Book Title: Three May Keep a Secret: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Richard T. Ryan
Category: Adult Fiction 18+, 264 pages
Publisher: MX Publishing
Release Date: November 29, 2021
Tour dates: November 29 to December 17
Content Rating: G.
When a meeting with a client goes disastrously wrong, Sherlock Holmes soon finds himself involved in a case of murder with two dead bodies and too few clues.
From some clear pieces of glass and a raven’s feather, the Great Detective must divine exactly who the client was and what prompted him to seek assistance at 221B. Fortunately, Holmes has a number of experts upon whom he can rely as well as his own vast store of esoteric knowledge.
Treading a twisted path, Holmes soon finds himself matching wits with an unseen criminal, who appears to be the equal of the late Professor Moriarty. At the same time, he is tasked with sparing the monarchy any possible embarrassment that may stem from the investigation.
It’s a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that finds Holmes and Watson attending underground auctions, using rare and priceless artifacts as bait and holding a late night vigil in anticipation of deterring a theft, all the while trying to understand how a priceless antiquity fits into their investigation.
Meet the Author:
A lifelong Sherlockian, Richard Ryan is the author of “The Vatican Cameos: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure,” “The Stone of Destiny,” “The Druid of Death” and “The Merchant of Menace,” and “Through a Glass Starkly,” all from MX Publishing. “Three May Keep a Secret” is his sixth Holmes pastiche, and he is currently at work on his seventh.
He has also written “B Is for Baker Street (My First Sherlock Holmes Book),” an alphabet book he penned for his grandchildren.
Among his other credits are “The Official Sherlock Holmes Trivia Book,” a book on Agatha Christie trivia and the well-received murder mystery “Deadly Relations” that has been produced twice off-Broadway.
He pursued his graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in medieval literature. To this day, he remains a die-hard fan of the Fighting Irish.
connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ goodreads
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Enter the Giveaway:
Author Interview with Richard T. Ryan for Lisa Everyday Reviews
The title of your book, Three May Keep a Secret, comes from a Ben Franklin quote. How does it apply to Sherlock Holmes?
In the first chapter, Sherlock Holmes returns to Baker Street to discover a client, whom he tried to avoid meeting, dead in Holmes’ sitting room. Shortly after, Lestrade asks him to look into the death of a murdered jeweler. Holmes sees a connection between the two deaths and suspects that someone is killing off those who may present a problem.
There’s a beautiful gold cup on the cover of Three May. How does that pertain to the plot?
Pictured on the cover is the Mérode Cup, a medieval silver-gilt chalice that is also the best example of the plique-a-jour technique from that period. In plique-a-jour, which can be translated as “letting in daylight,” the vitreous enamel insets function as miniature stained glass windows. The dead man whom Holmes found in his apartment was carrying a pouch containing small pieces of colored glass that seemingly have no purpose; however, not much escapes the critical eye of the Great Detective.
You’ve had some big names – Lee Child, Robert Dugoni, Ken Bruen and Jeffrey Hatcher – endorse your work. How does that make you feel?
Obviously, all writers like to see their work validated, and when a best-selling author such as Lee Child says something positive – that’s the icing on the cake.
What do you think are your greatest strengths as a writer?
To start, I would have to say my dialogue. I was a play reviewer for many years, and I’ve also written several dramas. I think between all the listening and reading, I’ve developed an ear for what sounds right, and hopefully what reads right. I’m also proud of the way I depict women in my books. I try to create strong female characters – even though they live in a male-dominated society. Finally, I work very hard at plotting; my first book, The Vatican Cameos, went through 17 revisions before I was happy with it.
With 17 revisions, you make it sound as though writing is a demanding job. Is it?
When it comes to my writing, I’m a perfectionist. As a result, I want everything to be correct and just-so in my books. Perhaps if I were writing in a different time period about different characters, it might be less demanding. However, mystery lovers – especially Sherlockians – are a tough audience in that they have certain expectations. I feel an obligation to try to meet them. If that requires extensive rewriting and editing, so be it.
You describe your books as a blend of history and mystery. How much of your books are fact and how much fiction?
I always start with a premise or at least an idea – and I have been quite fortunate here – and then I try to support that jumping-off point with historical facts and, if applicable, personalities. As a result such people as Winston Churchill, Michael Collins and Consuelo Vanderbilt have graced my pages along with such antiquities as The Coronation Stone, The Pink Serpent Faberge Egg and the previously mentioned Mérode Cup. Add in the wealth of historical places – Stonehenge, Blenheim Palace, the Louvre, the Vatican and the Victoria and Albert Museum, and I have a very rich background on which to layer my story.
The art analogy seems an apt one, given the artifacts you mention. Why the focus on art? I think everyone can appreciate the beauty of the treasures I write about, and many of the artifacts have a story that is astounding when you hear it. Place the artifacts in jeopardy or create a situation that appears to imperil them, involve Holmes, and the result is, I think, a story that both teaches and entertains. I’m not sure you can ask for a great deal more than that.