One of the most unexpected contacts I’ve received thanks to this blog was an email from a Russian lady called Anya Ru. She told me that she was a translator, and that together with various colleagues from Moscow State Unviersity who were fans of traditional mysteries, she was involved with the production of a forthcoming anthology of Golden Age classics. This was the start of a truly agreeable correspondence, of a kind impossible before the advent of modern technology.
It turned out that the group had already put together one book, comprising stories from the Sherlockian era. The title, translated, is Not Only Holmes, as the aim is to showcase some of the great man’s rivals. They have even produced a video about the book.
Anya is currently in Britain, but our paths haven’t crossed, though we have spoken on the phone. When she visited Liverpool, I was sunning myself on an all too brief trip to Anglesey. She was, however, kind enough to call at my office and leave a note together with a copy of the book – and it’s a beautifully produced piece of work. I hope I can meet Anya, and some of her colleagues, one of these fine days, to congratulate them in person.
Meanwhile, I find it delightful that young Russian people have developed an interest in our great mystery writers of the past (and also in one or two obscure writers with whom I’m much less familiar). And I also think it’s marvellous that the global reach of the internet has put me in touch with them – and that some Russian whodunit fans have actually read this blog….