The Three Locks – A brand-new Sherlock Holmes novel by award-winning Hollywood screenwriter Bonnie Macbird is published by Collins Crime Club, an imprint of HarperCollins, on 18 March 2021. It is the fourth in her acclaimed series.
About the Author
Bonnie MacBird was born and raised in San Francisco and fell in love with Sherlock Holmes by reading the canon at age ten. She now lives in London and Lost Angeles. Her long Hollywood career includes feature film development at Universal, the original screenplay for the movie TRON, three Emmy Awards for documentary writing and producing, numerous produced plays and musicals, and theatre credits as an actor and director. In addition to her work in entertainment, Bonnie teaches writing at UCLA Extension, as well as being an accomplished watercolourist.
She is active in the Sherlockian community in both the UK and the US, and lectures regularly on Sherlock Holmes, writing, and creativity.
Bonnie’s previous three Sherlock Holmes adventures are: Art in the Blood; Unquiet Spirits and The Devil’s Due. Her books are now available in 17 languages worldwide.
About the book
The year is 1887 and an Indian Summer broils London and Cambridge. A mysterious impregnable box arrives for Watson, locked and with a secret from his past. Then a famous escape artist/conjurer fails to unlock his “cauldron” and burns to a crisp during a performance at Wilton’s Music Hall. And in Cambridge, three suitors including a priest, an aristocrat and a young physicist vie for the love of a spiteful beauty, who vanishes after her lookalike doll is found dismembered in the Jesus Lock on the River Cam. The cases convolve as Holmes and Watson tangle with clergy, police, academics and scheming siblings, risking life and limb to solve the murders and to keep the innocent from the gallows.
MacBird’s stylish updates to Conan Doyle’s canon bring all the wit, camaraderie and deductions one expects from Holmes and Watson, but with the extended arc of a novel allowing not only more character development but also action, which carries them far beyond the locked room mystery and into danger.
Each of MacBird’s four Holmes books explores a theme. Just as Art in the Blood revealed the perils and gifts of the artistic temperament, Unquiet Spirits uncovered the danger of letting ghosts of the past lie unresolved, and The Devil’s Due touched upon the cost of corruption, The Three Locks examines the risk of keeping dark secrets locked away.
Meticulous research and attention to period detail enrich the reading experience. The Three Locks is a must-read for fans of the original Sherlock Holmes adventures and for readers new to the genre.
This mystery begins with a locked box and ends with a locked box, and of course the secret it contains. A secret that takes readers on a path into the past of Dr John Watson and one Holmes is hesitant to let him embark upon.
Simultaneously the master of deductive reasoning and his calm partner and friend, who also endeavours to share their adventures with the world, are drawn into another mystery when an escape artist or illusionist is killed trying to pull of a daring locked cauldron trick. In fact that isn’t the only case they are confronted with. It’s safe to say their specialist skills are pulled in many different directions in this book.
For those of us who enjoy a bit of Sherlock it’s incredibly important to get it right when it comes to revisiting the fictional characters. The nuances have to be on par with how Conan Doyle imagined and created them to be. It’s definitely in the detail. I certainly think the author has tried to emulate the original as much as possible whilst creating new adventures for readers to enjoy.
Obviously revisiting the established favourites comes with pros and cons. Those who love them are less likely to embrace artistic license and at the same time are quite eager to hear just one more story or mystery with Holmes and Watson. The author has taken great care to establish her own voice, whilst bringing an old familiar one to the table. Either way it’s a mystery filled with the idiosyncrasies of the world’s most famous detective and his faithful companion. Just what the doctor ordered in these difficult times.