My Words!

Sherlock Holmes isn’t the only man talented with make-up…

S-BOMB warning. That’s SPOILER-ALERT, for those less crude than I.

Now, The Man with the Twisted Lip is a curious tale (and, as is current, another of Sherlock Holmes). It starts with Watson running an errand for a friend, chasing down one of his patients. Simple enough. But who else should he run into in a vile opium den than his dear friend Sherlock Holmes in disguise?

This story is, in fact, all about disguises, though the fact isn’t readily apparent. The case that Holmes is currently manning is the matter of the death of one Neville St. Clair, more specifically, murder. But there is no body to be found, and the opium den’s lascar is adamant that he knows nothing of this man. The only man to be found on the upper level of his building is his tennant, Hugh Boone.

Hugh Boone is arrested for the murder of Neville St. Clair. As Holmes repeats, it is a simple case in appearance but not in nature. The wife is certain her husband is alive, because she received a letter a week after his supposed death in what she knows for a fact to be his hand. So Holmes starts to meditate in his own fashion.

The answer took most of a night to come to him, but when it did, he was certain of it and rose early, taking Watson along with him to the cell where Hugh Boone lay asleep. It was a joke at the station that the man desperately needed a bath, and Holmes agrees, and his impromptu bathing of Boone’s face reveals none other than Neville St. Clair.

Not murdered, not missing, just incredibly ashamed of being a professional beggar and possibly being caught by his wife.

Interested in The Man with the Twisted Lip? It can be purchased here.

~Lils

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When that lesson in history class returns (but only halfway!)…

S-BOMB warning. That’s SPOILER-ALERT, for those less crude than I.

The Five Orange Pips (yet another Sherlock Holmes tale) is a particularly interesting read, however short it may be, because of where I hail from and the history of this place. The southern states of the United States, before they were united, had some… rather unsavory practices that they refused to give up, and were willing to go to war to keep. Thus the Civil War goes on, and the south eventually loses, and is stripped over time of those things for which they fought for. Two of the particular defining traits of this country in its early years were slavery and racism. If you know anything about the history of the south, then you quite possibly know the significance of “K.K.K.”, but The Five Orange Pips assumes you do not.

The initials “K.K.K.” are central to the plot of The Five Orange Pips, and they are not the initials of a particular person, as Watson suspects. No, Holmes corrects him, it is not a person but a group of people. The Ku Klux Klan. Watson is unfamiliar with the history of this organization, and so Holmes goes through his encyclopedias to shed some light upon the situation.

Given how and where I was raised throughout my life, I am rather educated on the K.K.K. and what some of their deeds are. But, as Sherlock Holmes was a British publication originally, it is true that its readership, like Watson, could easily be unfamiliar with the American group. But there is an aspect of the K.K.K. that I AM unfamiliar with, and that is the central point upon the mystery of this story: five, not-so-harmless orange pips.

According to Holmes’ research, the K.K.K. would deliver a warning to any person seen not holding to their standards of behavior by sending them an envelope of various things as a red flag: a sprig of oak leaves, melon seeds, orange pips… This is not something I was particularly aware of, but it gained my curiosity. Was it an embellishment on actual history, or actual history itself?

Doing some very light research, I mostly find other people who have done very light research, and they say there is no mention of sending these items to people in warning. They also mention that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had a slight history of fudging facts in regards to the real-life secret societies he wrote about. This isn’t particularly surprising, as information was not SO readily available as it is these days, and generally the things one hears tend to be sensational at best, even when you aren’t dealing with a secret society.

Lesson to learn here? Even the most famous of us are capable of writing falsities for the sake of the story. Don’t believe everything outright, and enjoy the story for what it is: a story. Or don’t. Just don’t burn the poor book. Hand it to a donation center or something. Jeez.

With regards to the rest of the story, it is one of the very few that Sherlock Holmes’ client ends up dying in, in this case, almost immediately after their consultation. It’s also a case where the villain(s) end up dead instead of being brought to justice by the long arm of the law (this seems to be a fairly common practice in these stories, though).

It is a rather nice, enjoyable tale for being so short. Or was it really so short? It’s a short story, sure, but is my memory of it causing it to be pronouncedly shorter than it already was? Hm. Well then, I guess that would mark how interesting it is, then!

Interested in The Five Orange Pips? It can be purchased here.

~Lils

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When one attempts to represent…

Yo! Greetings. Hi. Or whatever. ::prods:: Is this thing on?

I realize I don’t exactly use social media very often, which some people find surprising considering the amount of time I spend on a computer. I’ve just never been particularly interested in it all, honestly. So there’s long gaps between my activity on various sites, particularly when I’m unable to really deal with society’s… things. ::shudder::

Anyway! I’ve got news! Currently my books should be removed from distribution while their newest editions get proofed. Might take a week or two. Once that happens, I will be running a free e-book promo for them (Kindle only, sorry, but the app is free! ::nudge::) in anticipation of book 3, 2121: Enter the Void, being released. Literally the only reason it’s not sitting in proofing yet is because I’m sitting on the preview of book 4, making sure it’s as up-to-date with book 4 as possible. I foresee that to drop in September, in which case, another promo will run. These are being done in the hopes that, one, I gain readers, and two, possibly gaining reviews for the books. I could really benefit from reviews, y’all. Seriously. It’d be a huge help, for my book’s stats as well as my own understanding of what people liked and didn’t like about my writing!

For some odd reason the site page for the 2121 books on Facebook has been garnering followers (I assume people just horde likes? I dunno how FB works at all, most days), so I’m going to try and keep that feed active as well, with announcements about promos and activities and the like. At the very least, I’ve made the page more relevant to what it’s for and updated the look of it to match the current branding.

~Lils