|Amy Thomas and the TARDIS|
This week saw publication of the third book in Amy Thomas’s The Woman series. I think The Detective, The Woman and The Silent Hive is best of the bunch so far. A seemingly minor matter of Irene Adler’s poisoned bees (Holmes’s friend but not yet a love interest) is just the beginning of a revenge scheme that endangers some of the people closest to Sherlock Holmes. Let’s ask Amy a few questions about well-plotted and well-written book:
I’ll start with an author question: What was the starting point of this story?
This story had two main starting points: The personal threads of the characters’ lives and Doyle’s “The Five Orange Pips.” My novels have much more personal information about the main characters than Doyle’s stories usually did, so I always have ongoing plotlines and personal development that I want to cover with each book. At the same time, I wanted to take Doyle’s story and explore what might have happened if the slightly open-ended conclusion of “The Five Orange Pips” had come back to haunt Holmes and Watson.
Your plot picks up a thread from the Canon, but not one of Dr. Watson’s famous untold stories. That’s intriguing. Do you expect to do that again?
I wouldn’t rule anything out. My second book The Detective, The Woman and The Winking Tree delved into one of the untold stories, and I was conscious of the pitfall of seeming overly contrived, like I was going down a list of Watson’s untold stories and ticking them off one by one. I might pick up another one later, but I was drawn to doing something different for Silent Hive.
There’s an American connection in your story, as there is in a good many of the Canonical stories. Do you have a special interest in Holmes’s American interactions?
As an American myself, I’m certainly interested in them. I also write half of each book in Irene Adler’s voice, and she’s American by birth, so I think that in a meta way, as an American who is actually part of Holmes’s life, she would be interested in those connections as well.
This is the third year in a row, about the same time of the year, that you’ve given us an adventure of The Detective and The Woman. Do you plan to keep that up?
I definitely have more ideas, and book four exists, so far, as a few notes on a page, so I’m on the way. I never plan to write at the same time each year, but it’s worked out that way so far.
Do you ever expect to write any Holmes-less fiction, perhaps a modern-day detective story?
I write other types of fiction frequently, though the rest is currently unpublished. I like writing in the modern day, and I certainly hope to publish in other genres eventually. I haven’t written a modern-day detective story, but the idea certainly interests me. I consider myself a very character-driven writer, but I love a good mystery as well.
For those who may not know, the Baker Street Babes is an international, all-female podcasting organization with a Sherlock Holmes theme. We cover everything from The Great Mouse Detective to the Guy Ritchie films and everything in between. Prior to joining the Babes, I had no idea what a wide, wonderful world Sherlock Holmes fans had created for themselves. It’s been a joy to watch the fandom grow through the BBC’s Sherlock, Elementary, and new generations discovering the Doyle canon. Each of the Babes has a slightly different area of focus within the Holmesian world, but we all unite in our love of a set of stories and characters that are truly timeless, and our greatest desire is to share that love with other fans.
The Detective, The Woman and The Silent Hive is available from all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository . In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle.