There’s a unique event today on Linda’s Book Bag as I have two separate posts featuring the same author. And let me tell you, it confused me completely! I am reviewing Melvyn Small’s The Accidental Detective here on the blog, but in this post Melvyn stays in with me to chat about another of his books. Let’s find out more:
Staying in with Melvyn Small
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Mel and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
The book I’ve chosen to bring along to day is Three Pint Problems. It’s the third volume of stories, which are being republished as The Accidental Detective series. The Accidental Detective is a reimagination of Sherlock Holmes as a working-class anti-hero solving crimes in present day Middlesbrough. Three Pint Problems includes three feature-length adventures that can be read as standalone stories or as part of the series.
Oo. An interesting way to follow The Accidental Detective (which I’m reviewing here today too).
What can we expect from an evening in with Three Pint Problems?
Laughter and intrigue. As you might imagine from a book of Sherlock Holmes stories, there are mysteries to unravel, but one of the things that makes these stories different from the originals is the humour. He’s also far less of a show off. Someone with the arrogance of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes wouldn’t go down well in Middlesbrough. I think this adds to the enigma.
You’re absolutely right. He’s quite a character! What else makes this Sherlock Holmes different?
There are actually a lot of nods to the original character. I tried to break the character into his component parts and rebuild him in a different time and place. In these stories he’s a normal bloke that has been endowed some exceptional gifts when it comes to logic and deduction. This coupled with his struggles with addiction pushes him into the situations he becomes embroiled in. He is addicted to the intrigue and restless without the distraction it brings.
I loved meeting this modern Sherlock, but what have the reviewers being saying?
Some of the feedback on the series so far has been amazing. When I first started writing, my goal was to appear like a proper author. I was realistic enough to expect that not everybody would rave about what I’d written, but I didn’t want to come across as someone just having a go at it. As it has transpired, the reviews I have received have been great. My Holmes has gathered a bit of a cult following and this has been a massive and much welcomed bonus.
Here are some of my favourites:
“Manages to merge the feel of Sherlock Holmes with the noir-detective (Hammett) feel of more-modern-menace.”
“This is the most different incarnation of Sherlock Holmes that I’ve ever read. And the funniest. He’s also more different and funnier than the Sherlock Holmes of my own e-book.”
“Mel Small is added to the tiny list of people I trust with Holmes and Watson. That’s no mean feat.”
“Gripping tales and wonderful characters. Would love to see this developed into a TVs series.”
“You’ll delight to the quick wit, dry humor and quirky dialogue as Small thrusts his characters into each dilemma. In the last 42 months, I’ve read 337 books, and let me proudly say this one is in the top 10.”
You must be thrilled with those responses Mel. And I can attest that you are, indeed, a proper writer!
What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?
Given this is a virtual meeting, I thought I’d bring a long a couple of bottles of Engineer’s Thumb. Although the Twisted Lip is a real place on Baker Street, Middlesbrough, the beer they drink while pondering their mysteries is thus far a fictional one. Cheers. Fans of the other Sherlock Holmes will get the references.
They will indeed Mel!
I also thought some music, Provisionally Yours by Melv!s. The fantasy is for these stories to be made into a TV series. I think an instrumental version of this would provide an excellent soundtrack for the opening and/or end credits. The jazzy vibe would sit well with the noir feel of the stories. In the interests of transparency, I should also mention I wrote this song and I also sing on it. Project Melv!s is another one of my creative endeavours. (Cheesy grin)
Oo. So you’ve several strings to your bow Mel. This has been such fun. Thank you so much for staying in with me to chat about Three Pint Problems. You crack open the beers and I’ll give Linda’s Book Bag Readers a few more details:
Three Pint Problems
Doctor John Watson has reached into his archives to treat us to three feature-length adventures. In The Darlington Substitution, The Devil’s Advocate and Murder on the Teesside Princess we see Boro’s greatest detective at the height of his wisecracking, foulmouthed, law disregarding and deductive brilliance.
If the devil is in the detail, he has nowhere to hide.
Published by Indipenned, Three Pint Problems is available for purchase through the links here.
About Melvyn Small
Born in Stockton-on-Tees and raised in nearby Billingham, Mel’s natural inclination is towards technical challenges and he has degrees in both Civil and Structural Engineering and Information Technology. It perhaps the requirement for concise communication in these disciplines that has resulted in his concise writing style. An upbringing in Teesside is to blame for the comedy that accompanies his literary output.
Thus far Mel’s published work comprises sixteen short stories and novellas chronicling the adventures of his reimagination of Sherlock Holmes as a dry-witted, working-class northerner plying his trade in present-day Middlesbrough. First published in 2015, these books have gained a cult following, with the upcoming Three Pint Problems being the third volume in the series.
In order to test his writing chops yet further, Mel has also written two full-length novels that are currently working their way through the publication process. Other works in progress include some more adventures for Sherlock Holmes, Boro’s Greatest Detective.
In addition to this, Mel has also spent some time in the recording studio working on original music. This includes The Perfect EP by Melv!s, a soundtrack to one of the aforementioned novels, which is now available to stream on the major channels. The debut single from this initiative, Provisionally Yours, was released in September 2021.
Mel is also the founder of Indipenned, an online portal for the promotion of independent literature.
If you would like an email providing updates on Mel’s various endeavours please sign up to the newsletter.
Find out more by following Indipenned on Twitter @indipenned and Facebook as well as visiting the website. Mel also has a personal author website and you can follow him on Twitter @northernholmes or find him on Facebook.
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