A Christmas in Calcutta

A Christmas in Calcutta

Author's Notes

This book was a challenge to write, to use a more prose heavy style for this traditional story.

The character of Charlotte came to my mind almost ready formed; her abilities, her attitude, and her insecurities were so clear to me, that it was a sheer joy to write her. Similarly Dr Watan, our narrator, was very precisely defined in my mind and, his character was a delight to write. Although initially a minor character, Branwell Holmes became a force of nature who couldn't be denied and he stole all the scenes he appeared in, a fantastic character who was an absolute pleasure to write; sort of a Hugh Grant on steroids.

Whilst I had formulated the basic plot very quickly, the actual mechanics and key scenes came to me one night in a mad rush. The next day I wrote it all down and I knew I had 'broken' the back of the book.

By setting it in a historical context I was able to project forward and foreshadow what would happen to these two countries in the new century. Indian independence was still decades away, but I was able to seed the idea even this early, and also to cast ahead and project what may occur. This was one of the fastest books I have written, because the characters demanded constant action and they drove me to complete it as soon as possible.

I have an idea for a sequel, A Passover in Peshawar, but I have other stories I want to explore first; perhaps in time I shall return to these adventurers - who knows!

A Charlotte Holmes Mystery
Art by Ash Collins

Published 27th Sept. 2016 on Amazon Kindle Digital Services.
Available for purchase from UK      and US

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Read an extract before you buy.

A re-imagining of the Great Detective and his partner as Charlotte Holmes, a traumatized woman, and her companion Dr Watan, an Indian doctor, as they investigate nefarious activities and a conspiracy to bring down the British Empire at the dawn of the 20th century.

Charlotte, a brilliant yet erratic polymath, is escaping from an enforced confinement whilst being pursued relentlessly by her husband when she encounters Dr Watan onboard the Calcutta Tiger Express.

Our heroes investigate a murder on the train and learn the intended victim was the young Maharani on her way to meet her new husband, the Maharaja of Ratnam Nagar. They journey to the Kingdom and uncover a power-struggle with the all-powerful matriarch Mataji and her evil cult of Thuggee killers.

Devious plots are hatched, ancient rituals revived and evil machinations unleashed to secure the prized Ruby Throne; but will our heroes survive to reach Calcutta to unveil the conspiracy? The Viceroy's Christmas ball becomes the focus of the conspiracy as all the principle actors converge for a final showdown that will decide the fate of the British Raj.

A tale of sorrows unmourned, love unrequited, killers unmasked and ambition unfulfilled.

Back Cover Art

A Christmas in Calcutta