Narrelle M Harris on Greg Herren

The Only One in the World: “The Affair of the Purloined Rentboy” by Greg Herren

Clan Destine Press’s publisher, Lindy Cameron, put me onto Greg Herren and JM Redmann in New Orleans, so we ended up with two stories from that city set in different times and with very different moods and themes to top and tail the anthology.

I love the voice of his American John Watson, who echoes the Bohemian timbre of Conan Doyle’s original, but who is definitely a man of his own time and place. I found his descriptions of the river and its docks incredibly evocative. Greg says in his Clan Destine Press interview that he hadn’t really written anything “historical” before, but his 1920s New Orleans really comes alive.

The Affair of the Purloined Rent Boy has some lovely touch points with canon, including the little bet that Holmes makes with Watson. The presence of the theatrical demimonde feels very much in the spirit of Conan Doyle too, though the subject matter is not something Doyle could have written about so openly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The smattering of personal history for both men is so engaging, too.

If you’re intrigued, take a look at Greg’s interview about his story on Clan Destine Press, where he answers three questions about writing his story – the most unexpected thing he learned while writing it, his favourite thing about writing it, and what is quintessentially American (or New Orlean) about his Holmes and Watson.

You can order The Only One in the World at Clan Destine Press right now.

More about Greg:

Greg has been a busy man! An award-winning author of more than 30 novels, he’s also edited over 20 anthologies and published over fifty short stories and essays. He’s even dabbled in journalism. (He claims he never says no to anyone who offers him money to write.) Greg lives in New Orleans with his partner of 25 years and a needy cat. He is also currently the Executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America.