To Watson or Not to Watson?

Various Watsons

That is the question.

Right now I’m in the process of working on the third Mary MacDougall mystery, tentatively titled The Widower’s Wrath. But buried in the story—barely noticeable—are some references to a relative of our heroine who seems to have fallen on hard times. Her name is Jeanette Harrison and she is a first cousin of Mary’s mother. What’s her significance?

Well, in the first, original Mary novel—written years ago and published by Xlibris in 2001, now out of print—the tale was told by Jeanette. That first Mary came into being as a mashup of Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock and Helena Bonham Carter’s Lucy Honeychurch. And she needed a Watson. Enter Jeanette.

Now that I’m bringing Jeanette back into Mary’s world in the fourth or fifth book, I need to ask: Does she become the first-person narrator again, like Watson? Do I stay with third person, entirely in Mary’s POV (as in the first three books)? Or do I mix it up, and do different books in the series in the two different POVs? I haven’t decided. Any opinions out there?

Since I have that nice image up above of the four most recent Watsons of the small screen, I wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed them all. But my favorite is Edward Hardwicke, the gent in the bowler. He was Brett’s second Watson—the most grounded and real and sympathetic of them all. I think he was the best Watson ever.


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