What a COMPANY!

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes brings together a mix of people you never thought you’d see writing Sherlock Holmes stories. 9781605986586Such as Gahan Wilson and Nancy Holder:

How I Came to Meet Sherlock Holmes by Gahan Wilson

I must confess I do not remember the precise date I first came to meet Sherlock Holmes but I know it was back in the brewing days of World War Two. Hitler and his Nazis had been building their extraordinarily powerful killing and crushing machine for some time and I was a very young lad living with my parents in a pleasant apartment building in Evanston, Illinois which had a very spacious backyard/parking lot to serve the apartment building’s tenants needs.

The building was full of families with young people such as myself, and we children played games enthusiastically and generally got along quite well with one another. I grew to be particularly fond of young, blonde Helen Stumph.

* * *

The Adventure of My Ignoble Ancestress by Nancy Holder

After my parents were murdered, I dropped everything and devoted myself to their case. I spent an incredible amount of money on private detectives and false leads. I got scammed a dozen times. A year passed, two, three. I never finished that book. My editor stopped asking about my progress. My literary agent suggested that a break would be good for both of us. I still had some cash left at that point, and I decided to make it last until I woke from this terrible nightmare. Money from royalties would come in the way it always had.

While that was true up to a point, the amount I received decreased every year as readers moved on. But I could not move on. Nothing I did made a difference. No one came forward with a name or a reason. No case-breaking clues were found. Still, I didn’t give up. I badgered the Roman police, I exploited all forms of social media, and I kept up the heat.

That was how Blackfield Carpenter, an English law firm, linked me, Nancy Holder the horror writer, to a Victorian-era banker named Alexander Holder. It turns out that I’m a descendant of this man, the closest one, in fact.

And Alexander Holder was a client of Sherlock Holmes.

 

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes publishes November 11. You can pre-order a copy from:

Poisoned Pen Books (signed by Laurie King, Les Klinger, and others)

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble/ Nook

Amazon/ Kindle

The past, in the present

The book I’m working on has, among its several elements, an episode in Papua New Guinea.  So, today’s throwback Thursday…LRK highland PNG

In 1977, a highland air strip (that’s the plane’s strut above my head) and no, I’m not standing far in front of these ladies, they’re just really, really short.  And fascinated by this figure from another planet.

In the COMPANY

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes brings together a mix of people you never thought you’d see writing Sherlock Holmes stories. 9781605986586Such as… John Lescroart and Michael Dirda:

Dunkirk by John Lescroart

May, 1940
In full dark and shrouded in fog, the Dover Doll rose and fell in the

still waters of the English Channel.
The Doll, an 18-meter former fishing boat converted to pleasure yacht, had disembarked from her berth in Dover at a few minutes before 7:00 that night, the 26th, one of the 161 British vessels that proved to be avail- able on the first day of Operation Dynamo. The Doll carried a crew of four. Two of them—Harry and George–were boys under sixteen years of age, nephews of Duffy Black, a clerk from Churchill’s War Office who, because he’d spent much of his youth on the water, had volunteered to act as the captain of his brother-in-law’s boat during this crisis.

The last crew member, lately arrived from the Sussex Downs, was a elderly man who had with great formality identified himself to Duffy only as Mr. Sigerson. Taciturn and close to emaciated, Sigerson struck Duffy as a potential if not likely liability, but Churchill had called for volunteers post haste without regard to rank or age, and Duffy wasn’t in a position to turn away an able hand.

If, Duffy thought, he was in fact, able.

* * *

By Any Other Name by Michael Dirda

“How could you? Just how could you?”
Jean Leckie looked up at Arthur Conan Doyle, the tears streaming

down her cheeks. The couple were seated in a quiet corner of an ABC Tea shop in Camden Town. Her companion, dressed in handsome tweeds, appeared perplexed.

“Dearest, sweetest love. Please don’t cry.”
“It’s easy enough for you to say. Don’t you care about my feelings?” “I adore you.”
“Save that for Touie, you hypocrite. You clearly adored her enough

to make your marriage, your happy marriage the subject of this!” Jean brought out a book from her capacious handbag and slammed it on the table.

Arthur quietly picked up the small volume and looked at the cover: A Duet, by A. Conan Doyle.

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes publishes in two weeks, November 11. You can pre-order a copy from:

Poisoned Pen Books (signed by Laurie King, Les Klinger, and others)

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble/ Nook

Amazon/ Kindle

Dreaming Spies winners!

The two winners for last week’s giveaway of the Dreaming Spies ARC –Dreaming Spies High Res JPEG

 

– are Laura R. and Ray Riethmeier, which means that two copies are on their way to Georgia and Minnesota, respectively.  Congratulations, Laura and Ray, and I hope you love love love the book, and also that you don’t gloat too loudly but maybe a little bit.

The next giveaway will be another random drawing, but from the newsletter list.  We haven’t decided the dates yet, but if you don’t get the newsletter, you might want to sign up, just in case, here.

Mary Russell’s War (thirteen): visitors and responsibilities

On a sheet of stationery pinned to the pages of Mary Russell’s journal:

27 October 1914

Mary, because you seem worried that your brain has sustained an injury in the accident, as evidenced by your occasional lapses in memory, I am adding a page here as an aide memoire, that you may read it and reinforce your natural memory of the facts.

Rest assured, dear Mary, that each morning I personally bring the wall calendar across from your bed up to date, drawing a line through the previous day, checking to be sure the day’s appointments and scheduled visitors are accurate. I promise you I will continue to do this until you no longer need my help. I further promise you that your brain will return to its customary sharp state as its physical trauma subsides. Your fretting about it only delays healing.

Your family servants, Micah and Mah Long, visit on alternate afternoons, and bring you food since you seem to find that more appealing than the more Western foods offered by the hospital or your other visitors. Your friend Flo comes two or three days a week, and your father’s lawyer needs no more signatures at present (I mention those two people because you seem particularly concerned with them.) You have replied to all the letters in the lidded box on the small table, and between the Longs and me, any new letters reach you within a day of their arrival at your house. Similarly, I read you the day’s news and anything else of interest each morning, and again—yes, the headaches will lessen, as indeed they are beginning to do already, although it may not seem so to you.

Oh, and the other thing that worries you is your mother’s canary: yes, I have taken it home with me, where it sings to my large collection of artificial birds from around the world. I shall try to take a photograph of the little yellow thing perched atop the large black hawk carving you have admired in the past.

Please, child: worry not, and get well. Next week you will be moving to a convalescent hospital, where I believe you will find things more comfortable and less troubling. Certainly it will be quieter.

I will place this atop your journal when I come to your room this morning. Also, you will be pleased to hear, the October issue of The Strand arrived at your house, so I will bring it and see if you would like me to read you some of the new instalment of the Sherlock Holmes serial that you said you were anticipating.

(Later that morning: I am not at all certain that “The Valley of Fear” is an appropriate piece of fiction to read to a convalescent girl, concerned as it is with a brutal murder. However, when I made to stop, Mary grew agitated, and so I continued. Perhaps the story will be less appealing by the time its November episode appears. At least it has taken her mind off of German spies.)

(For the previous installments of Mary Russell’s War, see here.)