About Book 1: The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival, by Stephanie Osborn
The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival is a SF mystery in which hyperspatial physicist, Dr. Skye Chadwick, discovers there are alternate realities, often populated by those considered only literary characters. In one reality, a certain Victorian detective (who, in fact, exists in several continua) was to have died along with his arch-nemesis at the Reichenbach Falls. Knee-jerking, Skye intervenes, rescuing her hero, who flies through the wormhole connecting universes. Unable to go back, Holmes must stay in our world and learn to adapt to the 21st century.
Meanwhile, Schriever AFB Security discovers a spy ring digging out the details of – and possibly sabotaging – Project: Tesseract.
Can Chadwick help Holmes come up to speed in modern investigative techniques in time to stop the spies? Will Holmes be able to thrive in our modern world? Is Chadwick now Holmes’ new “Watson” – or more? And what happens next?
The next three books in the series are also available at Amazon:
I’ve been a Sherlock Holmes fan practically since I could read, and grew up on the PBS/Granada TV Sherlock Holmes television shows that ran during the 1980s and ’90s. In fact, Jeremy Brett, who played Holmes in that series, remains the only actor to whom I’ve ever sent fan mail (his autographed photo made my 14-year-old self giddy with delight, and hangs on my office wall today), and as much as I love Benedict Cumberbatch’s modern take on the character, it’s Brett who will ALWAYS be Holmes to me.
In addition, I’ve been an avid reader of Holmes-ian pastiches for almost as long as I’ve loved the original works. Laurie R. King’s work is a favorite, but I’ve read everything from The Seven-Per-Cent Solution to a fanzine I bought at a Star Trek convention in 1989 that had Mr. Spock traveling back in time to meet his ‘ancestor,’ the Great Detective himself.
I’m not a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, though I have friends who are, but I have serious Sherlockian cred, so when I tell you that I absolutely LOVED Stephanie Osborn’s Displaced Detective series, you should know that it comes from a place of vast reading experience.
I was offered the first two books in the series, The Case of the Displaced Detective: the Arrival and The Case of the Displaced Detective: At Speed by the folks at Pump Up Your Book, but I was only half-way through the first book when I tweeted Ms. Osborn that I was smitten with her version of Holmes, who springs off the page as a fully-realized character in his own right, though I hear echoes of both Brett and Nimoy in his dialogue.
An hour later, I’d purchased the other two available books, and as of last night, I was half-way through with book four, The Case of the Cosmological Killer: Endings and Beginnings
While Stephanie Osborn’s version of Holmes is swoon-worthy, her main character, Dr. Skye Chadwick, is pretty impressive herself. Smart, funny, talented – she’s the kind of woman many of us who were geek girls before being a geek was cool wanted to become.
The array of supporting characters, both American and British are equally rich and well developed (I really love Braeden Ryker), but characters aren’t the only element of any story, there has to be a compelling plot as well, and these mysteries have that in spades.
The description above gives you an idea of the basic story, at least of the first book, and I’m not one to analyze story points because in a mystery you don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that Osborn’s writing makes a tesseract that connects real and fictional continua seem completely plausible, and as someone who spent part of her childhood in Colorado (albeit in a different part), I loved the way she described it.
There are also a good number of geek culture/pop culture in-jokes and references. None of them detract from the story, but when you catch them, it’s as if you’re sharing a grin with the author.
In many ways, I feel like these books were written expressly for me (except if they were, they’d have way more frou-frou coffee in them), and even though I’d never read any of Stephanie Osborn’s work before, I feel like I can’t be objective, because these books are like literary crack. I fell in love with her characters and her world so completely that I’ve been telling all my friends “YOU MUST READ THESE!” And yes, I’ve been doing so in all caps.
Bottom line: if you love a mystery and are also into science-fiction (and I mean classic science fiction, the really good stuff), the Displaced Detective series will make you deliriously happy, especially if you enjoy a good Holmesian pastiche.
Goes well with Shepherd’s pie and a really good beer.