“A wonderful representation of literature’s most inimitable detective…*

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What’s it about?

The game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall as WWI ends. From his rural home, Holmes no longer provokes Scotland Yard’s envy or his landlady’s impatience, but neither is he content with the study of bees. August 1920 finds him filling out entry papers at a nearly defunct psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. England’s new Dangerous Drugs Act declares his cocaine use illegal and he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” Holmes hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. His scribbled response, “no more solutions, but true resolution,” seems more a vow than a goal to his psychiatrist, Pierre Joubert. The doctor is right. Like a tiny explosion unaccountably shifting a far-reaching landscape, the simple words churn desperate action and interlocking mystery into the lives of Holmes’ friends and enemies both.

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Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable is one of the most interesting books I’ve read in ages . . . a wonderful job of sharing a possibility of what the esteemed detective’s later years might have to offer. Nancy Fraser’s Notes from Nancy

A well-crafted, entertaining diversion. I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment by detailing the twists and turns of the plot, or previewing the characters who turn up to play a role in the tale. If you’re a Holmes aficionado, you’ll recognize some of them, while others are clever re-imaginings from the original stories. (I particularly liked the nineteen-twenties version of the Baker Street Irregulars.)

The language and overall style are convincingly antique, similar enough to Doyle’s prose to pull the reader back into the Holmes world. At the same time, there are delightful modern touches. The author shows us that Holmes is a celebrity at the level of Kim Kardashian or Brad Pitt. The detective is disgustingly famous. His escapades are well known, and when it seems he may have a new case, all sorts of people are eager to get involved, just for the excitement and the glory.  Lisabet Sarai’s Beyond Romance Reviews

 I enjoyed the surprises and twists, and a generational view of Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. I found the doctor’s notes and Sherlock’s journal entries a different way to give clues. I recommend this story. Iron Canuck Reviews and More

*. . . I fairly flew through this book, slowing down only to savor the story for a little longer. It’s extremely well written and the main players match my memories of the originals while at the same time growing and developing as only the best characters can. The additional characters (there must be suspects, after all) are all fantastic, quirky without being over the top. The mystery itself was fantastic. It wasn’t forced, the final solution made perfect sense in response to the clues, and it was very clever.”

Surprisingly, the ending left me both incredibly satisfied and a little sad. It felt like the perfect epilogue to a brilliant character’s lifelong accomplishments, and I honestly wasn’t ready for the book to end.

I most definitely suggest picking this book up. Witty and Sarcastic Book Club

Susanne Dutton is the one who hid during high school gym, produced an alternative newspaper and exchanged notes in Tolkien’s Elfish language with her few friends. While earning her B.A. in English, she drove a shabby Ford Falcon with a changing array of homemade bumper strips: Art for Art’s Sake, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Free Bosie from the Scorn of History. Later, her interests in myth and depth psychology led to graduate and postgraduate degrees in counseling.

Nowadays, having outlived her mortgage and her professional counseling life, she aims herself at her desk most days; where she tangles with whatever story she can’t get out of her head. Those stories tend to seat readers within pinching distance of her characters, who, like most of us, slide at times from real life to fantasy and back. A man with Alzheimer’s sets out alone for his childhood home. A girl realizes she’s happier throwing away her meals than eating them. A woman burgles her neighbors in order to stay in the neighborhood.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Susanne grew up in the SF Bay Area, has two grown children, and lives with her husband in an old Philadelphia house, built of the stones dug from the ground where it sits.

Propertius Press (ebook and print)

https://www.propertiuspress.com/our-bookstore/Sherlock-Holmes-and-the-Remaining-Improbable-by-Susanne-Dutton-p310417036

OR

https://www.amazon.com/Sherlock-Holmes-Remaining-Improbable-Susanne/dp/1678075310/ref=sr_1_3

Thank you!

Advice from Dr. Watson, the Man Who Lives (on and off) with the Hero of My Book

In “Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable” I aim at a believable Dr. Watson, and a recognizable “best and wisest” Holmes. I found that handing a character a key to 221B doesn’t make him Holmes, however. Asking another to bring the revolver doesn’t make him Watson. They must be true to themselves in a new, outrageous way.

Poet W. H. Auden wrote, “You shall love your crooked neighbor with your crooked heart.” As a reader, I hope you say to yourself, “That’s Watson’s comfy, crooked heart and that’s Holmes’ (unacknowledged) crooked heart moving him in that story, doing its best by its crooked neighbor.

The Crooked Tree Photo by Ariel Camilo

Invited to share advice from one of the book’s characters….

I tried a mind meld with Doctor John Watson:

1) If you share rooms with a stranger who takes dangerous drugs when he’s bored, adores the queen, and sets up toxic chemistry experiments in the one common room you share, adapt as best you can.

2) If that same fellow claims to be the one and only consulting detective in London (population 6.7 million in 1896), humor him.

3) Agree to help your detective on his cases and write them up. You will share in his success. Some of his glory will be mistaken for yours and you will find yourself meeting attractive, grateful women.

4) If you find yourself marrying any of these women, be sure it’s well known what happened to each of them before you marry again. Otherwise, history–and millions of Sherlockians–will wonder. These people do pay (exaggerated) attention, so be specific to avoid confusion. Ditto for your vague, wandering war wounds.

5) Looking over a detective’s shoulder as he works, you can’t help but feel inspired. You see the good in the man expressed in his work. The truth is, he finds both your dedication to your own profession and your gentle courage as inspiring as you find his genius-driven adventures in detecting.

Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable by Susanne M. Dutton, available at Propertius Press* and Amazon.com*

The Game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall, as WWI ends. Holmes fills out entry papers at a rundown psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. Now that the law declares his cocaine use illegal, he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” he hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. Holmes’ scribbled response, never before encountered by his long-experienced doctor, soon churns interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of enemies and friends both.

*https://www.propertiuspress.com/our-bookstore/Sherlock-Holmes-and-the-Remaining-Improbable-by-Susanne-Dutton-p310417036

*https://www.amazon.com/dp/1678075310/ref=cm_sw

Susanne Dutton is a Philadelphian writing fiction and poetry. She’s the one who hid during high school gym, produced an alternative newspaper and exchanged notes in Tolkien’s Elfish language with her few friends. While earning her B.A. in English, she drove a shabby Ford Falcon with a changing array of homemade bumper strips:  Art for Art’s Sake, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Free Bosie from the Scorn of History. Later, her interests in myth and depth psychology led to graduate and postgraduate degrees in counseling. 

Nowadays, having outlived her mortgage and her professional counseling life, she aims herself at her desk most days; where she tangles with whatever story she can’t get out of her head.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Susanne grew up in the SF Bay Area, has two grown children, and lives with her husband in an old Philadelphia house, built of the stones dug from the ground where it sits.