Just in time for today’s new movie release, I’ve released some Sherlock Holmes content of my own. My novella, “The Adventures of the Pirates of Devil’s Cape,” which sees Holmes and Watson tracking a mystery to the city of Devil’s Cape in the 1890s, is now available as a Kindle ebook at the low price of $2.99.
This story has previously been available in the terrific anthology The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, but this is the first time it’s been available as a stand-alone. As a bonus, I’ve added a new “making of” afterword, kind of like a special feature on a DVD.
I’ll likely try to get this released on Barnes & Noble in the next few days, and possibly on Smashwords as well. Many thanks to ebook guru Ben Trafford for his work in formatting.
Here’s a little of the story to give you some flavor:
I had assumed that the long summer boat journey, particularly the sweltering leg that took us through the Caribbean Sea and into the Gulf of Mexico, had prepared me for the heat of Devil’s Cape, but I was wrong. It was a tangible, constant presence, like walking through water.
Holmes and I emerged from the steamship that had carried us there—not that different, really, than the Friesland—squinting into the sun, having left our trunks behind with instructions for them to be transported to a nearby inn where I had arranged rooms. The docks were a swarm of faces and voices. A crew of black men was singing a chantey while unloading our ship. Three Chinamen hawked cool beverages and roasted nuts, arguing about prices and stirring cinnamon-coated pecans over small pails of hot coals. Masses of people milled back and forth, shoving and swearing. I heard traces of French and Portuguese and Hindi. I stared openmouthed, taking it in.
“Not so fast,” Holmes said, darting out an arm and catching a street urchin by the ear. The lad, blond-haired and tan as leather, winced as Holmes took hold of his elbow and forced a wallet out of his hand. My own wallet, I recognized. “Tut, tut,” Holmes said, handing my wallet back to me, and I wasn’t certain if he was scolding the boy or me. He gave the boy a quick kick in the rump and sent him scurrying off.
I nodded my thanks. “Not unlike one of the Baker Street Irregulars,” I said. “Where to, Holmes?”
He pointed at a black hansom drawing up, pulled by an Appaloosa horse. “I believe our transport has arrived,” he said.
The driver stepped from the cab and swaggered to us. He was smartly dressed in a tailored suit, the jacket open in front, a diamond gleaming from a ring on his pinkie. He had tanned skin, a handlebar moustache, and a confident smile. A golden police badge shaped like a sail was pinned to his jacket. “Holmes and Watson, right?” he asked in what I’d later come to identify as a Cajun accent. “I hope you not been standing here too long, you.” He shook Holmes’s hand, then mine, his grip forceful enough to grind my knuckles together. “My boss, he ask me to show you around town real nice and send you back where you belong, see,” he said. “Now, my cousin, he ask me to help you any way I can.” He grinned, showing an infectious smile and a chipped tooth. “I’ll leave you to guess which one I’ll listen to best. You got some boys bringing your things to your rooms?”
“That’s good,” he said. “We can start right quick, then, though I fear your entire trip’s been a waste.” He patted the hansom. “Hop in, gentlemen,” he said. We climbed inside, and he climbed above us, taking the reins. Then his head popped up in front of us, upside down, as he looked through the front of the cab. “Aw, hell,” he said. “I forgot to introduce myself.” He smiled again. “I’m Deputy Chief Jackson Lestrade. Welcome to Devil’s Cape.”