I love planting Easter eggs. Oh, not the way you’re thinking. I don’t care for hiding them in strange places around the house or in the garden; baskets full of brightly coloured eggs, painted in a none-too-steady hand, for the purpose of amusing children.
No, mine are a lot more labour intensive and, I think, fun. I plant mine in my books.
My latest novel Return to Reichenbach was released by MX Publishing on December 5th. It’s a good example of a book that contains inside jokes and references to amuse the Sherlock Holmes aficionado as well as people who like their history and mystery.
I don’t want to give too much away, but I can tell you that some of the characters’ names are anagrams and others are direct references to people who have been associated with Holmes over the years. There is, for instance, a Mrs Emerald Vertue. She’s a rather naughty Irishwoman who is very taken with Dr John Watson. I’m sure she’s not at all like the well-respected Mrs Beryl Vertue, producer of the BBC series, Sherlock, but I liked the irony of her last name. And, by the way, the emerald is a form of Beryl.
A number of real-life people do make an appearance in the novel. One is William Melville, who was the first chief of the British Secret Service. He was also acquainted with Harry Houdini, that erstwhile friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s. By the way, Melville’s code name was ‘M’. Yes, just like in James Bond. When I needed to introduce a colleague for Mycroft, he seemed an obvious choice.
I don’t want to give away all the surprises here, but I have included a Notes section at the end of the novel, revealing some of the historical background and the little secrets hidden in the text. If you decide to read the book, I would ask that you save the notes for the end or you’ll find a number of spoilers.
For more about Return to Reichenbach, including a preview of the first scene, check out this blog post: Sherlock and the Sorcerer