Monday, September 19, 2016

Great Stories Starring Sherlock, and a Wonderful Find

What a busy week it's been: I attended a writing workshop,  I finished the story collection,  Beyond Watson, I found just the right book for my next Sherlock story, and a furry visitor -- the cute little rabbit that started visiting our back yard.reminded me that it's always great to celebrate the small things.

First, I'll start with  the book I found: In my neighborhood, someone in a a home on the corner of F & 25th has started a "little free library." I've read of these: A small box atop a post with shelves and a glass door--you can take books for free and leave books for others to take for free. On my walk yesterday, I passed it and peeked in, and what to my wondering eyes did appear . . .

Yes! just the reference I need at my fingertips to help with a story idea that's rolling around in my head for a new Sherlock-related tale -- and we're going to be traveling, so I can't take my shelf-load of Sherlcock-related books. This was beyond cool. (I did leave a generous load of books return.)

Then there is the matter of reading the rest of the marvelous story collection, Beyond Watson. It's been way busy lately, and then I came down with a really horrible cold. But it gave me time to put my feet up and finish my Beyond Watson reading feast:

Let me give you some snapshot reviews of the remaining stories I hadn't yet read.

Previously I gave little thumbnail reviews to 
three of the stories on June 27th HERE and four more stories on August 4th,  HERE . Check them out again, and then read the rest, as I did with great pleasure. Here are 5 more. 

     Mine, "Kidnapped," stars Imogene, Rusty, and Sherlock again, as well as Imogene's trusty cook, Mrs. Parker. Rusty gets kidnapped in this story, and more than that, I will not say.
     In David Ruffle's "The Tarlton Affair" someone in Sherlock Holmes's past shows up to confront him about a nefarious murder plot in which Sherlock actually played a significant role.This story, BTW, is full of twists and surprises--something I always enjoy in a mystery, and you will, too.
     In Jack McDevitt's "The Lost Equation," during a trip to London, the American journalist, H. L. Mencken, helps Sherlock Holmes unravel a case involving Einstein's famous equation, E=mc².  Apparently a young physics student discovered particle theory two years before Einstein did, then died shortly afterward, at age 32, of a stroke. Why? And was it a stroke?
     In "An Adventure in the Mid-day Sun," by Daniel D. Victor, fifteen-year-old Raymond Chandler (yes, that Raymond Chandler) is working as a page at 221 Baker Street. On a fateful day, he witnesses a murder in the back alley and is about to be next, when a mysterious boy he's seen lurking about rescues him. Stolen pearls, a part in a play, blackmail . . . and a clever surprise at the end!
     Last, but not least, "Some Notes Upon the Matter of John Douglas," by David Marcum, involves an interview in the Dartmoor Prison with Sebastian Moran, whom Holmes has described as "the second most dangerous man in London." Moran's status in this tale comes from being Professor Moriarty's right hand man, (Moriarty being the "first most dangerous man in London"). In this interview he recalls a case when an American came to Moriarty to basically arrange a hit on a Pinkerton detective (in England under the new name, John Douglas) who brought down a crime ring in America. But what a tangled tale this becomes, and one with effects far into the future.

So, run, don't walk . . . or at least let your fingers do the running . . . and get a copy of this fine collection HERE. You won't regret it. 

Third,  I went to a writing workshop about getting published on September 9th and pitched my cozy mystery (alas, not involving Holmes or Watson) to two agents. I got two requests: one for a full, one for a partial. (Which means, I know, only that the pitch sounded good and they'd like to see more.) Still, I'm over the moon. Especially since it seems I've learned how to write the dreaded pitch, something that has always terrified me.

And now -- the bunny I'm celebrating. It may sound strange to celebrate the arrival of a little cottontail rabbit who has decided to make our back yard one of his favorite visiting spots. But a few days ago, that's just what happened. He comes almost every day, now, and munches on our grass and, I fervently hope, the weeds I haven't had time to pull. And he is just too cute. 

Celebrate the Small Things  is a blog hop co-hosted by Lexa Cain at: Lexa Cain,  L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge , and Tonja Drecker @ Tidbits Blog. (You can click on any of these sites to add your name to the links, if you want to participate. I recommend it, because it's fun to see positive news that others are celebrating, and to share your own as well.  A dose of the positive is always refreshing.)