I wrote “The Case of the Waterguard” some time ago now but after the inevitable covid delays etc it is now out. Odd how this time of covid has made these hiccups border on the normal. This story has now made it to the shelves in the brand new collection The Return of Sherlock Holmes : Further Extraordinary Tales of the Famous Sleuth. Edited by Maxim Jakubowski. Pub. Mango. ISBN-13 : 978-1642506365
This is another fine collection of 15 brand new stories from arch editor Maxim Jakubowski with stories from: Bonnie McBird, Eric Brown, Paul Freeman, Nick Sweet, John Grant, O’Neil de Noux, Ana Teresa Pereira, Mathew Booth, Jan Edwards, David Smith, Martin Daily, Philip Vine, L C Tyler, Cristina Macia with Ian Watson and David Stuart Davies.
The advantage of that delay is the gift of being able to approach my own words almost as an outsider, which is both spooky and enlightening.
Writing Sherlock stories is always huge fun, especially when writing within the canon. Given that Doyle himself played fast and loose with his own characters and timelines there is always far more scope than you might think. I doubt, for example, that the debate over Doctor Watson’s exact number of wives will ever be entirely solved to everyone’s satisfaction. Obtaining exact differences between Waterguards and Customs Men for this story was not as simple as I had thought, but my good friend Debbie Bennett was able to give me a few pointers on that one.
Watson, however, is only a shadowy bystander in my humble addition to this Holmesian world in “The Case of the Waterguard”. Sherlock, even as he retires to the south coast with his bees, is drawn into the life of our narrator, Holmes’s, hallboy, Billy; whose father has been wrongly condemned to the gallows.