Author's Notes - Spoiler Warning
Be advised this page contains major spoilers for the previous book, A Christmas in Calcutta.
The second story in the Charlotte Holmes series picks up immediately after the events of the first book, A Christmas in Calcutta.
The book has a looser structure as Charlotte and Watan strive to deal with the outcome of their previous adventure, Watan's beloved's departure leaves him depressed and Charlotte must revisit the home she escaped from and sort out the mess her husband' s plotting has left.
The plot structure required Charlotte and Watan to spend time away from each other, this made a single narrator style problematic and I had to find a method to resolve this.
I decided to use two narrators to tell the story fully, Watan's journal entries as before, but also Charlotte's diary extracts. In order to be effective the diary had to be done in a format and style which clearly identified to the reader who the narrator was. This was achieved by marking Charlotte's extracts in italic, using the present tense and a looser prose style that was more poetic than literal, analogous to the stream of consciousness style of writing, as brilliantly used by Virginia Woolf in her work.
The plot also brought more conflict between Watan and Charlotte, and the serial insulter Branwell, as each character developed in line with their narrative arc. I also took the opportunity to plant a few plot points for later books, so that when they are used they will be a natural progression of the whole series.
This story was plotted in conjunction with next two books in this series, so they have a strong connective tissue and plot developments carry forward from the first book, through this book into the third & fourth books, namely; A Berth to Bombay and The Whore of Lahore.
A Charlotte Holmes Mystery
Art by Ash Collins
Published XXth Dec. 2018 on Amazon Kindle Digital Services.
Available for purchase from UK
Get 'A Passover in Peshawar' as a printed paperback from Lulu
Read an extract before you buy.
Charlotte Holmes, a brilliant polymath, and her companion Dr Watan, an Indian doctor, continue their adventures as they attempt to foil a Jihad to drive the British out of India.
Dr Watan, profoundly melancholic after the demise of his beloved fiancee, tries to seek solace in marriage by advertising in the Calcutta Advertiser for a wife.
However, a lonely widow with a grossly deformed child, The Elephant Boy, proposes a companionship-marriage and, moved by her plight, he accepts; much to the annoyance of Charlotte.
Charlotte herself must visit her husband's estate to inform his family of recent events and discovers the estate is being mismanaged and systematically looted.
She must also negotiate with the Viceroy's office as they threaten to charge her husband with treason and confiscate his estates.
Charlotte is charged with thwarting a rebellion in the Northern Territories, led by the Warlord Walid Khan who is using the emergence of miracle child to start a Jihad.
The Mahdi is prophesized to deliver the Muslims from bondage and herald the End of the World; the British have bitter experience of this prophecy and are eager to forestall it.
When circumstances turn against the British, Watan is obliged to accompany Charlotte to Peshawar, burdened by relatives, to learn the truth about the Mahdi.
Charlotte & Watan find the Russians are in league with the Warlord and plan to invade British India from the North.
An epic, perilous journey to the Khyber Pass to thwart foreign agents, foil a blood-thirsty Warlord and determine the provenance of a miracle child,
prophesied to herald the End of the World.
Nauch Girls by Edwin Lord Weeks.