AS Croyle’s attention to historical detail and her meticulous use of language make her a welcome addition to that small group of writers who produce Sherlock Holmes stories. Her first novel which takes place before Watson is currently ranked 4.9 on Amazon. Of it, Tom Turley said,
It would be faint praise to call this novel merely a fine Sherlock Holmes pastiche. What A.S. Croyle has written is a complex, moving novel with memorable characters of her own creation (including the most appealing heroine since Irene Adler), besides a fascinating portrait of young Sherlock Holmes. MX Publishing
Tell us about yourself and the types of books you write.
I have been an attorney for almost thirty years. I started writing seriously about ten years ago. My first published novel is titled The Caretaker (2009). It’s a paranormal romance. I published several (romantic) novellas after that, and then MX published my first Sherlock-related novel last year. When the Song of the Angels Is Stilled is the first in a trilogy called the Before Watson series. Book Two, The Bird and the Buddha, will be released this month. I have enjoyed combining the character of Sherlock Holmes (and some other Doyle characters) with historical fiction. I have also just finished working with an editorial consultant on the final draft of a legal thriller and plan to start querying lit agents this month.
What makes your stories different from other Holmes’ pastiches?
They are narrated by a young woman, an aspiring physician, who falls in love with him. The other difference, I think, is that I am meticulous about the setting and the historical events that I incorporate and I have found that is not always the case in pastiches. Lastly, many try to replicate Watson’s voice. I specifically avoided that by having the novels narrated by Poppy Stamford, sister of Dr. Mike Stamford who introduced Sherlock to Dr. Watson.
When you’re not reading Conan Doyle, who’s your go-to author or genre?
My reading tastes are varied but I enjoy Michael Connelly, Michael Crichton, may he rest in peace, Jodi Picoult, Sara Gruen. I like slightly off the beaten track novels as well, i. e. Life of Pi, The Tiger’s Wife and The Submission.
Do you have a favourite fellow pastiche writer? Who and why?
I really enjoyed A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin, the novel on which the movie ‘Mr. Holmes’ was based. The prose was beautiful and profound and it gave a very different slant because Holmes was aging and confronting his mortality.
Other than Holmes, who is your favourite detective?
Harry Bosch – Michael Connelly’s character.
Who are your heroes?
I assume you mean literary … Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird), and Davis, the juror who sways everyone’s opinion in Twelve Angry Men.
Your favourite quote, Sherlockian or otherwise?
“Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.” — The Naval Treaty
Her second novel in the Before Watson series, The Bird in the Buddha, will be released tomorrow. You can pre-order it here: The Bird and the Buddha