Sherlock Holmes Abroad

A while back, the very lovely Simon Clark approached me to ask if I’d contribute a story to a new anthology of Sherlock Holmes tales – The Mammoth Book of Sherlock Holmes Abroad. I must admit, I took a very big gulp at the time. I wasn’t particularly familiar with the Holmes oeuvre, and the story obviously needed to be set in the past, and indeed, as the name suggests, overseas. That added up to a large amount of research, and as sometimes happens with requests for stories a little outside my comfort zone, I wasn’t entirely sure I could do it.
On the other hand, I’ve found previously that if you push your brain in new directions and give yourself a huge challenge, sometimes you surprise yourself with the results. And you know, as aforementioned, Simon Clark is lovely, and it sounded not only a challenge but something exciting and new that I wouldn’t otherwise think of doing, and so I said yes. And I started watching Sherlock Holmes programmes and reading the stories – or, more accurately, devouring them.
What I hadn’t expected was that it would be so much fun. The Sherlock Holmes stories aren’t just exercises in sheer cleverness but are sharp and witty and thoroughly entertaining. I was hooked. I’d intended to read some samples, but ended up devouring everything I could. And I rediscovered the Jeremy Brett series, which was rather splendid too. (It was particularly lovely discovering Jude Law in Shoscombe Old Place.)
And then I started to write The Mystery of the Red City, set in Morocco, somewhere I’ve loved visiting, and the words flowed more easily than I ever would have imagined. I had a blast writing it, and it’s a blast now to see it in the finished book.
The Mammoth Book of Sherlock Holmes Abroad will be published by Robinson on the 2nd April in paperback and ebook, with the paperback available in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand a couple of months later.
Here’s the blurb:
“In this wonderful anthology of new stories, Sherlock Holmes travels to the far ends of the Earth in search of truth and justice. A host of singularly talented writers, while remaining respectful towards Conan Doyle’s work, present a new and thrilling dimension to Holmes’s career.
Full list of contributors:
Simon Clark; Andrew Darlington; Paul Finch; Nev Fountain; Carole Johnstone; Paul Kane; Alison Littlewood; Johnny Mains; William Meikle ;David Moody; Mark Morris; Cavan Scott; Denis O. Smith; Sam Stone and Stephen Volk.”

I really hope people enjoy reading these stories as much as I enjoyed writing mine. I have a copy in my hands at the moment, and it’s a lovely, lovely thing. I’m thoroughly looking forward to discovering where the other writers took the master of observation and deduction. Judging by the first story, The Monster of Hell’s Gate by Paul Finch, I’m in for  a treat.