A Memory of Don Cannon

Don Cannon, a long-time mystery buff, Sherlockian, and friend died last week. I thought I’d share this memory of Don: Back in late 2009, I was slated to attend the 2010 Left Coast Crime, in Los Angeles. Don was in charge of programming (or at least in charge of programming me), and it was no surprise that he asked me to do a Sherlock Holmes panel. After looking at who was attending, I agreed—but suggested that the panel include not only Laurie King (she and I had already done many appearances together) but Jan Burke, Lee Child, and Michael Connelly. Don objected at first—“Those are our guests of honor!” he protested. “Well,” I said, “that may be, but they’re all secretly Sherlockians. It’ll be a great panel.”

Don agreed, and it was a great panel. Jan and Lee and Michael would each get tossed a question and would say, “Well, I don’t know very much about Sherlock Holmes,” and then come out with a very erudite answer, revealing that they did indeed all know a good deal about Holmes.

After the panel, Laurie and I conceived the idea of asking these folks (and others) to write stories inspired by Holmes. The result was the 2011 anthology A Study in Sherlock, which included stories by Jan and Lee (Michael was too busy at the time but he wrote a great story for our second volume, the Anthony-winning In the Company of Sherlock Holmes).

Oh, and Michael and Jan went to the annual dinner of the Baker Street Irregulars, and Jan is now an invested member of the BSI, as are Laurie and I. Other LCC guests of honor have joined us too: John Lescroart wrote a story for In the Company; Jacqueline Winspear and Laura Lippman appeared in A Study in Sherlock, as did 2017 GOH’s Dana Stabenow and Colin Cotterill .

Now we have a third volume coming out in October, Echoes of Sherlock Holmes.

And we sued the Conan Doyle Estate Limited in 2013 over In the Company, a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and freed Sherlock Holmes from copyright trolls.

All this because Don said yes. He was that kind of guy—unpretentious, behind the scenes, incredibly supportive, and a good friend. He will be missed.

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