Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street

It's finally here!  The cover for my upcoming novel, "The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street" is on the internet!

Not only that, the book can be pre-ordered here!

Sorry, I'm a little excited.

MX Publishing (a wonderful organization that I highly recommend to anyone thinking about publishing Sherlockiana) describes the book this way:

What if Sherlock Holmes had turned to crime instead of detection?  THE CRIMINAL MASTERMIND OF BAKER STREET by Rob Nunn investigates this very concept.  Holmes famously said that “when a clever man turns his brains to crime it is the worst of all.”  A sinister influence is at work in Victorian London with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson running a hidden criminal empire.  THE CRIMINAL MASTERMIND OF BAKER STREET explores all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories through the lens of Holmes as a criminal while adding many new exciting tales of Holmes’ daring to delight its readers.

This book started out as an article I wanted to write for the Baker Street Journal, wondering what Sherlock Holmes would look like as a criminal.  But the more I researched, the bigger the idea became, and I suddenly had a book idea on my hand instead of a journal article.  (A big Sherlockian goal in my life is still to be published in the BSJ someday)

After weeks of research, copious notes, and endless theorizing, I had a general outline of how the book would go.  Start at St. Bart's with the fateful meeting of Holmes and Watson.  From there, I took the duo through William Baring-Gould's chronology of the canon, theorizing that the outside world of Victorian London would operate the same way that they did in Doyle's stories, and my role was to change Holmes' and Watson's motives and actions.  Some of the cases stayed the same, some were of no interest to Holmes, and many were altered wildly due to Holmes' ambition to operate a gentlemanly and well-hidden criminal empire.

What really excites me about this book is all of the new stories included.  You get to see Holmes boxing McMurdo instead of just an off-hand mention and Baron Maupertuis plays a role that affects Holmes' future.  I have tried to include every untold case that Watson mentioned in the canon in this book.  If not in an outright story of it's own, acknowledgement of its existence.  All of Holmes' monographs make an appearance and depending on the theory you subscribe to, some or all of Watson's wives as well.

At the core, I wanted to create a story that worked on two levels.  The non-Sherlockian should be able to pick this book up and enjoy the story of a gentleman criminal with a superior intellect in Victorian London.  And my hope is that the seasoned Sherlockian should be able to notice the many nods and details on every page.

A few Sherlockians that I have talked with over the course of writing the book think that the heresy of turning Sherlock Holmes into a criminal will be decried by the traditionalists.  Maybe it will.  But in the end, I've tried to create a book that holds true to all of the other character traits of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.  Because at the heart of every good Holmes story is the two men that are a fixed point in a changing age.

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