Monday, July 15, 2024

Thanks to the Next Generation Indie Book Awards!

Thanks to the Next Generation Indie Book Awards!

 

A big “thank you” to the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, who just sent me my silver Finalist medal for Ghosting My Friend in the Mystery category!  Thank you so much!




 

–Chris Chan

 

Chris Chan’s book The Autistic Sleuth, written with his mother Dr. Patricia Meyer Chan, will be released on September 19th!  He is the author of the Funderburke and Kaiming novels Ghosting My Friend and She Ruined Our Lives, released by Level Best Books.  He is also the author of the comedic novels Sherlock’s Secretary and Nessie’s Nemesis, published by MX Publishing, as was his anthology Of Course He Pushed Him and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories Volumes 1 & 2. His Agatha-nominated book Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter was published by Level Best Books.  His first non-fiction book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” 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, July 5, 2024

Another Excerpt From The Autistic Sleuth!

Another Excerpt From The Autistic Sleuth!

 

Here is another excerpt from The Autistic Sleuth.  It’s from the chapter “Looking Through an Autistic Lens,” where certain characters who are often criticized for their behavior and actions are reframed from a far more sympathetic perspective than usual.

 

For years, autism advocates have argued that while autism may qualify as a disability, an autistic mind is not inherently inferior to a neurotypical mind, and to expect that all brains should function in the same way is prejudiced and unrealistic.  In many of the series shown here, the autistic sleuths are criticized, denigrated, mocked, or chided for their actions and behaviors, which are clearly influenced by their mental processes.  In many cases, the message is implicit: The person with autism needs to adjust in order to fit in better, or that the autistic person needs to learn how to treat others better.  The autistic person must learn how to be more “normal.”

But what if this perspective simply is not fair?  What if the autistic person, despite having trouble understanding how to function socially, is being targeted simply for being different?  What if the people telling the autistic person to change are setting unfair expectations, and perhaps overlooking worse transgressions in others?  If this is the case, then viewers need to refocus how they view these characters, and in order to do so, their characters need to be defended, partly through looking at them through their own point of view, or at least a perspective that is determined to take their sides.

In order to explain how a sympathetic autism lens can reshape how we understand these characters, a few of the most frequently criticized and maligned autistic sleuths will be profiled here: Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, Doc Martin, and Christopher Boone.

 

If you want to read more, the book will be released on September 19th!




 

–Chris Chan

 

Chris Chan’s book The Autistic Sleuth, written with his mother Dr. Patricia Meyer Chan, will be released on September 19th!  He is the author of the Funderburke and Kaiming novels Ghosting My Friend and She Ruined Our Lives, released by Level Best Books.  He is also the author of the comedic novels Sherlock’s Secretary and Nessie’s Nemesis, published by MX Publishing, as was his anthology Of Course He Pushed Him and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories Volumes 1 & 2.  His Agatha-nominated book Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter was published by Level Best Books.  His first non-fiction book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” 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, June 28, 2024

The World of Miss Marple Has Been Released!

The World of Miss Marple Has Been Released! 

 

Laurence King has released the third in its series of officially licensed Agatha Christie jigsaw puzzles!  The World of Miss Marple is out, and I wrote the supplementary material for it!  If you like this puzzle with artwork by the awesome Ilya Milstein, check out The World of Agatha Christie (which I was not involved with making) and The World of Hercule Poirot (which I was, writing the supplementary materials for that puzzle).  




 

If you want to play more Agatha Christie games, check out Agatha Christie Bingo and Agatha Christie Playing Cards.  I wrote the supplementary material for both of them as well!

 

 

–Chris Chan

 

Chris Chan’s book The Autistic Sleuth, written with his mother Dr. Patricia Meyer Chan, will be released on September 19th!  He is the author of the Funderburke and Kaiming novels Ghosting My Friend and She Ruined Our Lives, released by Level Best Books.  He is also the author of the comedic novels Sherlock’s Secretary and Nessie’s Nemesis, published by MX Publishing, as was his anthology Of Course He Pushed Him and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories Volumes 1 & 2. His Agatha-nominated book Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter was published by Level Best Books.  His first non-fiction book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” 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.

 

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Ghosting My Friend Wins a 2nd Place CMA Prize!

Ghosting My Friend Wins a 2nd Place CMA Prize!

 

More incredible news today­– Ghosting My Friend was just awarded 2nd Place at the Catholic Media Association Book Awards in the Young Adult Category!  Thanks so much to the CMA, and congratulations to all of the other honorees!




 

–Chris Chan

 

Chris Chan’s book The Autistic Sleuth, written with his mother Dr. Patricia Meyer Chan, will be released on September 19th!  He is the author of the Funderburke and Kaiming novels Ghosting My Friend and She Ruined Our Lives, released by Level Best Books.  He is also the author of the comedic novels Sherlock’s Secretary and Nessie’s Nemesis, published by MX Publishing, as was his anthology Of Course He Pushed Him and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories Volumes 1 & 2. His Agatha-nominated book Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter was published by Level Best Books.  His first non-fiction book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” 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, June 14, 2024

My Review of Mr. Monk’s Last Case!

My Review of Mr. Monk’s Last Case!

 

Crimespree Magazine has just published my review of the recent Peacock movie Mr. Monk’s Last Case!  Here’s a sample:

 

 

Numerous productions have incorporated the pandemic and its aftermath into their storylines, but very few have addressed the long-term psychological strain caused by extended isolation, health worries, and economic pressures. It’s an often-unspoken truth that a lot of people were broken in multiple ways during quarantine, and now, well over four years after lockdown began, people are still suffering from invisible wounds that they don’t know how to seek help for and which often don’t get the sympathy and understanding they deserve. Monk is one of those people.




 

 

Please check out the review and the movie!

 

–Chris Chan

 

Chris Chan’s book The Autistic Sleuth, written with his mother Dr. Patricia Meyer Chan, will be released on September 19th!  He is the author of the Funderburke and Kaiming novels Ghosting My Friend and She Ruined Our Lives, released by Level Best Books.  He is also the author of the comedic novels Sherlock’s Secretary and Nessie’s Nemesis, published by MX Publishing, as was his anthology Of Course He Pushed Him and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories Volumes 1 & 2. His Agatha-nominated book Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter was published by Level Best Books.  His first non-fiction book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” 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.

 

Monday, June 10, 2024

All of The Autistic Sleuth Kickstarter Rewards Sent!

All of The Autistic Sleuth Kickstarter Rewards Sent!

 

Continued massive thanks to all of my backers for my Kickstarter for The Autistic Sleuth.  All of the remaining signed books were sent out today, so recipients should get them within the next week or so.  If you have not received your digital or physical rewards by the end of next week (aside from the "Character Name in a Sherlock Holmes Story," as those will come out later in the year), please message me through Kickstarter and let me know.  Thanks!



Thanks so much to all who contributed!

 

–Chris Chan

 

Chris Chan’s book The Autistic Sleuth, written with his mother Dr. Patricia Meyer Chan, will be released on September 19th!  He is the author of the Funderburke and Kaiming novels Ghosting My Friend and She Ruined Our Lives, released by Level Best Books.  He is also the author of the comedic novels Sherlock’s Secretary and Nessie’s Nemesis, published by MX Publishing, as was his anthology Of Course He Pushed Him and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories Volumes 1 & 2. His Agatha-nominated book Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter was published by Level Best Books.  His first non-fiction book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” 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, May 30, 2024

Escape Room Review– Escape Waukesha, Wisconsin– Escaping Wonderland and Captured

Escape Room Review– Escape Waukesha, Wisconsin– Escaping Wonderland and Captured

 

 

A little under six months ago, I wrote a review of Escape Waukesha’s room “Blue Ocean Heist.”  That room is now gone, as Escape Waukesha changes its rooms every couple of years.  It will be replaced with a murder mystery-themed room, currently titled “The Final Chapter.”  But there are still two rooms open, both of which my friends and I have played recently: “Escaping Wonderland” and “Captured.”




 

“Escaping Wonderland” is inspired by the works of Lewis Carroll.  As you enter the first part of the room, you’ll find it’s filled with images from Alice in Wonderland, and you’ll have to solve a number of puzzles, including crosswords, math problems, and standard searching for keys and clues in order to move forward into the next part of the room, which draws upon Through the Looking-Glass.  You’ll have to do a lot of careful counting– it’s easy to overlook a surreptitiously placed clue that will throw off your arithmetic, and all objects in the room must be scrutinized carefully from all angles– a bunch of critical clues are placed in easily overlooked spots.

 

It’s a colorful, artistically designed experience, though it’s not the most immersive room.  The first part looks more like a themed daycare playroom than actual Wonderland, though the second part does have a slightly surreal (but not scary for children) feel to it.  Groups of young players will probably do as well as adults.  It’s a moderately challenging room that is rarely frustrating, except when one puzzle required precision arrangement, and a couple of important points were hard to find.  My friends and I finished with plenty of time to spare.




 

“Captured” takes players to that classic escape room theme, the pirate ship.  Right off the bat, I was struck by the improved production values of this room.  It really does– for the most part– give the sense that you’re in an old wooden sailing ship, especially in the first section, which mimics the brig of the pirate ship.  The puzzles are fun, clear, and not too difficult, aside from one complex puzzle that had us checking and rechecking until we finally got it right.  It’s a good mix of observational and logic puzzles, and escape room fans ought to enjoy the experience.  Once again, we won with lots of time on the clock.

 

There is one physical issue for players.  At one point, players will have to crouch or crawl to get through an approximately three-foot-high doorway.  This may be difficult for some taller players or those with mobility issues, who will have to go in and out, so be warned.  Other than some minor stooping for some low-placed clues in both “Captured” and “Escaping Wonderland,” there’s no physical dexterity issues involved in the game.

 

These are fun rooms that are neither too hard or too easy, good for players of all ages.  If you’re in Waukesha, stop by before these rooms are switched. 

 

–Chris Chan

 

Chris Chan’s book The Autistic Sleuth, written with his mother Dr. Patricia Meyer Chan, will be released on September 19th!  He is the author of the Funderburke and Kaiming novels Ghosting My Friend and She Ruined Our Lives, released by Level Best Books.  He is also the author of the comedic novels Sherlock’s Secretary and Nessie’s Nemesis, published by MX Publishing, as was his anthology Of Course He Pushed Him and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories Volumes 1 & 2.  His Agatha-nominated book Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter was published by Level Best Books.  His first non-fiction book, Sherlock & Irene: The Secret Truth Behind “A Scandal in Bohemia” 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.