Running low

Amazon UK are down to their last copy of The Norwood Author. I hope they manage to get stocked up again soon.


Can you comment once more?

I've had my comment option turned off for a while. Let's see if it works now.

Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes and Devon

The following book should be on the 'to buy' list of Sherlockians and Doyleans:

Some will remember that Brian Pugh and Paul Spiring wrote a book which was published in 2008 that looked at Conan Doyles's many connections to Devon. The most notable of these being those visits in connection with The Hound of the Baskervilles.

This new book can be seen as a successor to that earlier title. To describe it as a second edition though would be to do it an injustice as the vast majority of material is brand new. Along with noted Devon historian Sadru Bhanji, Pugh and Spiring aim to give us the definitive book on Conan Doyle's connection to this amazing region.

Brett is best

I will confess to a blindness of sorts now. I cannot conceive how anyone cannot see that Jeremy Brett is the single best Holmes we have ever had on screen. He simply blows everyone else out of the water without exception.

It is for this reason that I was very much surprised to read that someone (who shall remain nameless) thinks that Peter Cushing was the best Holmes in, wait for it, the 1959 Hammer version of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Enough said.
This is the link to pre-order my latest book which I believe that Amazon are despatching early.

Slight detour

I am currently reading Cut Short by Leigh Russell

I suggest you get a copy as I'm hooked after only 6 chapters.

Editing has commenced

I have begun work on tweaking my current text to make it fit with my adjusted plot. I'm making good but slow progress. I reckon I'll be at it another couple of days before I get back to new material.

Cross fingers please

I need your best wishes people. Tomorrow I begin the task of redrafting the passages of dialogue in my WIP that will allow me to avert disaster.

Time to resume?

After my earlier plot crisis I am wondering whether now is the time to return to the WIP. Part of me is inclined not to until next week but there is the danger that I might never restart.

Oh what to do?


SHSL DM Review of The Norwood Author

I've done a little cutting and pasting and a PDF of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London's remarks on my latest book can now be seen here:


Well you find me in a time of crisis. Yesterday I came to the conclusion that my plot was unworkable. There I was - 27,000 words in and I decided it was total tosh.

Now I'm not the first (or last) writer to find themselves in this position but that doesn't make things any easier. As my followers on Twitter can testify, I fell into a right old mood and my toys were everywhere other than in the pram. Yet, on the journey home from the office, I realised that if I just made one character's motivation a little less complicated the whole thing could work.


But no…this stunning realisation comes at a price. Yes, you guessed it, rewrites. Now this always occurs of course. You write the book once and then rewrite n times until it is right.

Whole passages of dialogue are going to have to be redrafted and some scenes changed entirely but it is necessary.

A few days off to recharge my batteries and then I'll be back in there (metaphorical) scissors in hand.

Writing fight scenes

Wow these are truly hard work. Trying to convey anything that is fast in words is a challenge. A few days ago I wrote an alley based brawl. It was fun to do and, according to informed friends, read well too.

This surprised me as I have no experience of alley brawls. Perhaps I've just seen enough films.

I am now engaged in writing a conversation that takes place between two characters who are in a  fencing match.

Why do I do this to myself?

Comment on The Norwood Author

Vinnie Brosnan, a notable US based Sherlockian, has made the following comment on my book (before even finishing it).

Your book is excellent and Doyle's early years are really so interesting. Thank you for inscribing - it means a lot to me.

Close to Holmes - Latest Opinion

Here is the latest commment on my second book - Close to Holmes:

...Alistair Duncan manages to transport his audience...

So, if I ever do have the opportunity to walk the streets of London again, it will most definitely be with Alistair Duncan's book in hand, and I cannot think of a stronger recommendation than that. (@goddessinsepia)

District Messenger review of The Norwood Author

Here are the closing remarks on my book from the latest District Messenger
"Alistair Duncan is one of a distinguished little group whose work takes us just a little closer towards a complete portrait of the man who created Sherlock Holmes. He writes well, too. I’m delighted to recommend his book."

Close to Holmes photo site

A discussion group on asked if I intended to produce a web site where people who had used my book in London could upload photos.

I intend to make a page on Facebook for this purpose. More details when the page is complete.


Hard work

I've managed to write 3000 words today (or there abouts). I shall reward myself with an evening off.


A slight change in direction

I apologise in advance to my readers (assuming there are some of you out there) but this blog is going to be taking a little detour. Alongside my commentary on all-things Sherlockian and Doylean I will be starting to write more about my fledgling detective story.

Thanks to a nasty bout of RSI, I've not done any writing recently so getting back into it is going to be hard. The first thing on my agenda today is to write an interrogation scene.