Published by Amazon Original Stories on June 30th, 2022
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A classic Holmesian detective untangles a locked-room mystery with a very modern twist in this venomously diverting short story by Lauren Wilkinson, the Washington Post bestselling author of American Spy.
A top-secret experiment at a restricted virtual-reality compound pulls attorney Tommy Diaz back into the orbit of Irene Adler, an old friend with an eidetic memory, a love of true-crime podcasts, and a knack for solving the unsolvable. But this? At a remote warehouse, a VR trial goes awry when a willing test subject, alone in the observation room, drops dead of anaphylaxis—from the sting of a virtual bee. Though the tech titan behind the research believes in the power of the outrageous, Irene relies on clues, hard facts, and a level head. However, in a case this peculiar, how elementary can it be?
Greetings! Welcome to our stop on the Blog Tour for A Scandal in Brooklyn. Wow you guys, this was such a brilliant detective short story by acclaimed author, Lauren Wilkinson. Presented in the spirit of a true Sherlock Holmes mystery, this one comes with a clever technological twist – the main murder suspect is a hologram. Yes, like in Star Wars.
With brilliant character building and a fast paced storyline, this is a fun, but surprisingly satisfying read that you can quickly finish during your lunch break.
In A Scandal in Brooklyn, Lauren Wilkinson introduces us the classic character of Irene Adler. Yes, from the Sherlock Holmes story, A Scandal in Bohemia. Aaah, lightbulb moment for the latest title. Of course Irene Adler is just slightly modernized and she’s now addicted to true crime podcasts, but she still has a knack to solve the unsolvable. I do hope that this will not be our last encounter with Irene and Tommy Diaz.
Lauren Wilkinson’s debut book, was a Washington Post bestseller and her writing style is definitely worth mentioning. We are lucky enough to share an interview with this highly talented author with you today!
Interview with Author Lauren Wilkinson
- Your newest story, A Scandal in Brooklyn, is about a complex murder with a plethora of distrustful suspects — a clear homage to classic Holmesian tales. What elements of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original work most inspired you?
Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and novels are a lot of fun! And it was important to me that this story was fun, so I’d say that was the element of Doyle’s work that most inspired me. We’ve all had a hard few years, so I didn’t want to write anything that was too heavy.
- What made you decide to omit Sherlock from your story and instead focus entirely on Irene Adler?
Honestly, I just think that Irene Adler is the more interesting character. For one, in A Scandal in Bohemia, she outwits Holmes (and I’m glad she does because Sherlock Holmes is working for Irene’s toxic ex, who’s a huge hater that just won’t let be great). The other reason I think she’s the more interesting character is that there’s been far less written about her than there has been about Sherlock Holmes, so I felt like there was room to make up more stuff with her. And as a writer, that’s a more interesting place to hang out.
- Irene has been interpreted many ways in the last hundred years, but you offer a brand-new take on The Woman by making her a person of color. How does her background and culture change the narrative of this iconic female?
Well, the fact that she’s a Black woman certainly informs her worldview. But for me, re-imagining Irene Adler as a modern character (and putting her in modern circumstances) was the choice that led to the most germane changes in the narrative.
- Irene has an eidetic memory which she has learned to use to her advantage – for example, in solving crimes. But this skill can also be a curse. What do memories mean to your characters and what do they mean to you?
Memory is such an interesting thing to me! Our memories are so fallible, and yet a person’s collection of memories is the cornerstone of their identity. What a strange internal conflict that is, and stranger still that it’s built into our nature. The Mandela Effect is a good example of how this conflict plays: isn’t it interesting that — for some people anyway — it’s more agreeable to believe that objective reality is wrong than that they simply misremembered something?
- Tommy Diaz, Irene’s old friend, recounts the story’s events including a murder as well as efforts to solve the crime. Why did you choose to show the story through his eyes?
The character of Tommy Diaz is based on one of my oldest friends, Tommy Pico (who is a poet, screenwriter and now an occasional actor)! Honestly, it was just more fun for me to try to write a story from “his perspective” than from my own. I’m starting to get a little bored with my own perspective, if I’m being totally honest.
- How do you think modern technology is changing the mystery genre? What are some positive and negative aspects of these changes?
I think that modern technology has the potential to give the genre new plot devices and twists. But ironically that has always been the case—apparently A Study in Scarlet was the first story to use the magnifying glass in a crime investigation. So, I think the question of how modern technology changes the mystery genre is a good example of how the more things change, the more they stay the same.
- In 2019 you released your debut novel American Spy to an avalanche of critical acclaim which included being named on President Obama’s summer reading list. What effect did this experience have on your career?
I continue to be extremely grateful to President Obama for putting my novel on his summer reading list! The exposure had a profound effect on my career, in the sense that it allowed me to pursue television writing, which is what I spend most of my time on these days.
- What’s next for you?
Well, in my personal life, I’ve recently gotten married and we’re renovating our house together, which is an exciting project (that’s also been pretty time-consuming). And professionally—well I’m not too sure! I’d really like to write another novel one day. I’d also like to keep writing for television, and maybe a movie one day too.
About the Author
Lauren Wilkinson’s debut novel, American Spy, was a Washington Post bestseller; was nominated for the NAACP Image Award, Anthony Award, and Edgar Award; and was included on Barack Obama’s 2019 Recommended Reading List. Her writing has appeared in New York Magazine and the New York Times, among other publications.
Lauren Wilkinson earned an MFA in fiction and literary translation from Columbia University, and has taught writing at Columbia and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She was a 2013 Center for Fiction Emerging Writer’s Fellow, and has also received support from the MacDowell Colony and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Lauren grew up in New York and lives on the Lower East Side.
As if this intriguing short story isn’t enough, you also stand a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift card!
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