Since I put the first word of Emily's adventures on paper, I have been surprised at what I find when I reread. I never thought Emily was me, but I found that she was often dealing with the same problems I was and that writing seemed to be a way for me to work through those problems. I started Emily when my mother had the fists stages of her terminal illness. Emily had just lost her husband. Emily dealt with it by moving to Europe for two years, I took long monthly train rides to Boston.
When I compiled 17 of the 50 or so Emily stories into a collection I discovered two other things. There is a lot of Sherlock Holmes in there and many real historical figures.
I'm not going to list the famous people. I have plans for them later. Emily grew up in Cambridge among many famous men and a few famous women. To her they were friends and neighbors. When she moved to Washington she wouldn't have though twice about the famous people she met there. She was quite used to moving in those circles.
I'm not keen on real historical people being the stars of their own book. The problem for me shows up in The Dante Club, a wonderful mystery about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his friends translating Dante into English. The author Matthew Pearl gets all the factual things right and probably all of those little nagging things that tell you who the character is. But his picture of Oliver Wendell Holmes and my picture of OWH are very different. Every time he brought his Holmes on the stage I cringed. Both interpretations are perfectly valid and in accordance with the historical record. In this case Holmes was a secondary character, but if he had been the star of the book, I would never have finished it.
Now the other Holmes: besides the title, The Case Book of Emily Lawrence, there are many references to the Conan Doyle's works. The first Emily story is set in 1859 and the first Holmes story wasn't published until 1887 so Emily herself would have known nothing of him until she was 35. Nevertheless, I had read every one of the stores except The Valley of Fear which I can't read for political reasons. How could references not creep into my work? It is possible that Emily met either Conan Doyle or Holmes himself when she was in London in 1891.
I have not found all of the references myself.