A local man is establishing a worldwide reputation as a writer having been given permission by the family of the late Arthur Conan Doyle to write another six Sherlock Holmes novels.
Already the first book by Ross Husband, from Pulham St Mary, is enjoying sales in the United States which are outstripping those in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. The sales are “encouraging” is all Mr Husband can reveal at the moment.
It is a huge achievement for the retired advertising, public relations and film director who is now, at the age of 65, establishing a new name.
Mr Husband, who has lived in Pulham St Mary with partner Glenny, for 30 years, said: “It is exciting and little bewildering too. You have to have faith in what you are doing.”
He read his first Sherlock Holmes novel at the age of 12 and over the years the remaining 61 written by Conan Doyle have also been avidly consumed.
Research for his own work has been painstaking and it has taken three hours a day for three years just to make sure it is authentic. That means making sure, for instance, he does not introduce a character who had been previously killed off in another Conan Doyle original novel or had not yet arrived in the plot of another storyline.
His work is the first full-length adventure in the new officially-authorised sequel “The Revival of Sherlock Holmes.
The first novel is called Sherlock Holmes And The Master Engraver - and also includes a two-chapter taste of what will come in the second novel, due to be published in time for Christmas.
At the moment the 435-page book is only available from Amazon at a price of £10.95 or for substantially cheaper if purchased in an e-format.
In an essay within the novel he says: “The Master Engraver is, quite patently, a work of pure fiction and pastiche. I have not attempted slavishly to emulate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s unique style, but then, how could I? I am attempting to lure our favourite characters out of a well-deserved retirement for some more adventure.”