Sunday, November 10, 2019

"Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon"

James Lovegrove is the New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Odin. He was short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1998 and for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 2004, and also reviews fiction for the Financial Times. He is the author of Firefly: Big Damn Hero with Nancy Holder and Firefly: The Magnificent Nine. He lives in south-east England.

Lovegrove applied the Page 69 Test to his latest Sherlock Holmes novel, Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon consists predominantly of a conversation overheard by Holmes and Watson. Eve Allerthorpe, the young woman who has summoned the great detective and his companion to her family home, is talking to her brother, Erasmus, about the series of mysterious and possibly supernatural incidents that have left her terrified and fearing for her sanity. It is, I suppose, an expository passage but it serves to establish the relationship between the siblings, which is fairly crucial to the plot, and also their relationship with their recently widowed father:
“Papa was furious at him for not being more inquisitive.”

“Papa needs little excuse to be furious these days.”
Holmes, having eavesdropped for a minute or so, announces his presence by clearing his throat “decorously”, which I feel is a nice touch and completely in-character. Holmes is courteous, forever mindful of manners, and would not simply go barging into the situation. He has also, however, been able to gather some data, because Sherlock Holmes is always on the lookout for hints and clues. That’s something my editor on these Holmes adventures keeps drumming into me: our detective hero never achieves his deductions by luck or accident. Either he seeks out clues or he carefully analyses any information that comes his way by chance, mining it for detective gold.
Visit James Lovegrove's website.

My Book, The Movie: Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon.

--Marshal Zeringue