Footballer and manager Terry Venables did it in the 1970s. Champion jockey AP McCoy did it just last year. And now the former LA Lakers all-star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is to join them and write a crime novel. The retired athlete – one of the greatest in his sport – has teamed up with the screenwriter Anna Waterhouse to create a book simply called Mycroft Holmes. It will be published in October by Titan Books.
Surprisingly, Mycroft Holmes will be set partly in the Caribbean with Mycroft working for the British government and engaged to Georgiana, a woman of Trinidadian descent. When she goes to Trinidad concerned about reports of disappearances, strange backwards-facing footprints in the sand, malevolent spirits, and more, Mycroft convinces his friend Cyrus Douglas, also of Trinidadian origin, to follow her out there and find out what’s going on. Sherlock Holmes will also appear in the book, as a student at King’s College and the story will reveal more about both brothers and the separate paths they take.
The 7-foot-2 native of New York is as well placed as anyone to write a book set in the Sherlockian universe. He’s a been a huge Holmes fan since his first season in the NBA back in 1969, when he read the Conan Doyle classics. Like most fans, he’s enjoyed the Basil Rathbone films based on the stories, and says that Jeremy Brett’s version of Sherlock Holmes is his favourite.
“Kareem’s insights into Mycroft’s character, his focus on the historical aspects of the novel, and his passion for writing impressed me from the start,” says editor Steve Saffel. “This will be a unique addition to the Holmes universe, surprising and engaging the readers.”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has co-written several books in the past, many of which focus on the African-American experience, some of which have been bestsellers. He also writes children’s books, and previously worked with Mycroft Holmes co-author Anna Waterhouse on the documentary On the Shoulder of Giants.