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About Three May Keep A Secret

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.

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Author Interview with Richard T. Ryan

According to your bio, Three May Keep a Secret is your sixth Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Are your books a series of stand-alones?

All of my books are stand-alone novels, The later ones – Through a Glass Starkly and Three May Keep a Secret – may contain references to the earlier works, but there are no spoilers and each can be read – and I hope enjoyed – individually.

How true are your books to the characters, specifically Holmes and Watson, created by Conan Doyle?

I try to be very true to Doyle’s creations and that’s what makes writing Holmes such a daunting task. If you’re going to ignore the Canon (Doyle’s 56 short stories and four novels), it’s easy to write about Holmes. But at the same time, are you really creating a Holmes work. Compare the Jeremy Brett series and the Robert Downey Jr. films. Both revolve around the figures of Holmes and Watson, but the Brett version makes every attempt to stick to the originals while the Downey films, while enjoyable, use Doyle’s creation as a jumping-off point before going their own way.

Are your books then readily accessible to someone encountering Holmes for the first time?

Absolutely. At some point, we all encounter Sherlock Holmes. Hopefully, that first encounter – whether with one of Doyle’s stories or one of mine – proves engaging enough that you seek him out elsewhere. At some point, however, I think you have to go to the source material – if for no other reason to have a proper basis for comparison.

Why do you think the popularity of Sherlock Holmes endures?

I think what makes Holmes endure is the fact many of the things we admire about him are qualities that are timeless. We see in Holmes a man who is incredibly intelligent with a vast store of knowledge about all sorts of arcane subjects. However, he’s also relatable. While Doyle describes him as an “automaton” and “a thinking machine,” there are moments when the mask slips and we see a rather extraordinary individual behind it who is a good friend to Watson, and a man who will go to great lengths to right a wrong. Those are all admirable qualities in my book.

Where do you come up with the ideas for your plots?

Things strike me, and I’ll store them away and pull them out when I’m working on a book. The plot for The Stone of Destiny began with a final jeopardy question about the Coronation Stone being stolen from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day in 1950. When I started writing my book, I wondered what would have happened if the Stone had been stolen during Holmes’ time and the government tried to hush it up. The plot of The Merchant of Menace had its origins in my interest in Faberge eggs while Three May Keep a Secret had its genesis in an article I read about medieval jewelry.

Obviously, you read a great deal. Do your books then involve a great deal of research?

I would say I spend as much time researching the history behind my books as I do writing them. I don’t want any slip-ups so I’m often looking up such abstruse subjects as Chubb locks, Victorian magicians, Victorian slang, and the history of theatres at that time. I’m writing mysteries steeped in history, and the history has to be right otherwise the illusion falls apart.

Last question: What can readers expect next from you?

At the moment, I am working on another Holmes mystery. However, after that is finished I may do something different – something I’ve been saying for years. I’d like to create something totally original, and I’m certain it will be a blend of history and mystery. I’m just not certain it will involve Holmes and Watson.

About the Author – Richard T. Ryan

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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.

Author’s Contact Links: Website | TwitterFacebookFacebook– The Vatican Cameos | Goodreads


Enter to win a signed hardcopy copy of Three May Keep a Secret: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure (GRAND PRIZE) (one winner/USA only) or an ebook copy of Three May Keep a Secret. (5 runner-up winners) (ends Dec 24)

Three May Keep a Secret: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure by Richard T. Ryan Book Tour Giveaway

Tour Schedule

Nov 29 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
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