Gary Phillips

Gary Phillips, whose latest crime novel is Shooter's Point, is the
creator of the Ivan Monk private-eye series. Visit him at

Recent Articles

Pulp Culture: History, Hard-Boiled

"I followed ... with many other officers who were in the same situation as myself and succeeded in reaching Candahar in safety, where I found my regiment, and at once entered upon my new duties. The campaign brought honours and promotion to many, but for me it had nothing but misfortune and disaster." With these words, we make the acquaintance of Dr. John H. Watson, a battle-weary surgeon who--after being wounded in the Battle of Maiwand on July 27, 1880, during the British Empire's colonial wars in Afghanistan--has returned to London, "that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the empire are irresistibly drained." The doctor moves into a flat at 22B Baker Street, where his roommate, whom we meet over the course of Watson's story, A Study in Scarlet, is a consulting detective by the name of Sherlock Holmes. Of course, the adventures of Sherlock Holmes were hardly the first to use contemporary historical events as settings or background for popular fiction. The "...