Spotlight: Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse, by Stephanie Osborn (@writersteph)

Happy Birthday Sherlock Holmes!

In honor of the Great Detective’s birthday, I’m spotlighting the newest book to come from the pen (well, keyboard) of Stephanie Osborn. It’s no secret that I love her Displaced Detective series, but now she’s gone back in time and given us a glimpse of Holmes and Watson at the beginning of their friendship, and the start of the detective’s later-to-be illustrious career. Learn about the book here.

Buy the kindle edition for a special price – $1.99 TODAY ONLY.

Visit this page on Friday, January 8th, for my review.

About the Book, Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy's Curse

Print Length: 250 pages
Publisher: Pro Se Press (November 2, 2015)
Publication Date: November 2, 2015
Series: Sherlock Holmes: Gentleman Aegis

Holmes and Watson. Two names linked by mystery and danger from the beginning.

Within the first year of their friendship and while both are young men, Holmes and Watson are still finding their way in the world, with all the troubles that such young men usually have: Financial straits, troubles of the female persuasion, hazings, misunderstandings between friends, and more. Watson’s Afghan wounds are still tender, his health not yet fully recovered, and there can be no consideration of his beginning a new practice as yet. Holmes, in his turn, is still struggling to found the new profession of consulting detective. Not yet truly established in London, let alone with the reputations they will one day possess, they are between cases and at loose ends when Holmes’ old professor of archaeology contacts him.

Professor Willingham Whitesell makes an appeal to Holmes’ unusual skill set and a request. Holmes is to bring Watson to serve as the dig team’s physician and come to Egypt at once to translate hieroglyphics for his prestigious archaeological dig. There in the wilds of the Egyptian desert, plagued by heat, dust, drought and cobras, the team hopes to find the very first Pharaoh. Instead, they find something very different…

Noted Author Stephanie Osborn (Creator of the Displaced Detective series) presents the first book in her Sherlock Holmes, Gentleman Aegis series – Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse, the debut volume of Pro Se Productions’ Holmes Apocrypha imprint.

Buy, read, and discuss Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse

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About the author, Stephanie Osborn Stephanie Osborn

Veteran of more than 20 years in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs, she worked on numerous space shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and counts the training of astronauts on her resumé. Her space experience also includes Spacelab and ISS operations, variable star astrophysics, Martian aeolian geophysics, radiation physics, and nuclear, biological, and
chemical weapons effects.

Stephanie holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences:
astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is “fluent” in several
more, including geology and anatomy.

In addition she possesses a license of ministry, has been a duly sworn, certified police officer, and is a National Weather Service certified storm spotter.

Her travels have taken her to the top of Pikes Peak, across the world’s highest suspension bridge, down gold mines, in the footsteps of dinosaurs, through groves of giant Sequoias, and even to the volcanoes of the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest, where she was present for several phreatic eruptions of Mount St. Helens.

Now retired from space work, Stephanie has trained her sights on writing. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to more than 20 books, including the celebrated science-fiction mystery, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281. She is the co-author of the “Cresperian Saga,” book series, and currently writes the critically acclaimed “Displaced Detective” series, described as “Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files.” She recently released the paranormal/horror novella El Vengador, based on a true story, as an ebook.

In addition to her writing work, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery now happily “pays it forward,” teaching math and science through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, as well as working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.

The Mystery continues.

Connect with Stephanie

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Review: The Displaced Detective Series by Stephanie Osborn

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?

Buy your copy from Amazon:

The next three books in the series are also available at Amazon:

The Case of the Displaced Detective: At Speed

The Case of the Cosmological Killer: The Rendlesham Incident

The Case of the Cosmological Killer: Endings and Beginnings


My Thoughts

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.


Pump Up Your Book

Wednesday Salon

Technically this should be a Sunday Salon entry, but I slept through half of Sunday, and spent the other half cleaning, so I’m writing a chattery post now because I’m in the middle of half a dozen novels, but not done enough with any to write reviews…yet.

Lately, I’ve been in a mystery mood – everything from the kinds of novels where dead bodies are wrapped up in rugs, to the kinds of novels that are more about puzzles. I’m reading the Aurora Teagarden series, by Southern Vampire Mysteries author Charlaine Harris, but I’m re-reading Laurie R. King’s latest Holmes/Russell novel The Language of Bees as well.

The Teagarden novels actually predate the Sookie Stackhouse series, and while they share the same southern flair, they’re also a bit cozier, and a bit gentler. These are modern mysteries for those of us who still hold Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot fondly in our hearts.

As to Laurie R. King – I reviewed a number of her Holmes/Russell novels this spring, as I was re-reading them all (and filling out my collection) in preparation for the most recent book. She writes amazingly plausible Holmes situations, adding a sidekick/wife/colleague who blends perfectly into the world.

Don’t believe me? Check out this trailer for the most recent book:

Review: The Moor, by Laurie R. King

The Moor
Laurie R. King
Get it at Amazon >>

My marathon of Laurie R. King’s Holmes and Russell series reached The Moor last night, and left it this morning. When I’m not sleeping, I’ve been reading, though mainly in fits and starts.

In any case, this book is sort of a loose sequel to The Hound of the Baskervilles, which is, of course canon Holmes, in that it takes place in and near Dartmoor, and involves Baskerville Hall, but it it’s not JUST about that.

Instead, this novel sees Holmes bringing Mary to see his old friend the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould, who lives at Lew House, and is near death (of old age), and wants Holmes to track down the strange appearances of a ghostly carriage and a ghostly dog. Of course this dog and the Baskerville Hound become intertwined, and the investigation involves both Holmes and Mary Russell (who are married by now) getting wet, dirty, and injured.

Need a refresher course on the original story? Since you’re presumably already at your desktop or laptop computer in order to read this, you can click over to YouTube where someone has put up the Granada television series version of The Hound of the Baskervilles in several parts.

Here’s part one to get you started:

Retro-reading: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

The Beekeeper's Apprentice
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
Laurie R. King
Get it at Amazon >>

I’ve reviewed work by Laurie R. King in this blog before, but finding a couple of her Holmes & Russell novels at Half-Price Books last weekend, and then finding out that she had a new book in the series out this year has spurred me to re-read the entire series.

I’d forgotten how refreshing it could be to immerse myself in a novel where no one had cell phones, or worried about upgrading their computer memory, or complained about having 500 channels and nothing to watch. As well, re-reading these novels with a slightly more mature eye gives me the ability to really pay attention to some of the nuances I’d missed the first time around.

If you’re not familiar with the series, the first novel, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, introduces us to a character who would be a Mary Sue under hands any less deft than Ms. King’s. This Mary – one Mary Russell – is a teenage girl sent from America to live under the “care” of an aunt, who holds her fortune in trust. One of her neighbors in their remote corner of Sussex just happens to be Sherlock Holmes.

The two form a somewhat unlikely friendship, especially considering Holmes’ oft-noted misogyny, that eventually blooms into a partnership of crime-solving equals. Imagine the tag line: He’s a famous detective who retired and took up beekeeping. She’s a young Oxford student studying Theology and Chemisty. They fight crime!

But the thing is, they do.

Of course, they also bicker, banter, and bargain their way through many adventures, and leave the reader – or at least this reader feeling only that the book has ended too soon.