Kickstarter – Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon

I mentioned a few posts ago that a new Kickstarter was about to launch to fund an anthology of sequels to original Arthur Conan Doyle stories from the Sherlock Holmes canon.

The  Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon Kickstarter campaign was launched on 1 August 2018, and it’s already been fully funded.

But that’s no reason to light a pipe, indulge in a seven per cent solution or go and have a flutter on the races (which was more Watson’s vice). If you back the Kickstarter, you can get hold of any or all of the three volumes, as well as back the book at higher levels and get even more Sherlock Holmes bookish deliciousness for your pains!

My story, ‘A Gentleman’s Disagreement’, will appear in the first volume of the anthology. It’s a sequel to ‘The Blue Carbuncle’ and follows what happens almost immediately after the end of the original story. It involves a second theft, some unpleasant accusations, a few incautious comments and a night in a prison cell for Dr Watson.

Here’s an excerpt:

I threw some papers from my chair onto the floor with the others, causing Holmes’s expression to spasm in disapproval, as though I had upset some order within the mess. I cheerfully ignored him as I took my seat, drew out my pipe and packed it from the Persian slipper.

I briefly felt sorry for the Countess, so unlucky in love. “His behaviour is scandalous,” I said, lighting my pipe with a match.

“You’ve forgiven her, then, for your night in prison?”

I puffed to ensure the tobacco was well lit and eased back in my chair. “It was an invigorating few hours at least,” I said magnanimously, “And the fault wasn’t entirely hers. Several of us had a hand in it.”

Holmes threw back his head and roared with laughter in that rare but wholehearted way of his, and I grinned.

“You are a diplomat, Watson,” he declared, still laughing.

“And you did apologise very handsomely for your share,” I said, saluting him with the stem of my new pipe, which he’d gifted me not long after the incident, “Though I’m grateful you secured my release before matters got out of hand.”

My friend sobered at the reminder. “Yes. Any longer in the lock-up with those old ‘friends’ of ours might have been less invigorating.”

“I was thinking more of the effect of the damp on my old wounds,” I demurred, though his evident concern, then as now, warmed me more than any apology.

The Kickstarter also includes interviews with the authors for every day of the campaign, talking about which story they chose to write a sequel to and why, among other things.

Learn more about Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon or back it on Kickstarter.

Review: Primrose and the Dreadful Duke by Emily Larkin

I love Emily Larkin’s Baleful Godmother series of historical romance with a magical twist so much that I leapt on the chance to read an advance copy of the latest in the series, Primrose and the Dreadful Duke.

This was an excellent life choice because this book (the first in a subseries about the Garland cousins) combines so many of my favourite things: a believable romance with strong, textured characters, elegant writing, a lot of humour – and a murder mystery!

The dreadful duke in question, Oliver Dasenby, is only dreadful because of how he so often plays the clown with his best friend’s sister, Primrose Garland. He’s smarter than he pretends. He’s also kind, loyal and spirited and, while flippant, he knows how and when to take things seriuosly, after eight years in the cavalry. He’s returned to England having inherited a dukedom and suddenly he has a new battlefield, where he’s a kind of prey for all the young ladies hoping to score a duke for a husband. Oliver is also slightly concerned about how he’s going to learn to be a duke after being a soldier.

Primrose is intelligent, well-read, tart-tongued and good hearted, and her childhood friend often makes her laugh with his cheek and tomfoolery. Her faerie gift (one of the hallmarks of a Baleful Godmother novel) is incidental at the start, though later is useful as part of all the intrigues taking place. She’s quick-thinking too, observant and has a strong regard for the philosophies of the world’s most unlikely cupid, Marcus Aurelius.

It’s a love story waiting to happen, but a few things might stand in the way. One is a duke-hunter who may be a bit of a harpy, and the other is that someone seems to be trying to murder Oliver.

Primrose and the Dreadful Duke is light on its feet – charming and funny, full of personality and well-paced excitement and dangers from several dangerous directions. It balances light and dark, in tone as well in the supporting characters – and you can’t help but love Prim and Ollie as individuals and as they slowly work out how they really feel about each other – and solve a case of murderous intent.

Buy Primrose and the Dreadful Duke

 

Words are like oxygen

%d bloggers like this: