“Intrepid investigators Holmes and Watson continue their fight against crime in a not quite Post-Victorian, steampunk parallel universe.
When consumptive Doctor Edward Armstrong turns up at Baker Street with an invitation to visit a mysterious island, Sherlock Holmes smells a rat. Sounding deviously similar to the plot of a recent novel by celebrated lady author Mrs Christie, Holmes decides to send his inveterate side-kick Watson to the island, along with the Doctor’s lovely, but wonky-eyed wife, Mary, and a well-known Scotland Yard detective. Taking Armstrong’s place, the team determine to find out exactly what’s going on, but before they’ve even left the mainland, one of the guests is murdered.
Adult humour throughout.
‘The Watson Letters – Volume 5: Murder on Mystery Island’ is book #5 in this Victorian comedy adventure series.
If you love historical mysteries, buy something else instead, but if you’re into murder, fart-gags and innuendo, this’ll be right up your Victorian street.”
Hello and welcome to damppebbles. I have such a treat in store for you today! I am delighted to be sharing an excerpt from the brilliant The Watson Letters: Volume 5 – Murder on Mystery Island by Colin Garrow. If you’re looking for a fun-filled different take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes and Watson, then this series is an absolute must read for you!
Grab yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy (a word of warning though, if you haven’t read Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None but you plan too, you might want to look away now…..**SPOILER ALERT**)!
Diary of Doctor J. Watson
Thursday 28th January 1892
Our travel documents stated we must reach Dolphin Cove—a small village a few miles up the coast from Land’s End—by lunchtime on the following Friday. Some chap with a boat would meet us at the harbour and take us across to Huge Island (which apparently does not live up to its name). Whether we were to encounter our fellow travellers at that point was unclear, and it was for this reason, and several others, that I decided to spend our train journey reading a copy of Mrs Christie’s novel, in the hope it might shed light on our forthcoming adventure.
‘You do realise,’ said Mary, flicking through a copy of Detective Monthly, ‘We shall be horribly murdered?’
‘I should have thought that horribly was the only way to be murdered,’ I said, giving her a playful wink.
‘Don’t be obtuse, Johnny,’ she snapped. ‘The only reason I agreed to this mad outing is my belief that between the two of us and Mister Big Nose, we can solve this puzzle.’ She cast the magazine aside. ‘I do hope I’m right—if we all get killed, I’ll be so annoyed.’
Flipping to the end of my book, I said, ‘D’you recall who the culprit is in Mrs Christie’s version?’
‘Ah. So all we need do is look out for a wizened old magistrate or some such.’
Mary sighed and shook her head. ‘Really, husband, sometimes I despair of you.’
‘What on earth d’you mean, darling?’
‘Well, for a start, I’m not in the book and you’re not who you say you are. Don’t you think it’s probable none of the others will be who they say they are either?’
I ruminated on this for a moment. ‘Of course. But they’ll all have the same names as the characters in the novel. I mean, I am posing as Doctor Armstrong, the Harley Street Doctor.’
‘Yes, but the real Doctor Armstrong—the one with consumption—doesn’t work in Harley Street, does he?’
‘No. He’s a junior doctor at St Bart’s.’
‘There you are, then.’ She sat back, satisfied.
I gazed out of the window at the long gardens and allotments whizzing past in the fading afternoon light. ‘I hope the hotel’s nice.’
‘In any case,’ said Mary, avoiding my attempt to change the course of the conversation, ‘We’re not taking part in a book, are we? This is real, with real people and a real murderer.’
‘We don’t know for sure it isn’t some ghastly joke.’
‘Yes, darling, we do. No-one in their right mind would go to all this trouble to play a trick on a bunch of strangers.’
‘No, I suppose you’re right.’ I returned to my book with a view to finding out how my particular character meets his end and was a little disturbed to discover, a short while later, that Armstrong’s body washes up on the beach, having initially been suspected as the killer.
I persuaded myself there was nothing to worry about. Sherlock Holmes would utilise his skills in observation, logical reasoning and all-round clever-dickiness to save the day. After all, he’d pulled us back from the edge of death many times before.
‘Besides,’ said Mary, butting into my musings, ‘Holmes won’t let you die—he’d have no-one to write up his adventures.’
‘I’m sure you’re right,’ said I, but my resolve had begun to slide away and I had the awful feeling that this time, Holmes had made a terrible error of judgement.
What a fantastic excerpt! And Then There Were None is one of my very favourite books so I can’t wait to read Colin Garrow’s fun, laugh out loud take on it.
The Watson Letters: Volume 5 – Murder on Mystery Island by Colin Garrow was published in the UK on 7th October 2019 and is available in paperback and ebook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Smashwords | Goodreads |
True-born Geordie Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland and has worked in a plethora of professions including taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor, and has occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. Colin has published three stage plays, six adventures for middle grade readers, two books of short stories, the Watson Letters series and the Terry Bell Mysteries. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Grind, A3 Review, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. These days he lives in a humble cottage in North East Scotland where he writes novels, stories. poems and the occasional song.