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Book Title: Three May Keep a Secret: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Richard T. Ryan
Category: Adult Fiction 18+, 264 pages
Publisher: MX Publishing
Release Date: November 29, 2021
Tour dates: November 29 to December 17
Content Rating: G.
When a meeting with a client goes disastrously wrong, Sherlock Holmes soon finds himself involved in a case of murder with two dead bodies and too few clues.
From some clear pieces of glass and a raven's feather, the Great Detective must divine exactly who the client was and what prompted him to seek assistance at 221B. Fortunately, Holmes has a number of experts upon whom he can rely as well as his own vast store of esoteric knowledge.
Treading a twisted path, Holmes soon finds himself matching wits with an unseen criminal, who appears to be the equal of the late Professor Moriarty. At the same time, he is tasked with sparing the monarchy any possible embarrassment that may stem from the investigation.
It's a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that finds Holmes and Watson attending underground auctions, using rare and priceless artifacts as bait and holding a late night vigil in anticipation of deterring a theft, all the while trying to understand how a priceless antiquity fits into their investigation.
Why did you choose to write about Sherlock Holmes?
I have always loved mysteries. When I was younger, I devoured the works of Agatha Christie, John Dickson Carr and G.K. Chesterton. When I finally decided to write my first novel, a Holmes’ pastiche just seemed like a natural. The character had moved into the public domain, and I was well-versed in the Sherlockian Canon.
What was your biggest fear?
My biggest fear was starting the novel and not finishing. I had done that a few times in the past, much to my chagrin. Aside from that my biggest concern was doing justice to the characters created by Conan Doyle. I mean everyone is familiar to some degree with Holmes and Watson, and those willing to buy a pastiche would have certain, probably higher, expectations.
Where do your plots come from?
Actually, they come from all over. For example, the plot of The Stone of Destiny was inspired by a Final Jeopardy question. While the plot of The Druid of Death came to me while I was researching the ancient form of Irish writing known as ogham. With regard to my latest novel Three May Keep a Secret, I was reading an article about jewelry from the medieval period, and the author used the term plique-a-jour. Intrigued, I looked it up and plique-a-jour ended up playing a prominent role in the novel. However, since I don’t plot ahead of time, anything is possible.
Do your novels require a great deal of research?
Yes, in fact, I would say I spend as much time researching as I do writing – perhaps more. I want everything to be as accurate as possible – not just the history but the details as well. And that can be problematic because sometimes you end up including too much. Fortunately, my wife is a great Beta reader and she has no qualms about telling me that passages are boring or that I’ve wandered too far afield.
You’ve said you don’t plot your novels, how does that work?
I think by not plotting ahead of time, I leave myself open to anything that might strike me. I always say the story takes me where it wants to go. In that sense, the writing is very organic and natural, if you will. It’s somewhat like contrasting a portrait and an Impressionist piece depicting the same person. Both may be skilled and they will certainly be different. However, in the end they are really just two vastly different ways of approaching the same subject.
Would a person who is not a diehard Holmes fan, enjoy your book?
I certainly hope they would. I think the characters are interesting in and of themselves, and the Victorian era setting contrasts nicely with our own. However, I think what make these novels enjoyable is the blend of history and mystery. I put real-life personages such as Winston Churchill, Pope Leo XIII and Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Marlborough into my books. Add in a plot that works (I hope) and I think you have everything you could expect, and maybe a bit more, from a novel in this genre.
Finally, any words of advice for aspiring writers?
Trust yourself! Although I had been writing my entire life, I was 63 before I started and finished my first novel. Looking back, I often wonder how different things might have been, had I begun at an earlier age.
Aʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛʜᴇ Aᴜᴛʜᴏʀ
A lifelong Sherlockian, Richard Ryan is the author of “The Vatican Cameos: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure,” “The Stone of Destiny,” “The Druid of Death” and “The Merchant of Menace,” and “Through a Glass Starkly,” all from MX Publishing. “Three May Keep a Secret” is his sixth Holmes pastiche, and he is currently at work on his seventh.
He has also written “B Is for Baker Street (My First Sherlock Holmes Book)," an alphabet book he penned for his grandchildren.
Among his other credits are “The Official Sherlock Holmes Trivia Book," a book on Agatha Christie trivia and the well-received murder mystery “Deadly Relations” that has been produced twice off-Broadway.
He pursued his graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in medieval literature. To this day, he remains a die-hard fan of the Fighting Irish.
connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ goodreads
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