Sherlock Book Reviews - An Irregular Life: Being the Adventures and Memoirs of a Fortunate Sherlockian

Posted by Steve Emecz on

Sherlock Holmes Society of London

The author is probably best known in the UK for his masterful one man show as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which he performed at the Weekend with Arthur Conan Doyle in Tunbridge Wells in 1992. The performance was memorable: Mark bears an uncanny resemblance to Sir Arthur and had worked hard, collaborating with Dame Jean Conan Doyle, to prepare the material. As one who witnessed that performance, the reminiscences about it in this autobiography bring back happy memories and shed new light on the process.

There is much more in this book. There are stories of meeting our Sherlockian forebears as a young man both in the US and the UK. There is a delightful tale of meeting Pip Dalton, Charles Merriman and others in 1969, and an account of the result: Mark’s foray to Dartmoor and Brook Manor, coming much closer than many Sherlockians have managed. There are reminiscences of time spent with Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett and Douglas Wilmer, as well as others less related to Sherlock Holmes. Mark has made a career of investigating mysteries; those with an interest in subjects such as James Bond, King Arthur, Camelot and Loch Ness will also find many stories to their taste and reflections on how life can offer surprising correlations. Although there is a chapter list, an index would have helped, for those who like to dip back in and follow up a specific subject.

John Bennett Shaw

“And now comes a man who thinks like, looks like, talks like and is as close to the real Conan Doyle as possible. He is Mark McPherson.”

David Marcum

I have to admit, even though I’m a mostly life-long Sherlockian – I didn’t know better during my first ten years – I hadn’t heard of Mark McPherson. And yet, he seems to have led one of those larger-than-life lives that one only reads about in books. He had written an autobiographical account several years ago, but it was difficult to obtain. Now, by way of a handsome new MX Publishing edition of a book previously quite difficult to obtain, the larger public can get to know about the life of this unique man.

McPherson has taken his interests in various legends and made the extra step to involve himself personally in their examination and investigation. The Loch Ness Monster. The Egyptian Pyramids. Houdini and King Arthur. Famous crimes – Jack the Ripper and the Yorkshire Ripper. Atlantis and séances and who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays – he’s looked into all of it, and his tale is recounted in this massive volume. And all along the way he’s been a Sherlockian of the first order. 

This book shows that the people living “Big Lives” weren’t all long ago. Mark McPherson has been living a big life amongst us right now.

Peter Blau

"Mark F. McPherson’s An Irregular Life: Being the Adventures and Memoirs of a Fortunate Sherlockian (London: MX Publishing, 2022; 539 pp., $39.99) is the second (and greatly expanded) edition of his memoirs, and it’s a great read, offering a chance to share his travels and quests (for Camelot, Atlantis, Jack the Ripper, James Bond, Emma Peel, and the Loch Ness Monster, among others); his meetings with interesting Sherlockians (including his mentor Bill Rabe) and non-Sherlockians; and his performances in his one-man show “An Evening with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle”.  Memoirs, it should be noted, are much more fun than autobiographies."


An Irregular Life: Being the Adventures and Memoirs of a Fortunate Sherlockian is available from this site with a share going to our good causes and also from all good bookstores including:

Amazon USA       Barnes and Noble 


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