Welcome to On the Prowl.
It’s summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertine!
Sorry I missed you in May and June. Life was a little bit crazy here. Hope it was calmer for you. A simple newsletter this month. Next month, I’m going to change the format a little, hoping to get more done earlier in the month.
July’s full moon is the Buck Moon. According to our favorite source, The Farmer’s Almanac, this is the time when new antlers begin to grow. Being a city kid, I’ll take their word on it. Other names for this moon are Full Thunder (yep, that’s appropriate) and Hay (again, no opinion). If I were to name it, it would be the NO, SUMMER CAN’T BE HALF OVER moon. Whatever you all it, the moon hits it’s peak at 10:37 pm eastern on Friday, July 23.
The first of my Lost in Tennessee series has come to KISS! KISS is a new and exciting way to experience Romance stories of all genres. Enjoy serialized quality content from NYT and USA Today bestselling authors, available right from your phone. KISS has hundreds of titles and authors to choose from, including new and exclusive content from some of your favorite voices! Best of all, you can choose just how much to read with our pay-as-you-go format!
To Celebrate, I have 20 Coins to give away to only 4 readers. They belong to the first 4 people who email me at tina at tgwolff dot com.
Down the Rabbit Hole: Dr. Watson, I Presume
This month’s trip down the rabbit hole lands…in the front door of 221B Baker Street. I have been working on adaptations for the 3rd season of Mysteries to Die For. This season is all about the first cases of some of the most celebrated detectives. Of course, Sherlock Holmes is featured in a version of A Study in Scarlet. Now, I have been a Holmes fan for years. I tried reading Holmes but unfortunately started with The Hounds of the Baskerville, which is written in my least favorite way (letters from Watson to Holmes) and I barely finished. Consequently, my fandom existed on the screen. I raise my hand as a fan of all the movie variations and most of the television.
One character I never have quite “gotten” was Dr. John Watson. I see why Holmes wants Watson around. He needs an audience, an entourage. What’s the point of being great if there isn’t anyone to celebrate it with?
But why does Watson stick with Holmes? In most adaptations, Watson is portrayed as a bright, competent man who is routinely tricked, out smarted, and used by Holmes. So why doesn’t he tell Holmes to shove off?
A Study in Scarlet, like all Holmes mysteries, is told by Watson. But in this first story, the entire first part is Watson’s backstory. I’m sure there are Watson fans out there who know what I’m going to tell you, just move along to the puzzle. For the rest of you, did you know…
- After med school in London, John joined the army and was assigned to Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers. This infantry regiment has roots back to 1674! Check out the Unit History Here
- John was later transferred to the Berkshire Regiment (another real regiment) and was at the Battle of Maiwand. According to Wikipedia, the Berkire Regiment took heavy loses on July 27, 1880 with 286 dead and 32 wounded. Learn more from Wikipedia Here:
- Dr. John Watson was among the wounded. The bullet entered his shoulder and nicked an artery. A brave orderly put him on a pack horse and got him back behind British lines.
- While recovering from the wound, Watson came down with Typhoid fever. It put him to bed for weeks. Learn more from the Mayo Clinic HERE
- As soon as he could travel, the Army gave him a discharge and returned him to England with a pension of 11 shillings and sixpence a day.
- Dr. John Watson lived in a hotel. He was pain riddled, slept little and irregularly, and spent all his money with nothing to show but a dog. He was near to broke when he decided he had to move to something more affordable than the hotel. That is when a friend of a friend introduced him to Holmes.
- Watson describes himself as lazy, keeping odd hours, and unable to tolerate arguments, because of his nerves.
- When he moves into 221B Baker Street, Watson doesn’t know what Holmes does for a living and he doesn’t care. It is only after a few months that he begins to get curious and tries to puzzle out for himself what the tall, lanky man does to earn his money.
I loved how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle missed reality in with his fiction. Totally fascinating and it all makes sense! Still recovering from being deathly ill, Watson’s brain becomes intrigued with Holmes and drags his body along. Whenever Watson was in pain or dragging from a lack of sleep, Holmes was the reason he left the house.
I found Watson to be a far, far more interesting character than he is portrayed as on the screen. I also found Holmes to be more human and less arrogant than most portrayals, especially when interacting with Watson.
Get Your Sherlock On
Mrs. O’Leary is found dead at her kitchen table. The poison was found in her glass of ice water. Complete the phrase ladder beginning with ICE WATER to reveal the poison and who Detective Ng should arrest. (Scroll to the bottom for answers)
WATER _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ & DIRTY
DIRTY _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ PEN
PEN _ _ _
Mysteries to Die For. Season 2: The Originators
Mysteries to Die For combines storytelling and original music to put you in the heart of murder, mystery, and mayhem. This season features adaptations of some of the first stories to be considered mysteries. The season is complete! All 11 episodes can be found everywhere you get your podcasts.
New to podcasts? An easy way to start is through my website. Click PODCAST
The Penns River Police Department has a new chief, deputy chief, and several new officers. Crime pays no attention.
A woman dies in a hit-and-run the night before the new chief takes over. The case demands more manpower than Penns River has, and the investigation loses steam as day-to-day events require immediate attention: domestic disputes, petty theft, not so petty theft, armed robbery, a visit from the Dixie mafia, and things police take care of because no one else will.
Sullivan doesn’t want the first homicide on his watch to be an open file and tasks Teresa Shimp to spend as much time as she can on it. It’s Teresa’s first gig as primary homicide investigator. She sticks with it, going back over things to re-assemble her thoughts until she has a eureka moment.
Lead detective Ben “Doc” Dougherty has all this and some personal matters to contend with: his parents’ failing health, a dramatic change in the domestic situation of two young men he is close to, and finding an old friend has colored outside the lines.
Penns River’s cast changes, as do the roles they play. The job is still the job.
sk for Leaving the Scene from your favorite bookseller. Amazon Link is HERE
Life is a constant party for restaurant manager, Finn Roose. When he seduces an underage woman on one of his booze cruises and loses her—literally, it sets off a massive search involving the police, her parents, and a private investigator. Finn is an expert manipulator but his endless lies only tighten the screws on himself and his unsuspecting best friend. Finn scrambles to make things right which may be too much to ask from a guy who can’t resist a hot babe and a stiff drink.
Ask for Cleaning Up Finn from your favorite bookseller. Amazon Link is HERE
Frank Zafiro writes gritty crime fiction from both sides of the badge. His River City series is a police procedural that follows an ensemble cast of police officers, while his SpoCompton series focuses on a variety of criminals or people just down on their luck. He’s written over thirty novels, some on one side of the badge and some on the other. You can pick and choose which you prefer at his website: frankzafiro.com.
Until August when we are swimming with the sturgeon once again. Stay cool.
Mrs. O’Leary is found dead at her kitchen table. The poison was found in her glass of ice water. Complete the phrase ladder beginning with ICE WATER to reveal the poison and who Detective Ng should arrest.
DOWN & DIRTY
RAT POISON (The poison)
PEN PAL (The Killer. She traveled.)