What can you find here? Reviews of new and not quite so new Sherlock Holmes novels and collections. Interviews with authors, link to blogs worth following, links to where you can purchase my books and some reviews of my work garnered from Amazon sites. Plus a few scary pics of me and a link to various Lyme Regis videos on YouTube...see what we do here and how....and indeed why!!! Next to the Lyme Regis Video Bar is a Jeremy Brett as Holmes Video Bar and now a Ross K Video Bar. And stories and poems galore in the archives.

Sunday 28 October 2012

Special Offer

Lyme Regis Trilogy Offer from MX Publishing

This year is a great year for trilogies. David Ruffle's superb Sherlock Holmes and Lyme Regis series comes to a conclusion on 10th of December with Shelock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Trials. However, fans can get the book a month early if they order the Trilogy before the end of October - plus they will get a pre-publication copy of the gorgeous new children's book Sherlock Holmes and The Missing Snowman included free!!

Available on both the US and UK (inc Europe) sites -order before 31st October, while stocks last.

UK and Europe MX Publishing UK

Tuesday 23 October 2012

A Taste of Lyme Regis.............

Early morning view from the shop.
Now available online.....fudges direct from one of the oldest shops in Lyme Regis. Quality Corner is housed in a building with Tudor origins which managed to escape unscathed through the major conflagrations which so often beset Lyme. The shop has existed in various guises for at least the best part of two hundred years and possibly longer. It's entirely possible the shop was in existence during 1804/1805 when Jane Austen visited the town and while it is not known exactly what kind of shop it would have been in that era, it's quite pleasing to think that Jane Austen herself would have wandered in from time to time.
An early drawing of Lyme. The shop is bottom-left of the picture with the beautiful curved frontage:

And now (insert fanfare here!) Quality Corner can offer everyone the chance to grab a taste of on the link below and that taste could soon be yours!

Monday 22 October 2012

Another Top Ten......

.....these are from Charlotte Smith, the author of the Sherlock Holmes novel, 'The Murder at Lodore Falls'.

Top Ten Sherlock Holmes pastiche novels

That is a challenge! In no particular order I would have to make a beeline for the ones below. Most of these books I have reviewed on My Tin Dispatch Box!

Barefoot On Baker Street Charlotte Walters     
The Secret Journal Of Dr Watson Phil Growick
The Lyme Regis Horror David Ruffle
Sherlock Holmes And Tangled Skein David Stuart Davies
The Consulting Detective Trilogy Darlene A. Cypser
The Chronicles Of Sherlock Holmes Paul Gilbert
Crack In The Lens Darlene A. Cypser
Sherlock Holmes And The Affair In Transylvania Gerry O’Hara
Dust and Shadow Lyndsay Faye
The Outstanding Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes Gerard Kelly

Top Ten Books

Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier                
Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
Great Expectations Charles Dickens
The Woman In Black Susan Hill
Dubliners James Joyce
Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection
Reach For The Sky Paul Brickhall
Oliver Twist Charles Dickens
Oscar Wilde Complete Short Stories Oscar Wilde
Twopence To Cross The Mersey Helen Forrester

Top Ten Actors or Actresses

Jeremy Brett (My all time favourite actor and not just because of Sherlock Holmes!)
Edward Hardwicke (A great actor, Dr Watson and loved him in Colditz and various other roles)
Richard Burton (Just because he is so handsome in toga!)
Clint Eastwood (All round versatile and great actor)
Gene Hackman (You know the film is going to be good if he is in the billing)
Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort!!!)
John Wayne (Greatest cowboy ever!)                                       

Kirk Douglas (I’m Spartacus!)
Lawerence Oliver (The Master!)
Dame Judi Dench (For being so good as M)

'Murder at  Lodore Falls' is available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, and all book-selling websites around the world. Visit Charlotte's web site and read her reviews at My Tin Dispatch Box.

Sunday 21 October 2012

End Peace: A review

Ross K Foad reviews Holmes and Watson: End Peace in his own inimitable style!

Holmes and Watson End Peace is available from bookstores including in the USA Barnes and Noble and Amazon, in the UK Waterstones, Amazon and Book Depository (free worldwide delivery).

Saturday 20 October 2012

Back to work

Back to work Monday after several weeks off with ankle injury, the mantra for Monday is: I must not fall down the steps, I must not fall down the steps, I must not fall down the steps.

Early morning views from the shop:  

Thursday 18 October 2012

A real coup for this blog....

Coming soon to this page.....a real coup; An interview with David Nobbs, one of Britain's leading comic-novelists. Creator of Reginald Perrin, Henry Pratt and so many other memorable characters. David Nobbs’s most famous creation is undoubtedly Reginald Iolanthe Perrin, star of three novels and three television series. Like Reggie himself, the series refuses to die,and was recently revived with Martin Clunes as Reggie. David doesn’t resent this. He didn’t get where he is today by being upset when people mouth his own catch-phrases at him. But there is far more to David’s career than Reggie Perrin. There’s his acclaimed series, A Bit Of A Do, which gained audiences of fourteen million for Yorkshire Television. There’s his work for many top comedians, including Frankie Howerd, Les Dawson and The Two Ronnies.
And above all there are his novels, eighteen of them, all of them humorous in tone, leading Jonathan Coe to state ‘David Nobbs is probably our finest post-war comic novelist.’ They include the four Perrin novels, the four Henry Pratt novels, and two of his own great favourites, Going Gently, Obstacles to Young Love (shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance) and his eighteenth, It Had To Be You, published on June 23rd, 2011.
You can read about all these books by clicking the link below, plus details of his life, his radio and television work, his influences, his enthusiasms, his prejudices, his occasional public appearances. You can ask him questions – he’ll be pleased to hear from you – and he will write a fairly regular blog with his unique take on the events of the day.

David Nobb's Website     

Tuesday 16 October 2012

A Top Ten

A new regular feature where I canvass other folk for their Top Tens.....all will become clear I promise!

First up is Luke Benjamen Kuhns; Luke  is a graduate of the University of Manchester where he studied Theology. Luke is an experienced musician and lyricist where for a time Luke served as head writer on several music endeavors. He grew up in a small town in Indiana, USA where he spent hours creating worlds of fiction in short story and poetic form. Luke is a great lover of literature and considers C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, Robert Lewis Stevenson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to be his biggest creative inspiration. He currently resides in London where he enjoys being in the heart of the British Empire which is home to many of his favourite stories. His initial lists:

1. Top Ten Sherlock Holmes Canon short stories

The Sign of Four 
The Hound of the Baskervilles
A Scandal in Bohemia
The Yellow Face
The Final Problem
Wisteria Lodge
The Bruce-Partington Plans
The Devil’s Foot
The Sussex Vampire
Thor Bridge

'These ten stories are the ones that really capture my imagination the most. The all border on the strange or grotesque and that is what I found most intriguing about each of these stories. Doyle’s own imagination it stunning and that is reflect, for me, in these ten.'

 Top Ten writers                                                      

C.S. Lewis
JRR Tolkien
Robert Lewis Stevenson
Loren D Estleman

Douglas Adams
H.G Wells
J.M. Barrie
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Robert Ludlum
Rick Rioardan

'Each of these ten writers have had some influence on me in some capacity. I grew up reading several of these authors and they aided in shaping my own imagination and also how I see the world. With Lewis and Tolkien and the importance of friendship and hope, Adams and his quirky sci-fi humour, Barrie and the importance of never losing that child like wonder in life are but a few reasons why some of these ten hold a special place for me.' 

3. Top Ten pieces of music or albums

Audio Adrenaline: Until My Heart Caves in
Haste the Day: Attack of the Wolf King
The Romans: The End of the Century - Chinese Rock is a killer track! Just saying.
Anberlin: Never Take Friendship Personal
Fun: Some Nights
Queen: A Day At The Races
Alan Silvestri: Back to the Future Original Sound Track
Hans Zimmer: Sherlock Holmes Original Sound Track
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Swan Theme
Mozart: Requiem in D Minor

'My unique taste in music captured between just ten albums and or pieces of music. Each of these artists/musician are all amazing in their own respect. All bands create great music accompanied with great lyrics while the composers are brilliant at assembling musical pieces that can excite you one moment and calm you the next.'

Visit  Luke's Blog or buy his new book: The Untold Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Monday 15 October 2012

A 'Missing Snowman' review...

Charlotte Smith has posted a lovely review of 'Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Snowman'.

In part it reads:

'In his latest book Sherlock Holmes And The Missing Snowman, David Ruffle has had very young readers of Sherlock Holmes in mind when he wrote this book and the theme of the book is a charming tale of a very distraught young client who comes to Sherlock Holmes at the height of the Christmas festivities with a singular case of a missing snowman which had disappeared in mysterious circumstances!.....What makes this story stands out however are the absolutely superb colourful illustrations presented throughout the book. They are rich in detail and obviously done with much love of the characters portrayed.  Children will love seeing these pictures and will come back to them over and over again to take in and enjoy the attention to detail of the artwork done.  Even adult readers of Sherlock Holmes would appreciate them for the quality of the illustrations....Sherlock Holmes And The Missing Snowman will make a fine addition to the Christmas stocking of  young readers of Sherlock Holmes and I can see this book doing well, not only in the children’s section of bookshops up and down the country but also in libraries and schools too.'

To read the review in full, go to My Tin Dispatch Box


Friday 12 October 2012

Moods Etc.....

Mood: Fractured

Ankle: Fractured

Reading: All Passion Spent....Vita Sackville-West

Listening to:

Tuesday 9 October 2012

David Ruffle's Sherlock Holmes/Lyme Regis Blog: A giveaway!! Now starts October 10th!!

David Ruffle's Sherlock Holmes/Lyme Regis Blog: A giveaway!!  Now starts October 10th!!: Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Trials, the last in the Sherlock Holmes/Lyme Regis trilogy has a publication date of December 10th......I...

Haunted Edinburgh

The Case of the Edinburgh Haunting by David Wilson is a first-rate pastiche and is extremely well-written. Edinburgh itself is in some ways the star of the show here just as it is in Ian Rankin's Rebus novels, Victorian Edinburgh comes to life under Mr Wilson's skilful pen. One aspect which will cheer any Holmes devotee is the appearance of none other than Dr Joseph Bell who, according to ACD, was the original template for the character of Holmes. Having the two of them meet and dazzle together is David Wilson's masterstroke; I am not sure if it has been done before, but if it has I doubt it has been accomplished so well as it has here. I found myself re-reading that section three times before moving on!  The action is presented to us from various viewpoints which works very well indeed. Watson's own narrative is uncannily spot on and one of the finest of recent Watsonian voices I have come across. The plot initially takes us to a haunted house in Edinburgh (one of many such there one would imagine), but not all is how it seems and the plot moves on from there to encompass murder and corruption. All the developments are handled very well and the pace never flags (it's a gentle kind of pace, a Watsonian pace if you will), The differing perspectives as the plot unfolds serve to give the reader a very clear, concise view on what is going on. The characters are well-drawn (some taken from life as in the case of Dr Bell) and in Constable Morthouse, the young officer who initially is assumed to be out of his depth, we have a policemen worthy of the highest praise from Holmes. He is keen, observant and remains focused in spite of being treated badly by his superior officer. This is a superior pastiche which will leave one wanting more from the pen and imagination of David Wilson, it certainly did for me.
The Case of the Edinburgh Haunting will be published by MX Publishing on the 17th of October, and will be available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, and more places than you can shake a stick at!

Saturday 6 October 2012

A Snowman review......

The first review of 'Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Snowman' by 'The Well Read Sherlockian'.

I know, I know, I’m not ready for snow yet, either. But that was before I got the marvelous opportunity to review David Ruffle’s new children’s book, pre-publication. A prolific writer, Mr. Ruffle now has six published books featuring Holmes and Watson to his credit, and is finishing up the seventh. Most of his books are intended for older readers; Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Snowman, however, is meant for a younger audience–much younger

When I heard that Mr. Ruffle was going to publish “Henrietta’s Problem” as a children’s book, I figured he’d just cut the text into smaller chunks, take out some words and be done with it.** Instead, he’s re-written the story to a child’s level, without losing any of its original charm. In fact, after reading back through the original, I actually think that this simpler version is the best. Mr. Ruffle has a gift for expressing emotion without a lot of verbal clutter, and it’s used here to great effect. The Missing Snowman reads out loud extremely well (more on this in a minute), and Lyme Regis artist Rikey Austin’s soft, nostalgic illustrations, done in a light, wintry palette, add to its gentle mood. It is a simple, touching story that reminds us that, no matter what he wants others to think, the Great Detective is much more than a logical machine.

Read the full review and much more at The Well Read Sherlockian and 'Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Snowman' is available to pre-order at Amazon UK, Amazon USA, Waterstones and many more sites and bookshops.


Friday 5 October 2012

A giveaway!!

Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Trials, the last in the Sherlock Holmes/Lyme Regis trilogy has a publication date of December 10th......I have five copies to give away via Goodreads...just click the link below to be in with a chance. Good luck!

Goodreads Giveaway

Or if you prefer to buy it (!!); it's available here: Amazon UK, Amazon USA, Waterstones, The Book Depository, and many more.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Interview time again......

I recently took the time out to fire some questions at Fiona-Jane Brown, writer, playwright, story-teller and folklorist and here is what she had to say:

Most people would consider Scotland to be a hotbed of folklore without knowing anymore than that. How does the folklore of Scotland differ from the rest of the UK for instance?

Ah, now that’s a question that I can’t really answer – you are better asking how the regions within in Scotland differ from each other! The fishing and farming communities have different folklore, as does the town compared to the country. From what I studied in my Masters, England has as much folklore as we do. It does still follow that more isolated places keep their traditions for longer – when I visited the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, almost the whole community are Catholic and very much trust in their religious folk rituals. On the other hand, Shetland, which is the most progressive economic area in Scotland, many of the locals, even those in their 20s are aware of ghostlore and their Norse traditions. You cannot generalise.

You are a noted expert on the cultural beliefs of fishing communities of Scotland. Could you elaborate a little on that?

I received my doctorate in Ethnology in 2010 for writing about the beliefs and identity of fisher people in three areas of Scotland, the North East, where I’m from; Shetland, and the Outer Hebrides. Again, you cannot generalise about people, but there are many traditions which fishermen share despite differences in culture and religion. Nearly every one of the areas I worked in had examples of the “Burning of the Clavie” ritual – fishermen, feeling they were having a run of bad luck, would walk through the boat with a burning rag and chase away the evil spirits/witches that were preventing them getting a good catch. It sounds completely Pagan, but fishermen seemed to resolve two different sets of beliefs – one for onshore and one for being at sea. I love these stories, especially as I come from a long line of fisherfolk myself!

You live in Peterhead in the frozen north!! Why is it called the 'Blue Toon'? Is it because the folk who live there suffer in the cold?!?

Ha ha! Some people think that, but there is a little folk tale which gives us our name of “Blue Mogganers”. Our football team is still called “The Blue Toon” to this day. Away back in the times of big sailing ships, one was wrecked off the Skerry Rocks outside our South Bay. Any time a boat was wrecked, if there were no survivors it was common law that the salvage belonged to the community. This ship had a cargo of blue wool, which delighted the fisherwomen and they began knitting “moggans” which were long gloves and socks which the men wore at sea. The Gaelic word for glove is “miotag” so I guess it may have come from there. So, we were ever after known as Blue Mogganers!

In 2010 you became the Projects Officer for the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection/Lancelyn Green Bequest in Portsmouth. How did that come about?

I applied for the job and got it! I saw it advertised after spending the whole summer after graduating desperately looking for work and thought it sounded fun, never imagining I would get it. But I did, and moved to Portsmouth in November 2010. I loved that job so much and was really upset when the contract wasn’t renewed in March 2011 – basically the recession meant that the council there had very little funding given to them by central government and the local libraries, social work, and many other social and cultural resources were cut, including me. The job itself was fascinating, I was promoting the use of Richard Lancelyn Green’s huge collection of material on Conan Doyle and Holmes to anyone who might be interested. That including meeting with schools, community education groups, art galleries, theatre companies etc. Pity I never got to develop any of the things I set up.

When where and how did you first encounter Sherlock Holmes?

I would have been about 8 or 9 years old, as I remember we had moved into the house my parents live in now, and I was given a copy of the Strand Magazine stories as a Christmas present. I devoured them! I always loved reading from the very beginning. It was the story of Silver Blaze that got my attention first as, like many little girls, I was nutty about horses.

Who has best embodied Holmes on the small or large screen?

Jeremy Brett – without question. Although I do think Benedict Cumberbatch is a stunning 21st century incarnation.

Do your future plans include further plays involving Sherlock Holmes..or perhaps a novel?

Yes of course, Steve Emecz suggested I could carry on creating more new stories for plays. You have to understand, I’m writing all the time, not just Sherlock or my fictional stuff, but I’m currently finishing a historical guide book on Aberdeen. There are a few story ideas I have for Holmes which will only work in prose, so they will come in due course. I am writing my second play Sherlock Holmes and the Riddle of the Dancing Dragons as we speak

There is a birthday milestone coming up next year, which of course, being a gentleman,I won't reveal which one! Do you see any changes resulting from that?

No. Being 40 (I don’t care who knows!) makes no difference to me, and certainly won’t make any difference to my writing. In my head I still feel much younger and when I write fiction, most of my characters are in their 20s and early 30s! The one change I do hope is that I have a new job flexible enough to let me continue with my walking tours and my writing!

Thanks, Fiona!!

Fiona's 'Sherlock Holmes and the Jacobite Rose' is available on Amazon UK, Amazon USA, and for Kindle on both sites. Also as paperbacl and Nook at Barnes and Noble and at Waterstones

Monday 1 October 2012

More pastiche ponderings

Just had a quick head count of the Sherlock Holmes pastiches I own (novels not short stories which run into hundreds) and I find it to be 153!! Yes, one hundred and fifty-three, which of course got me to pondering once more on pastiches. It's fair to say, which I have on many occasions, that I prefer shorter novels (that's not necessarily the reason why mine are novella length-more to do with my limited plotting expertise!) but I do enjoy a certain amount of canonical fidelity, more than enjoy I guess, I positively demand it! First, my preference is for Watson to be narrating, it's well nigh impossible to see a Holmes story in any other light for me. Further fidelity comes from adhering to certain facts in the canon; for example using accepted Holmesian chronology such as birthdates for Holmes and Watson (1854 and 1852 respectively for me) and having the stories set within the framework of that chronology i.e nothing taking place between 1891 and 1894 ( yes I know Watson erred in that regard). With my own scribbling I have tried very hard to keep to those principles; 'Lyme Regis Horror' takes place during a blank period in 1896, acknowledges the fat that Mrs Watson is dead etc. 'Lyme Regis Trials is set in 1903 so we find Holmes retired to Sussex and Watson living in Queen Anne Street. I stress that this fidelity acts as a framework to hang a tale and with that fidelity as a starting point then flights of fancy may take the writer and by extension the reader anywhere, but Holmes, Watson and their world remains recognisable and grounded in 'reality'. Obviously this is a personal view and it does not mean that I have not enjoyed pastiches that do not follow these 'rules'. Holmes has to be Holmes and Watson has to be Watson, even the BBC's 'Sherlock' recognised that and whilst it cannot claim to be faithful to the canon, it is certainly true to the spirit of the original and there is enough canonocal detail in there to satisfy most Holmesians. And now I am rambling.....and I am peckish......and I have a Rammstein CD lined up to play; nothing like German industrial/heavy metal to liven up one's day!!