Eric Martin
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Anyone know if the original designers of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective are still around? The Ystari reprint of SHCD is dedicated to the memory of Gary Grady, but an online search shows that he may still be alive (age 71) and living in Rio Vista, California. Can anyone confirm this?
 
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Jon Purkis
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Trying to hunt them down and answer for case 3?
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Eric Martin
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Actually, I have quite a few questions about Gumshoe. Like what happened to The Chinatown Capers, and also to The East End Adventures? A game like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is such a genius idea, and I'd love to hear directly from the original designers on how it was developed. Especially since no one else have ever attempted anything exactly like it, except for maybe Mug Book. I'm much more interested in the game's conceptualization and how it evolved in the subsequent expansions than whatever few problems it may have.
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Wayne Walker
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emart40x wrote:
Actually, I have quite a few questions about Gumshoe. Like what happened to The Chinatown Capers, and also to The East End Adventures? A game like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is such a genius idea, and I'd love to hear directly from the original designers on how it was developed. Especially since no one else have ever attempted anything exactly like it, except for maybe Mug Book. I'm much more interested in the game's conceptualization and how it evolved in the subsequent expansions than whatever few problems it may have.


I did some googling a few years ago because I had similar curiosity, especially about east end and chinatown. Specifically I was curious who possessed the apparently incomplete versions of these two projects. I did not find anything but I did find some written anecdotes about development after the original SHCD was released. I can't remember if it was here, on another forum or even usenet. Perhaps we should catalog these findings in this thread. I will post the links if I can find them again.
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Eric Martin
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Yesterday I was reading one of the earlier posts on this page and one of the responders contributed a lengthy entry describing his friendship with Gary Grady and Suzanne Goldberg during the first half of the 90s, and also mentioned a few interesting details about what they were working on during that period. I will find that post again and paste the relevant information onto this page.

There must be some people posting on this site that played SHCD when it first come out in the 80s and their memories would be invaluable to the rest of us who only discovered this game much later. I stumbled upon it quite by accident while looking for one of the later packages of cases for 221B Baker Street.

BTW, that game (221B Baker Street) is a goldmine of story ideas for anyone wanting to develop their own SHCD fanmade case. There are so many good plot ideas among those cases (there are 180 of them, I think) that have practically nothing more than an introduction, a couple of suspects, a motive to figure out and three or four questions to answers.

I did find an email (supposedly) for Gary Grady and will let anyone know if I do get a response. I also have a current? mailing address that I may also attempt to use, if I don't hear anything by email.
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Wayne Walker
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I bought and played SHCD (binder edition) when it first came out. However, I don't particularly have any relevant valuable memories since I was just a teenager in Florida.

What you may find interesting is the newsletter/zine that they sent to registered users quarterly. I have 3-4 issues including ones where they tease Chinatown and East End (as well as Queen's Park, Gumshoe, etc.). Not sure what the copyright status is or if they have already been scanned somewhere.
 
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Paul Schulzetenberg
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This question has come up more than a few times before. They were a San Francisco area group, and their work seems to be exclusively for their own company, Sleuth Publications. They came up with the idea and execution for Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, and eventually came out with expansions and the noir sequel, Gumshoe. They also briefly published a company newsletter called the Sleuth Times. I have no idea if any copies of that still exist, but I'm sure it would contain a lot more info on these guys.

I knew I had seen the thread that Eric Martin was talking about as well, so I did some googling and found it. The whole thing is a capslocked wall of text, but there is some good info in it, including a description of Sleuth's HQ and a story of some conversations with Grady and Goldberg. Note that there's another person in that thread who claims to have played a game with Ray Edwards as well.

I went a bit further down the Google rabbit hole and found a few other tidbits of interest.

Gary Grady apparently used to be an FLGS owner, per Greg Stafford's history of Chaosium on his blog:

Greg Stafford wrote:
Then my local game store owner (Gary Grady) said he'd like to do [the publication of White Bear & Red Moon], but then decided to get a divorce and so he couldn't start a new game-publishing business and complicate that further. (He did later start a game company, and published those very successful early Sherlock Holmes party games.)


BGG User The Maverick said in 2005 that you can contact Tita's Games and Hobbies to get more info on Sleuth publications. Another user in that thread contacted Tita's and got some information, including that Grady had passed away. Tita's has a website, including some contact info if you want to reach out.

Another user offers some more info that came from a French language interview with Ystari:
Sada wrote:
As Karis/Ystari said on some French interviews, if I remember right.

Suzanne married Mr Grady.
Mr Grady died and she's his widow.

They were in the San Francisco area. Thomas Lehmann know one of them.

Karis found her to ask for the rights to re-publish the game and she agreed.

They were in this business with Sleuth Publications in the 80's, that's a long (long) time ago.


If anybody wants to go further with this, I'd love to read an interview with the original surviving creators. Maybe you could reach out to Ystari or Tita's and get some contact info.
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Eric Martin
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I have quite a few of the Sleuth Times newsletters that I purchased off of Ebay last year. The issues I have are:

Vol. 2, No. 1 - this one has the cover that looks like one of the newspapers in the game
Vol. 2, No. 2
Vol. 2, No. 3
Vol. 3, No. 1
Vol. 4, No. 2

The ones I still need (that I know of) are:

Vol. 4, No. 1 (1987)
Vol. 4, No. 3 (1989)

Most of the articles are about some aspect of either Sherlock Holmes or Victorian culture, plus lots of advertisements, but a few of them have "Designer's Notes" that offer tantalizing previews of upcoming projects.

For example, Gary Grady mentions (in Vol. 2, No. 1) a project that probably never developed beyond the idea phase - and it certainly would have been an impressive task - of a game called the "Streets of London," which he describes thus:

"Also on the drawing board is the Streets of London with a planned release near year-end. Streets of London will have some unique aspects - no CASE BOOK and a clue at every clue point, over 500 in all. You will have to go out into the streets and find cases, as well as some surprises."

What an ambitious project! I can't imagine they ever got anyplace with that. Too bad!
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