Sandra de Helen is the author of mysteries, short stories, poetry, and plays and claims to have a cat who can type. Learn more about her and her books at her website and blog.
I'm happy to announce the publication of The Illustrious Client, the second book in my Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson mystery series. My protagonist and her narrator are female versions of A. Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. The series is set in the current day in Portland, Oregon -- where I also live. In fact, it was the similarity of Portland's weather to London’s that gave me the idea for this series. I'd been daydreaming about who my detective would be in my first mystery novel. Who but the best in the world? Only modern day and female.
The first book --The Hounding -- is descended from Doyle's The Hounding of the Baskervilles. In my book, the victim is an actual descendant of the original Baskervilles. If you're a Sherlock fan, you'll find some similarities to the original stories, but you don't have to be a Sherlock fan to enjoy my books.
The Illustrious Client is a twenty-year old French pop star smitten with an older, richer player. Her parents hire Shirley to try to pry Oceane Charles away from Zaro Sadozai because they fear she has fallen under Zaro's sway. They think Oceane's career, and maybe even her life, are at risk. Shirley and Mary fly to France to meet with the parents, then almost immediately have to fly back to Portland to meet with Oceane, who is on Zaro's super yacht at the Portland waterfront.
The books are populated with diverse characters, including gay, lesbian, and people of color. In the second book, Mary discovers her latent lesbianism. Shirley remains asexual, intellectual, and not terribly social.