Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Review Tour + #Giveaway: Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable by Susanne M. Dutton @SusanneDutton1 @GoddessFish


Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable

by Susanne M. Dutton

GENRE: Mystery Fiction

BLURB:

The game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall as WWI ends. From his rural cottage, 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 one 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.


Excerpt:

Watson speaks:

For God’s sake, then, I must be the one to venture out to him! I know Holmes like no one else. He will not be surprised, or at least not angered, to see me here. He will be relieved. You must trust me on this.”

Joubert’s shook his head. “That was my plan. Just so, mon ami. That is exactly what I believed, and why I sent for you, John. But my speculation did not extend to this.” He gestured toward the windows. The only remaining piece of window glass, a shard big enough to slice off a foot, fell and shattered on the brick floor. I granted myself a sideways glance at Joubert as we both put our chins down and covered our heads again.

An uneasy suspicion took root in my mind, only a seed at first, but an idea that sprouted quickly. If Holmes was angry with this Joubert, then Holmes had reason to be. The detective, as I knew him, was disinclined to speak of his family. It was not impossible that a sister existed or had existed, though I had not seen one in the genealogy upstairs.

Further, how was I to know that the man next to me in the dark was truly the Pierre Joubert of high repute? Even if Holmes had returned to the cocaine, hadn’t I better treat this fellow’s explanations with wariness? Holmes’ addiction had never before affected his ability to adjudge good and evil. Unerringly, Sherlock Holmes recognized the enemy of the just.


Joubert speaks to Holmes:

Joubert spoke eagerly. “You have managed a disguise?”

Yes. Simple, but effective. I am half naked and barefoot. I have torn away one leg of my trousers entirely and, otherwise, kept my vest. The cinders work well to dirty my hands, arms, legs, and feet. A rag, held in place by a piece of the fishing net, serves as a kind of veil. Do not doubt it! Nakedness is one of the finest of disguises. Men see through a change of dress long before they see through a lack of it.”

I couldn’t help a burst of laughter, but when Joubert glared at me, I nodded my acquiescence. His attention reverted to Holmes.

I hunch forward,” my colleague explained, “and affect an exaggerated limp, dragging my right leg . . . Moving to the edge of the crowd . . . I follow a man who has lost both legs from the knee down. He pushes himself along in a flat, small-wheeled cart, jeering as heartily as the rest . . . He wears a military jacket—split up the sides and faded, held to his chest with what might be a gentleman’s stocking. Across his thighs is draped a flag of the republic, doubtless torn from its place outside one of the big city houses . . . but I pass easily in his wake, for I am bizarre, but not so remarkable as he. The mob grows, and yet we two seem to be able to move through it, into the center. Everyone fears our filth, our stench—and the disease they presume. . . A boy with a drum joins the crowd. . . Then the same chant.


My Review:

Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable finds Holmes in a psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast in August 1920. He was admitted for the use of cocaine. Cocaine has been made illegal so Holmes has admitted himself so he can get clean.

Watson visits Holmes at the clinic and finds that he is still trying to solve mysteries in his own way. Which was very interesting. But the mystery doesn’t stop there as there are plenty of suspects. It wouldn’t be a Sherlock Holmes mystery without a case or suspects, right?

There is plenty of mystery and suspense to keep the pages turning as Holmes and Watson work their case. The characters are all truly well thought out and developed. Susanne M. Dutton easily transports us back in time to 1920 and made me feel as if I was walking around in 1920 helping our admirable characters solve their case.

I would recommend Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable to all fans of Holmes and Watson. One-click your copy of Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable today!


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Blog ~ Facebook (Improbable Holmes)


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52 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Rita Wray said...

I liked the excerpt.

Elizabeth H. said...

I love that Watson is included in the story. Thanks for sharing an excerpt.

Susanne M. Dutton said...

Thank Goddess Fish for their work. G F responds to emails for help right away. They do a good job. Susanne Dutton, author

Susanne M. Dutton said...

Hi Rita. Thank you for continuing to participate. The excerpts are hard to choose, but they reveal a lot about crucial points in the story. Susanne Dutton, Author

Susanne M. Dutton said...

Hello Elizabeth. Thank you for your comment. Of course Watson is included! A lot of readers happen to think they'd rather have dinner at a pub with Watson than Holmes. Me too! Conan Doyle did write a few stories narrated by Holmes, but they were not so popular. Susanne Dutton, author

abbie said...

congrats on the book it looks amazing!!!!

darkgoddess- said...

I love it, back to the classics with Sherlock & Holmes.

Susanne M. Dutton said...

Thank you for the congrats, Zelda. I'm counting on the fact that you are the real Zelda and good luck is coming my way with you on my side. Susanne Dutton, author

Susanne M. Dutton said...

First Zelda. Now Dark Goddess. This is bound to be good. Yes. This is back to the classic Holmes, though I'd say this story goes deeper than most. Thank you for commenting. Susanne Dutton, author

Ann Fantom said...

This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

PAIGE said...

Anything with Sherlock Holmes is my kind of book. Good work.

David Hollingsworth said...

The cover is good and I love a solid mystery.

clc408 said...

It's a bold move to take on the Holmes character. Sounds interesting.

Susanne M. Dutton said...

You said it! I only did because I knew I had something to add, something that would not upset the classic Holmes character, but might bring a certainly completeness to it. Thank you for your insightful comment and for participating, clc408. Susanne Dutton, author

Susanne M. Dutton said...

To Zelda. Thank you. It's a long journey from the first couple paragraphs written in a San Diego hotel lobby to holding that book, three years and lots of work. Susanne Dutton, author

Susanne M. Dutton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susanne M. Dutton said...

Hi David. The critics say it is solid, though I know it is more mysterious than many Holmes mysteries, if that's possible. Holmes has to confront himself and make big decisions. Thank you for commenting. Susanne Dutton

Susanne M. Dutton said...

Hello Paige. What is it about Holmes for you? So many people have that response to him and the Holmes legend. I, for one, think he owes a great deal to Watson. I wonder if he and Holmes together don't make up a more whole hero. A head and a heart. Together, they work to make up one whole protagonist. Thank you for commenting. Susanne Dutton, author

Susanne M. Dutton said...

Hi Ann. I deleted my first response to you. Too many typos. Yes. The cover can be seen from across a book store. That's important. Also, I suggested the clock, but had no idea the graphics people would come up with such a pretty one. Time itself is a theme in the book. Susanne Dutton, author

darkgoddess- said...

How did you prepare in capturing the era of 1920?

Susanne M. Dutton said...

Hello Dark Goddess. Thank you for your question. It was not only a matter of preparing. Throughout the writing, I questions constantly appeared, and I'd go to books on era clothing, era manners, and news. This is just after WWI when shortages of everything mean a lot of black market exchanges and a lot of simply doing without. I watched period dramas, especially British, but also French settings. I was particularly interested in what forward thinking psychiatrists and psychologists were doing, and I brought some of that into the clinic scenes and characters. The tenets of AA were already known, but Freud and Jung were also on the scene, as well as the French Pierre Janet, a man still well known as a pioneer in trauma treatments. My character Pierre Joubert is a slightly out-of-focus Janet. Susanne M. Dutton, author

David Hollingsworth said...

What's the best advice you've received as a writer?

darkgoddess- said...

I love it. Bringing back classic characters

Daniel M said...

sounds like a fun one

Barbara Montag said...

I love Sherlock Holmes & what a fitting cover!
Thank you for sharing this.

Barbara Montag said...

How long have you been an author for?

David Hollingsworth said...

What do you like about Sherlock Holmes?

Barbara Montag said...

How long did it take you to write this book?

clc408 said...

Holmes is a beloved character and I love reading stories about him.

susan1215 said...

Sounds like a great book. I like the cover and excerpt.

latishajean said...

This sounds like a great book!

David Hollingsworth said...

What do you enjoy about the process of writing books?

Barbara Montag said...

An interesting read with a captivating cover.

david hollingsworth said...

A wonderful cover!

A.Isaahaque said...

Looks like an interesting book

Thomas Gibson said...

Cover looks awesome! Excerpt is intriguing. Great work!

Barbara Montag said...

I enjoyed reading the excerpt & love the cover!

David Hollingsworth said...

How many books have you written?

Barbara Montag said...

Mystery Fiction - my most favorite genre!

David Hollingsworth said...

What happens when you have too many ideas for books?

David Hollingsworth said...

Have you ever had other ideas for another Sherlock Holmes story?

David Hollingsworth said...

What's your best advice for writers?

Barbara Montag said...

Thank you for such a great excerpt!

Natalie said...

I love both reading and watching Sherlock so this book seems right up my alley!

darkgoddess- said...

Congratulations on your book. Good luck to all entrants

Barbara Montag said...

Yes the excerpt was wonderful!
Along with a great cover.

Debbi Wellenstein said...

I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

susan1215 said...

I love Sherlock Holmes, thanks for sharing!

david Hollingsworth said...

Have you ever imagined yourself as Sherlock Holmes or a female version of him?

Francine Anchondo said...

Sounds like a great book

Julieh said...

I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes.

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