By Gemma Doyle from the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries by Vicki Delany
I always enjoy hosting authors in my store. Readers love meeting them, and I’ve found most writers to be nice, friendly people, happy to have the chance to be here, meet readers, and talk about their books.
Today, we’re having not just any author, but none other than Renalta Van Markoff herself, creator of the hugely successful Hudson and Holmes series of pastiche novels. Her newest book, Hudson House, came out only this week, and she cancelled all her scheduled appearances when she decided on a whim to come to Cape Cod for the weekend. Her publisher and publicist must have been tearing their hair out, but they managed to persuade her to do at least one book signing. The closest store to her vacation destination happened to be mine. It was a bit of a scramble to put something on at the last minute, but it all fell into place.
Van Markoff herself came in on Thursday, supposedly to make sure my shop could accommodate an author of her standing. Can’t say I was impressed: rude, obnoxious, demanding are words that come to mind. I felt rather sorry for her publicist and personal assistant.
Her books are not for everyone. They are certainly not for me – overwrought and overwritten, in my opinion, and veering dangerously toward an excess of purple prose – but they’re a publishing phenomenon.
They are also not for the more serious-minded members of the Sherlockian community, and that has me slightly worried. Donald Morris was in the shop the other day, exclaiming over what a disgrace Van Markoff’s interpretation of the Great Detective is to the memory of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I think Donald was about to proclaim it was a disgrace to the memory of Holmes, but he remembered at the last minute that Sherlock is not a real person.
Find out if anything does go wrong in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery. The first book in the series is Elementary, She Read. The Cat of the Baskervilles will be released on February 8, 2018
Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. On Facebook at www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor. Twitter @vickidelany