Narrelle M Harris on Natalie Conyer
The Only One in the World: “The Adventure of the Disappearing Village” by Natalie Conyer
Natalie is another with whom, like Jay Ganguly, I’ve shared a Table of Contents, this time in Scarlet Stiletto: The Ninth Cut (2017). We found we had another touchpoint when Nat submitted her story set in Poland, as I’d lived in Krakow for a time in the 90s.
Nat’s story was surprising and charming, inspired not so much by the outré crime of the Conan Doyle stories but by Polish folklore of fabled Chelm and the archetype of the wise fool. Her fabulously cunning Chochem Holmlich reminded me a bit of Shakespeare’s Constable Dogberry (Much Ado About Nothing) whom Don Pedro swears is really “too cunning to be understood”.
It’s a deliciously playful approach to the theme, particularly with Dr Watinksy travelling to find out if the people of Chelm are as foolish as he’s heard and instead finding someone very clever indeed!
If you’re intrigued, take a look at Nat’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 Polish about her Holmes and Watson.
You can order The Only One in the World at Clan Destine Press right now.
More about Natalie:
Natalie loves crime so much she did a doctorate on the subject. (What, you don’t think she goes and commits crimes for research, do you? Do you?) Nat’s won awards for her short stories in the Sisters in Crime annual Scarlet Stiletto competition, and she was shortlisted for the Davitt Awards (Australia’s premier crime writing award for women) for her hard-boiled police procedural set in Cape Town, Present Tense (Clan Destine Press). The book then won the 2002 Ned Kelly Award for debut crime. Nat’s working on a sequel with the working title State Crime.