A rather belated Happy New Year to everyone.  And what a start to the year it’s been. 

The launch of a brand new book is usually a cause for great celebration.  However, the publication of THE SHROUD MAKER at the start of the month was rather overshadowed by a very happy occasion – the wedding of my younger son, Olly to his lovely new wife, Sam, at Peckforton Castle in the wilds of Cheshire.  It was a wonderful, happy day that will stay in my memory for ever.

After the wedding, Olly and Sam took a short holiday and while they were away we found ourselves sharing our house with a character from my last book THE SHADOW COLLECTOR.  No, it wasn’t one of the suspects – it was their sheep dog, Fin.  I don’t often use real people (or in Fin’s case, dogs) in my books but Fin just had to be an exception.  Fortunately, unlike in the book, the only bones he found while he was with us were ones that we gave him!

As you can imagine, our festive season was pretty busy this year but I did find time to watch the latest SHERLOCK series on the BBC (I always find time for Mr Holmes).  Now so far I’ve absolutely loved this new version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, starring Benedict Cumberbach and Martin Freeman and I think that bringing Holmes’s world into the present day has worked brilliantly.  However, this third series left me a little disappointed.  Okay, the production was fantastic, together with the special effects...but perhaps that’s what was wrong.  Like some recent Doctor Who episodes, the narrative has been neglected in favour of in jokes, tangled relationships and super-fast back stories.  Sometimes it felt almost like fan-fiction and the strong Holmes stories (which were handled so cleverly and wittily in the first two series) became little more than an afterthought.  Perhaps with the return of Moriarty, things will improve.  I do hope so.