and the Empress’, and their dramatisation of his involvement in Rasputin’s murder. He won the case, for libel and invasion of privacy, not over the murder, but for the fact the film had suggested Rasputin had seduced his wife, Princess Irina Alexandrova. One of the richest men in Russia, who fled to Europe after the Revolution, Yusupov founded a fashion house with her, and made rather a career out of suing people. He had already gone head to head with Karensky in London, who founded the exile newspaper, The Days, and specialised in attacks on ‘White Russian’ aristocrats like Yusupov. But the file we found was itself a little gem of mis-sleuthing, and historical translation. It involved their investigating an attempt to blackmail the Prince over a homosexual affair with the son of a French Count. Among decidedly loaded police remarks about Yusupov’s femininity, and fondness for the company of young men, it reveals the French police paid a ‘snitch’ to root through Yusupov’s clothes, left at his tailor, where they found a little parcel of cocaine in his pocket. Fictional Holmes would have loved such 1% solutions, because although Yusupov is said to have boasted on the boat leaving Russia, that he had murdered Rasputin, the language of all those police files so exposes the official prejudices of the time. Also the language of professional sleuthing emerging everywhere, which, with relatively new forensic techniques like Finger Printing, began to transform the landscape of investigations, and moved it out of the romantic domain of the ‘spy’ – there were several notes in those files scrawled on restaurant napkins – into the territory of the official policeman. In Conan Doyle’s take, who at been dead for eight months when his sons were arrested, often the territory of the bumbling Lestrade. Incidentally, after fighting battles against real injustice, Sir Arthur’s famous last words must have been some of the greatest of all time, to his second wife – ‘You are wonderful.’

It was one of many fascinating things that turned up, although supposedly not of interest to today’s serious, or even scandal hungry newspapers, and so the general public, (we tried), so over the next few weeks, that and other little discoveries will be added to our own blogged ‘Phoenix files’. Phoenix puts no such disclaimer in front of its blog, we’d rather the tag ‘this is a true, or based on a true story’. We naturally coda it to ‘excerpts’, and in the books we are trying to produce, when of course they are fictional. DCD

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