I always enjoy hosting authors in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. Readers love meeting them, and I’ve found most writers to be nice, friendly people, happy to have the chance to be here, meet readers, and talk about their books.
Today, we’re having not just any author, but none other than Renalta Van Markoff herself, creator of the hugely successful Hudson and Holmes series of pastiche novels. Her newest book, Hudson House, came out only this week, and she cancelled all her scheduled appearances when she decided on a whim to come to Cape Cod for the weekend. Her publisher and publicist must have been tearing their hair out. They persuaded her to do one book signing at least. And the closest store to her vacation destination happened to be mine. It was a bit of a scramble to put something on at the last minute, but it all fell into place.
Van Markoff herself came in on Thursday, supposedly to make sure my shop could accommodate an author of her standing. Can’t say I was impressed: rude, obnoxious, demanding are words that come to mind. I felt rather sorry for her publicist and personal assistant.
Her books are not for everyone. They are certainly not for me – overwrought and overwritten, in my opinion, and veering dangerously toward an excess of purple prose – but they’re a publishing phenomenon.
They are also not for the more serious-minded members of the Sherlockian community, and that has me slightly worried. Donald Morris was in the shop the other day, exclaiming over what a disgrace Van Markoff’s interpretation of the Great Detective is to the memory of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I think Donald was about to proclaim it was a disgrace to the memory of Holmes, but he remembered at the last minute that Sherlock is not a real person.
Still, it’s just a short talk and a book signing. What could possibly go wrong?
Find out if anything does go wrong in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.
Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table―dead.
Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a hardcover copy of Body on Baker Street. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends September 18, 2017. Good luck everyone!
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About the author
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her newest novel is Body on Baker Street, the second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane.
Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.
All comments are welcomed.