Chris James was so inspired by reading one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels while on holiday, that he has gone on to write his own novel about the Victorian sleuth.
Sherlock Holmes and the adventure of the ruby elephants is Chris’s first full-length novel and has this week been published by MX Publishing, specialists in Holmes and Victorian fiction.
The dad of three, who lives in Broad Street, Haverhill, took nine months to write the book, but not before he had read Sir Conan Doyle’s four Holmes novels and 56 short stories.
Chris, who writes under his full name, Christopher James, said: “I got into Holmes reading the books on holiday.
“My brother runs an online antiques shop and he was looking for a name for his shop and we came up with the House of the Ruby Elephants.
“I said, ‘you know what, that sounds like the name of a Sherlock Holmes novel’ so I went off and wrote it.”
Chris is already a published, award winning poet and in 2008 won the National Poetry Competition. He has also won the Bridport Poetry Prize.
Of his novel, he added: “It’s very faithful to the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories and features all our favourite Holmes characters, including Dr Watson, Mycroft, Mrs Hudson and of course, Sherlock Holmes himself.
“Set in 1890, partly in London and partly in Suffolk, it focuses on the search for eight ruby elephants, said to unlock a vault containing the lost Nizam diamond.
“The villains are four Victorian assassins in top hats called the Archangels.”
The book has already received a five-star review on Amazon from an America-based Holmes fan.
Chris is now busy writing a sequel to the novel, called The Jeweller of Florence.