Thursday, September 17, 2020

Story Profile: “Hunger Pains”

 Story Profile: “Hunger Pains”

 

In by far the longest Funderburke mystery published to date, the novella “Hunger Pains” has Student Advocate and private detective Funderburke and his girlfriend Nerissa Kaiming leaving Milwaukee to visit a former student, a teenager named Keegan who left Cuthbertson Hall unwillingly, and was compelled to transfer to the Phineus School, a weight-loss boarding-school in Northern Illinois.  Keegan sent Funderburke an email, begging him to come, as something’s not right at the Phineus School.  One of the students has disappeared.  The staff insists that it’s a simple case of a teenager running away, but Keegan believes that there are more sinister issues at play.

 

Since Keegan is no longer a Cuthbertson Hall student, this technically isn’t part of Funderburke’s purview, but when Funderburke’s instincts are on high alert, nothing can prevent him from giving up his Saturday to investigate.  When he arrives, he finds the previously-overweight Keegan slimmed down to a shadow of his former self, and many of the other students are equally concerned about the disappearance.  The food at the Phineus School stinks, and the attitude of the principal smells even worse.  With a staff actively blocking Funderburke’s inquiries, finding out the truth isn’t going to be a piece of cake…

 

“Hunger Pains” appeared in the inaugural issue of Serial Magazine, which is available for sale here.




 

 

–Chris Chan

 

 

Chris Chan’s first book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” was released on August 27thfrom MX Publishing, and is available for sale at Amazon.com and the MX Publishing website, as well as at Book Depository (with free worldwide shipping there).  It is also available in a Kindle edition.

Friday, September 11, 2020

The Reviews Are Coming In...

 The Reviews Are Coming In...

The first review (that I know of) for Sherlock & Irene has been released, and it's a very positive one!  Thanks to Wendy Heyman-Marsaw (author of Mrs. Hudson's Kitchen) for the kind review!

 



Chris Chan’s first book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” will be released on August 27th from MX Publishing, and is available for sale at Amazon.com and the MX Publishing website, as well as at Book Depository (with free worldwide shipping there).  It is also available in a Kindle edition.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Introducing Isaiah Funderburke

Introducing Isaiah Funderburke

 

From my earlier posts on this blog, you could probably be excused for thinking that I write exclusively about Sherlock Holmes.  But that’s not the case– I have my own series detective, who has appeared in several published short stories over the past couple of years.  His name is Isaiah Funderburke, and he’s a private detective who works for the school Cuthbertson Hall as the Student Advocate.

 

One of my favorite shows growing up was the educational PBS show Square One TV, and my absolute favorite part of the series was the recurring segment Mathnet, a Dragnet parody centered around a couple of detectives who solved cases through mathematics.  In most (though not all) of the episodes, a child or teenager came to the detectives Kate Monday (Pat Tuesday in later seasons) and George Frankly.  I always thought it was great that kids could come to these detectives with a problem and always be taken seriously.  The young people who came to Mathnet were never patronized or belittled, and they could always count on the detectives to devote themselves fully to the case.  In real life, many of my friends complained of lawyers and judges not listening to them during custody hearings, or other adults refused to believe them when they were wrongly accused of misbehaving.  




 

Another major influence on my writing was Roald Dahl’s stories.  His children’s books are full of kids who are oppressed by cruel or negligent grown-ups, though in most of the tales the kids have at least one reliable adult ally who supports and helps them.

 

Growing up, I often thought of creating a detective who was one hundred percent on the side of the students, no matter what problems they faced.  The Funderburke mysteries aren’t always about solving murders or finding the solutions to crimes.  Many of them focus on helping students through personal problems such as their parents’ divorces or other family issues.  Some of the stories are quite dark, others farcical.  Throughout them, there’s a recurring theme: that the world is a difficult place for children in trouble, and they need an adult on their side to help them.  That’s why the young people in my stories have Funderburke.

 

I will talk more about my Funderburke mysteries in future posts.

 

 

 

–Chris Chan

 

 

Chris Chan’s first book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” was released on August 27th from MX Publishing, and is available for sale at Amazon.com and the MX Publishing website, as well as at Book Depository (with free worldwide shipping there).  It is also available in a Kindle edition.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

My Quarantine Project

My Quarantine Project

 

I think a vast majority of the population can agree that 2020 is hands down the craziest year in recent memory, and it’s not even two-thirds of the way through yet.  We’ve all found different ways to keep ourselves occupied during our increased time at home, though some of us have been more productive than others.  Not that I am bragging.  

 

Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” has been my quarantine project, or at least, my first major quarantine project.  I have worked on others since then.  I had been mulling over this project for a few years, but it wasn’t until mid-March that I, having plenty of time to dedicate myself to this literary analysis, decided to devote my attention to the unanswered questions of “A Scandal in Bohemia,” and to prove that Sherlock Holmes was more competent than we all thought in his attempt to retrieve incriminating information from Irene Adler. 




 

I started by drawing up a list of unanswered questions I had about the story.  Why would the King trust burglars?  Why didn’t Holmes take the picture and run?  Why was Irene Adler’s drawing-room ransacked?  After pondering these and several other questions, I started writing short essays to answer them one by one.  Along the way, I came up with more questions to address.  When I had finally resolved all of my concerns to my own satisfaction, and I had written everything I had to say about the subject, I now I had the challenge of figuring out what order the chapters should go in the book.  Once I arranged them into a reasonably well-flowing narrative, having polished and edited the chapters along the way, I sent my manuscript to MX Publishing in mid-May.  

 

It was quickly accepted, and given a release date of August 27th.  That’s today.  Hopefully, fans of Sherlock Holmes will gain a new appreciation of his skills by reading my book.

 

 

–Chris Chan

 

 

Chris Chan’s first book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” will be released on August 27th from MX Publishing, and is available for sale at Amazon.com and the MX Publishing website, as well as at Book Depository (with free worldwide shipping there).  It is also available in a Kindle edition.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Sherlock & Irene is Almost Here!

 Sherlock & Irene is Almost Here!

 

Hello!  My first book Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” is coming out in less than a week!  The release date is August 27th, and it is available for sale at Amazon.com and the MX Publishing website, as well as at Book Depository (with free worldwide shipping there).  It is also available in a Kindle edition.

 



Do you have any questions about my theories, ideas, or other comments on the book or the theme?  Please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.  Thanks!

 

–Chris Chan

Friday, August 14, 2020

My Work for Strand Magazine

 My Work for Strand Magazine

 

The Strand is famous for being the original home of the Sherlock Holmes short stories, and the periodical still exists todayas a quarterly magazine publishing new crime fiction, long-lost stories by legendary authors, interviews with prominent figures in the mystery writing field, and reviews of new releases.



 

Since 2015, I’ve written reviews of books for The Strand, ranging from fiction to true crime to literary criticism, and even a cookbook based on the television series Hannibal.  I also cover reviews of crime TV shows and movies– the one prerequisite is that they must be released on DVD.

 

For the most part, I try to review works I enjoyed, though if I see a way that the work can be improved, I explain how.  I prefer to recommend works that I think will delight other readers and viewers rather than tear into stuff I despise, though you’ll find a takedown of a clunker here and there.

 

If you’re interested in finding something good to read or watch, take a look at my collected reviews here!

 

 

–Chris Chan

 

 

Chris Chan’s first book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” will be released on August 27th from MX Publishing, and is available for sale at Amazon.com and the MX Publishing website, as well as at Book Depository (with free worldwide shipping there).

 

 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Story Profile: “The Adventure of the Villainous Victim”

Story Profile: “The Adventure of the Villainous Victim”

 

Many casual readers have misconceptions about Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson.  In large swaths of the public imagination, they’re seen as stolid, middle-aged figures.  Yet at the time of their first meeting, in A Study in Scarlet, they’re both in their mid-twenties.  Interestingly, the Canon tells us very little about the first years of their partnership, as there’s a gap of almost three years between the events of A Study in Scarlet and the first chronologically-dated story, “The Speckled Band.” 

 

What happened during that time?  Nobody knows for sure, but writers of pastiches can explore their pet theories.  When Belanger Books announced calls for submissions for their anthology series “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Early Adventures” (which would turn out to be a three-volume set), I decided to contribute.  



 

I did some digging, having an idea about basing a case on a real-life crime from the past.  I soon discovered the case of the murder of Issac Gold, from 1881, a particularly shocking death that took place on a railway.  When I learned that a detective named Holmes played a pivotal role in the case, I knew that I had the makings of a historical mystery.  I kept the basic details of the facts of the story, and added Holmes and Watson.  The result was “The Adventure of the Villainous Victim.”

 

 

–Chris Chan

 

 

Chris Chan’s first book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” will be released on August 27th from MX Publishing, and is available for sale at Amazon.com and the MX Publishing website, as well as at Book Depository (with free worldwide shipping there).

 

“The Chapel of the Holy Blood” can be found in Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The Early Adventures Volume I, and is available from Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle editions.

Story Profile: “Hunger Pains”