Narrelle M Harris on Lucy Sussex
The Only One in the World: “Mistress Islet and the General’s Son” by Lucy Sussex
I first spoke to Lucy Sussex about writing a New Zealand pakeha (non-Maori) Holmes for the anthology, but she had recently discovered a real woman from history named Anne Kidderminster, nee Holmes, who in the 17th century investigated her husband’s murder when the authorities failed her.
Lucy is a hell of a researcher as well as writer, and has done some fantastic work uncovering the facts and life of Mary Fortune, a gold-rush era Australian crime writer who pre-dates Conan Doyle. She has also written about Fergus Hume, whose book The Mystery of the Hansom Cab beat A Study in Scarlet to publication by a year (much to Doyle’s apparent irritation). I knew whatever she wrote about Anne would have spot-on period research and an intriguing plot, and the result justifies my faith!
If you’re intrigued, take a look at Lucy’s interview about her story on Clan Destine Press, where she answers three questions about writing her story – the most unexpected thing she learned while writing it, her favourite thing about writing it, and what is quintessentially 17th century English about her Holmes and Watson.
You can order The Only One in the World at Clan Destine Press right now.
More about Lucy
New Zealand born, Lucy has lived in Australia for years, writing books and winning awards. Her award-winning fiction includes The Scarlet Rider (1996, reprint Ticonderoga 2015) and five short story collections. She’s Fantastical, an anthology she edited, was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award. Lucy is a well known researcher, particularly into the origins of crime writing, and her work on the topic includes early Australian crime writer Mary Fortune and her book, Women Writers and Detectives in the Nineteenth Century (2012), which examines the mothers of the mystery genre. Blockbuster: Fergus Hume and The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (Text) won the 2015 Victorian Community History Award and was shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award.