Bookseller bags teen sleuth Holmes for book signing

By Riva Harrison
Winnipeg Sun
August 7 1999

Let's hope TV sleuth Meredith Henderson doesn't use vanishing ink when she autographs copies of books based on the Manitoba-made series The Adventures Of Shirley Holmes this Thursday.

McNally Robinson Booksellers (Grant Park Shopping Centre, 475-0483) hosts the autograph session Thursday at 7 p.m. for three books based on original scripts from the show, which resumes production on its fourth season in Winnipeg next week.

Ottawa actress Henderson, 15, plays Shirley Holmes, great grandniece to brilliant Brit detective Sherlock Holmes, in the half-hour series, which airs on YTV in Canada, Fox Family Channel in the U.S., BBC1 in Britain and on Nickelodeon in Australia.

She and co-stars John White, who plays her sidekick Bo Sawchuk, Brendan Fletcher (Stink) and Sarah Ezer (Molly Hardy, Shirley's Moriarty) have developed a young fan following during the life of the series, which is produced by Credo Entertainment Inc.

Since the Shirley Holmes character was inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle's detective of literature, it seems only fitting that the sleuthing has now come full circle, spawning a series of books for young readers ages nine to 12.

Each book from Bantam Doubleday Dell costs $5.99 and contains two mysteries from the TV series' first season. Titles are:

The Case Of The Burning Building and The Case Of The Ruby Ring, by Judie Angell and Charles W. Chesnutt: The first story, originally written by Susin Nielsen, introduces Shirley's Watson and Bo Sawchuk, when he's suspected in a series of arson fires. Ruby Ring finds Stink implicated in a fellow school presidential candidate's electrocution. Dennis Foon wrote the screenplay.

The Case Of Maestro's Ghost and The Case Of The Second Sight, by John Whitman: Shirley's deductive talents help solve a 50-year-old mystery involving a maestro and a student who disappeared from the Sussex Academy in Ghost, and Shirley's father sends her to therapy to help her deal with the loss of her missing mother -- a move that only leads Shirley to begin investigating another mysterious woman. Beth Stewart wrote both screenplays.

The Case Of The Blazing Star and The Case of The King Of Hearts, by Judie Angell, Rick Drew and Pat Finn: Shirley tracks a scandal when she discovers Bo is betting on what may be a fixed horse race in Blazing Star. And the whole school is mystified in King Of Hearts, when stern headmistress Miss Strachan suddenly changes her stripes -- from tough cookie to tender flake. Drew (Blazing Star) and Fenn wrote the original screenplays.