Lora Roberts has joined a long and distinguished list of authors who have made the legendary figure of Sherlock Holmes their own (A. A. Milne, P. G. Wodehouse, James Barrie, Mark Twain, Bret Harte, O. Henry, Anthony Boucher, Anne Perry, Sharyn McCrumb, Cara Black, Carolyn Wheat, Carole Nelson Douglas, Laurie King... the list goes on and on). Lora Robertss respectful and loving homage to Conan Doyles spirit is fully worthy of inclusion on this remarkable list.
Between Irene Adler (the woman, to Holmes) and Mary Russell (Kings creation, whom he married) there was Charlotte Dodson. The Affair of the Incognito Tenant takes the point of view of this passionate young widow, with whom Sherlock Holmes falls in loveas much as his cold, self-absorbed nature will allow him to love. Along with being an intellectual sparring partner for Holmes, and his match in deduction, Charlotte excels in the domestic arts. Roberts researched Victorian/Edwardian methods and prefaces each chapter with a quotation from the 1898 edition of Mrs. Beetons Book of Household Management. Indeed, Charlotte and her cook manage to foil more than one villain (including the second most dangerous man in London, Col. Sebastian Moran) using common household objects and toolsto the amazement of Scotland Yard.
In Lora Robertss own words: Under the covers with a flashlight, far into the night, I read the Sherlock Holmes stories. Though I fell asleep during fifth-grade math the next day, it was worth it.... Conan Doyles books joined the list of favorites I reread regularly as an adult. On one of these excursions back into Victorian England, I was struck with Holmess relative youth when he retires. Hes only in his mid-forties when he abandons London for Sussex to work with bees and finish his masterwork The Whole Art of Detection. As a 40-year-old myself, I didnt believe he was old enough to be resigned to a life of bachelorhood. Watching the PBS Mystery! presentations with Jeremy Brett as Holmes, I thought that I could make up the kind of woman who could deliver a kerwallop to a formidably intelligent, manners-impaired man like Holmes. I wrote the book and had a wonderful time.
Lora Roberts has written in a diverse variety of fields, including six Liz Sullivan mysteries and two Bridget Montrose mysteries, most recently Another Fine Mess. Roberts is a past president of the Northern California chapter of Sisters in Crime, and serves on the boards of both the local and national organizations. She lives with her family in Palo Alto, California.
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