Please welcome Diane Gilbert Madsen, with a tale of the past mixing with the future of her new book:

Cracking the Code of the Canon FC lg

“The past is never where you think you left it.”
― Katherine Anne Porter

Family and the past always matter. This maxim came true for me when my newest book, CRACKING THE CODE OF THE CANON: HOW SHERLOCK HOLMES MADE HIS DECISIONS, was published by MX Publishers in London earlier this June.

I’ve been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since I was a young girl. I read all the stories and loved trying to solve the mysteries before Holmes revealed the clues. I loved the puzzles, the ciphers, the fingerprints, footprints, bloodhounds and typewriter forensics. All my friends in school knew of my passion and watched as I did experiments in Chemistry class and for the Science Fair. My older brother, Albert Earl Gilbert, was also a true Sherlock Holmes fan, and when he was in high school, he did a freehand pencil sketch of Holmes and Watson in their digs at 221B Baker Street.

Albert moved to New York, and the wonderful sketch got lost in the mists of time. He went on numerous expeditions and became a world-renowned wildlife artist ( He dedicated his art to conservation and preservation with hopes that it will have a direct effect on the survival of the world’s wildlife. He served on the President’s Council on the Arts and as President of the Society of Animal Artists for many years. His paintings are in collections of the American Museum of Natural History; Field Museum of Chicago; the Carnegie Museum; Princeton University; the National Audubon Society; and the National Wildlife Federation. The Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences purchased for their permanent collection all his original paintings from the award-winning book, “Trogons,” which won the International Book award for Best Book Design in the World in 2010. His book credits include “Reader’s Digest Book of North American Birds;” “Handbook of the Birds of the World;” “The Audubon Master Guide to Birding;” “Toucans, Barbets and Honeyguides;” “Curassows and Related Birds;” “Modern Wildlife Artists;” and “Masterpieces of Bird Art.”

While he was getting famous, I went on to write mystery stories – the DD McGil Literati Mystery Series, including A Cadger’s Curse; Hunting for Hemingway, and The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper. A few years ago both my brother and I had books coming out, and we held a joint launch party in Florida for both our books.
Al & Diane Gilbert Madsen - Book signings Nov. 2009 009

While I was doing research for the CONAN DOYLE NOTES, I was struck by how the outcomes of all the Sherlock Holmes stories varied. Some perpetrators were severely punished, while others – even murderers – were excused by Holmes and never faced the law or punishment. Some even escaped. So I decided to write a book on my findings and musings, and that is how CRACKING THE CODE OF THE CANON: HOW SHERLOCK HOLMES MADE HIS DECISIONS came about.

During my research, coincidentally (see, it can happen!) one of my brother’s colleagues from high school, Bob Bernardi, got in touch with me via e-mail. He now lives in California and told me he had saved my brother’s sketch of Holmes and Watson. He’d saved it from being thrown away, and he’s enjoyed it to this day. He asked if I’d like to have a copy.

sherlock holmes, 12/20/10, 4:58 PM,  8C, 3154x3743 (2862+4230), 150%, Custom,  1/50 s, R103.4, G76.5, B95.4

sherlock holmes, 12/20/10, 4:58 PM, 8C, 3154×3743 (2862+4230), 150%, Custom, 1/50 s, R103.4, G76.5, B95.4

Of course I jumped at the opportunity, and he sent it, not knowing that I was working on this new book. My brother and I toasted it and Bob after all these years. So imagine how pleased and excited I was when my publisher, Steve Emecz of MX Publishing, agreed to use that very same sketch my brother drew back in high school of Holmes and Watson in 221B where “It’s always 1895” on the jacket of my new book, Cracking the Code. It really makes this book a family achievement.

Purchase Cracking The Code from MX Publishers or or B & N or Amazon

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Diane Gilbert Madsen
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