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Tuesday, 31 August 2021

☀ Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable - Susanne M. Dutton

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable, a Mystery by (, Propertius Press, 148 pages).

Don't miss our promotional Q&A with author Susanne M. Dutton.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below.

Author Susanne M. Dutton will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).

|| Synopsis || Teaser: Excerpt || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||


The game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall as WWI ends. From his rural cottage, Holmes no longer provokes Scotland Yard’s envy or his landlady’s impatience, but neither is he content with the study of bees.

August 1920 finds him filling out entry papers at a nearly defunct psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. England’s new Dangerous Drugs Act declares his cocaine use illegal and he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” Holmes hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. His scribbled response, “no more solutions, but one true resolution,” seems more a vow than a goal to his psychiatrist, Pierre Joubert.

The doctor is right. Like a tiny explosion unaccountably shifting a far-reaching landscape, the simple words churn desperate action and interlocking mystery into the lives of Holmes’ friends and enemies both.

Teaser: Excerpt


3 Sep­tem­ber 2020
808 Bell Close, Hamp­stead
Lon­don NW

Dear Jane El­len,
      Here’s what you need to know, or at least, all that I know. The file box with this let­ter be­longed for years to my god­fa­ther Ronald El­li­son, a med­i­cal part­ner of John H. Wat­son. In­side you’ll find an un­pub­lished, unique, and out­ra­geous Holmes case from the au­tumn of 1920.
      What’s unique, out­ra­geous? A big part of it is that Wat­son’s first six chap­ters are ap­pended by Holmes’ files from La Di­eppe Clinique in Nor­man­dy, where he was treated for his co­caine ad­dic­tion by psy­chi­a­trist Pierre Jou­bert. Like both Freud and Jung, Jou­bert val­ues his pa­tient’s ex­act words and im­ages, wheth­er spo­ken, dreamt, or drawn. Eve­ry­day life is flayed. Bloody fan­tas­ti­cal things come up.
      Speak­ing of blood, this case also re­turns us to the ques­tion of Holmes’ ge­ne­al­o­gy. In “The Greek In­ter­pret­er” Holmes claims that his grand­moth­er was a Ver­net, daugh­ter of Carle Ver­net (1758-1836) of that famed French fam­i­ly of art­ists. One un­i­den­ti­fied Ver­net paint­ing, which I sus­pect was Carle Ver­net’s work, plays a mys­te­ri­ous role in this sto­ry. Af­ter all, “Art in the blood is li­a­ble to take the strang­est forms.”
      You needn’t be squeam­ish about the per­son­al stories re­vealed. Jou­bert’s clin­ic closed in 1937, ten years be­fore he died in 1947. John Wat­son passed in 1932. Lou­is Sebran, a clin­ic as­sis­tant who worked with Holmes, changed his name to ac­cord with his her­it­age and died with­out is­sue in 1989. Holmes’ death has as­sur­ed­ly oc­curred, though the year is hard to pin down. Authorities I con­sulted claimed 1904, ’23, ’35, and ’57. I doubt the date of my de­mise will be as elas­tic, but I’ll rest eas­i­er to­night, and in that hour, if you’ll do as you see fit with this treas­ure. My guard­i­an­ship’s time is done.
      On the eve of my nine­ty-fourth, I re­main your old­est ad­mir­er and ad­vo­cate.

Au­gus­tine E. Wright (Grand­pa Augie)

Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable
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Author Q&A

What are your favorite TV shows?
"I can stay up for mysteries, old and new, classic or not so classic. I go for BritBox and Acorn, for the best of the British mysteries.

Real mysteries engage me, too, though many can be called true crime. I just watched the intriguing “Made You Look,” about art fraud at the swankiest gallery in NYC."
What is your favorite meal?
"Fresh fish, mounds of fresh veggies and fresh, warm bread. That’s it."
If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
"My experience with Sherlock Holmes leads me to say I’d continue to explore that era.

In writing a blog called, for my book, Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable, I began a collection of newspapers and magazines from the late Victorian era. At this point, we’ve been in lockdown for a year. I didn’t get to California or the North Carolina beaches, as I do most years, or anywhere else. At the same time, I travelled by means of that collection to a place more eye opening than California, though the wine isn’t as good.

In the past, I’d read most of the Victorian classics and many nonfiction history books devoted to that time, but reading the media is different. I have copies of The Lady’s Realm; The London Illustrated News, Punch, The Pall Mall Gazette and The Strand, where the Holmes stories were first published. The advertisements of the day are alongside the news. Hair tonics to revert your hair to its old color, soap to soften you and liver pills to cure everything with testimonies from the customers. Oddly, the personals and advice columns address many of the same problems you’d see today.

I love the cartoons related to the New Woman, half frightened and half intrigued by her. (As early as 1905, you can see that she’s not going out of style.) I have a suspicion that paying attention the ads in particular might lead to some great stories."
Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?
"? I cherish many writers, but my idols are poets: W. H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickenson, Anne Sexton, etc. As even Sigmund Freud said, “Wherever I go, a poet has always been there before me.” "
How did you come up with for the title of this book?
"One of the most well known assertions from Sherlock Holmes is “Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, is the truth.” My story explores Sherlock’s own recognition of that maxim for which he is so famous. "

About the Author

Susanne Dutton is the one who hid during high school gym, produced an alternative newspaper and exchanged notes in Tolkien’s Elfish language with her few friends. While earning her B.A. in English, she drove a shabby Ford Falcon with a changing array of homemade bumper strips: Art for Art’s Sake, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Free Bosie from the Scorn of History. Later, her interests in myth and depth psychology led to graduate and postgraduate degrees in counseling.

Nowadays, having outlived her mortgage and her professional counseling life, she aims herself at her desk most days; where she tangles with whatever story she can’t get out of her head. Those stories tend to seat readers within pinching distance of her characters, who, like most of us, slide at times from real life to fantasy and back. A man with Alzheimer’s sets out alone for his childhood home. A girl realizes she’s happier throwing away her meals than eating them. A woman burgles her neighbors in order to stay in the neighborhood.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Susanne grew up in the SF Bay Area, has two grown children, and lives with her husband in an old Philadelphia house, built of the stones dug from the ground where it sits.

Follow Susanne M. Dutton:

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Giveaway and Tour Stops

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Follow Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable's tour at:

May 25: Literary Gold
May 27: Candrel's Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
Jun 3: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
Jun 8: Our Town Book Reviews
Jun 10: Viviana MacKade
Jun 15: The Avid Reader
Jun 17: All the Ups and Downs
Jun 22: Travel the Ages
Jun 24: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
Jun 29: Becoming Extraordinary
Jul 1: The Key Of Love
Jul 13: Fabulous and Brunette
Jul 15: Cover To Cover Cafe
Jul 20: Lisa's Reading
Jul 22: Novels Alive
Jul 27: Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love
Jul 29: Jazzy Book Reviews
Aug 3: Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Aug 5: Deborah-Zenha Adams
Aug 10: Gina Rae Mitchell
Aug 12: Iron Canuck Reviews & More
Aug 17: Westveil Publishing
Aug 19: Inside the Insanity
Aug 24: The Faerie Review
Aug 26: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'
Aug 31: BooksChatter
Sept 2: Straight From the Library
Sept 7: Author C.A.Milson
Sept 9: Long and Short Reviews


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting!

Susanne Dutton said...

Thank you for featuring my book, Books Chatter. I like the idea of books on a shelf, chattering in whispered voices about readers. I bet that's not what you had in mind, but it's a nice image. Susanne Dutton, author

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

Susanne M. Dutton said...

Hello Rita Wray. Thank you for your comment. I'm so glad BooksChatter was able to use the prologue to the book here. I think it really is a good "teaser" for the book, written as supposedly is, from a grandfather to his granddaughter in modern times. Susanne Dutton, author

Sherry said...

Sounds like a great book.

Susanne M. Dutton said...

Hello Sherry. Thank you for your comment. Susanne Dutton, author