Friday, July 20, 2018

BRIMSTONE by John Allen

BRIMSTONE by John Allen, Historical/Women Sleuths/ Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, 336 pp., $9.99 (paperback) $2.99 (Kindle)


Author: John Allen

Publisher: Allen & Allen Semiotics Inc.

Pages: 224

Genre: Historical Fiction/Women Sleuths/Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Author John Allen has a theory about the creator of Sherlock Holmes:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not create Holmes. It was Doyle’s wife,
Louise Hawkins Conan Doyle, who gave birth to the beloved sleuth.

Allen has put his beliefs to the test, writing and publishing the
first of a projected 12-novel series of Holmes mysteries titled BRIMSTONE. His
detective is Louise Hawkins Conan Doyle, and Allen names her as the
author of the tale he presents, set in 1879 Bristol, England.

In a previous book, SHADOW WOMAN, Allen set out to prove
that Louise was the true creator of Sherlock Holmes. The inspiration for
his startling and controversial theory of authorship was a 1980s essay
by Martin Gardner called “The Irrelevance of Arthur Conan Doyle.”
Gardner claimed that Arthur was “too gullible and to easily duped to
have created Sherlock Holmes.”

Allen determined that Gardner was correct, but Gardner identified no
alternative author. Allen continues, “So I decided to give it a try. I
came to suspect Louise as the actual author, but I lacked the knowledge
and tools to make a solid case.”

Then the Internet came along, giving Allen a valuable research tool.
He became convinced that Louise did in fact create Sherlock Holmes.
Allen presented his case in SHADOW WOMAN, which was published
in 2017. To further advance Louise as Holmes’s creator, to give her the
credit he believes she is due, he is now featuring her in a series of
mystery novels, the first of which is BRIMSTONE.

As if Allen hadn’t set the bar too high already, he has added a subtext to BRIMSTONE that explores contemporary wrongful convictions through his Victorian thrillers.

BRIMSTONE brims with appeal to multiple audiences, from
lovers of detective stories to those interested in justice for the
wrongfully convicted. Sherlock Holmes would be proud.



Judge Blair modified the contempt
penalty imposed on Louise to time already served. Detective John Reeves, eager
to inform her that she was free, was surprised when she insisted on serving the
entire seven-day sentence. He hesitantly asked if she would mind him calling on
her, once matters settled, but she did not respond. He reproached himself for
such an untimely and selfish intrusion, and vowed to never again disturb her,
to spend his time instead searching for the man with the dent in his forehead.
Upon learning of Louise’s lack
of appreciation for his mercy, Judge Blair declared her in trespass of Crown
property and ordered that she be removed, with force if necessary. Three
jailers tried, but she thrust her arms between the bars and interlocked her
fingers. As the two men pulled Louise from behind, the matron attempted to pry
apart Louise’s fingers, but stopped in horror at the snap of a knuckle and a
scream of pain.
Dr. Daniel Weston arrived within
the hour. After removing his silk-lined bowler and installing his pince-nez
spectacles upon the bridge of his nose, he examined Louise’s injuries. He set
the obviously dislocated small finger of her right hand, splinting it and
taping it to the two adjoining fingers. He applied an ointment to the burns on
her left hand, then rebandaged it. He told her that her ankle was healing more
slowly than expected, that she might have broken a bone, and he wrapped the
ankle tightly for her, advising that her foot should be in a cast and that she
should keep off it as much as possible.
Her nose was definitely broken
and must soon be set, he said, lest it be deformed forever. Informing her that
the procedure would be quick but painful, he offered several doses of laudanum,
which she accepted. Despite the sedative and her resolution to be stoic, she
screamed for a second time when the doctor put his hands on either side of her
nose and snapped it left, then right, to reset the bone and cartilage.
“It will be nearly perfect when
it heals,” he told her. He suspected the renewed bruises around her eyes would
be spectacular for several weeks.

John Allen is giving away a $25
Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you
    are confirming you are at least 18 years old
  • One winner will be chosen via
  • This giveaway ends midnight July
  • Winner will be contacted via
    email on July 28
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply
Good luck everyone!


John Allen was born in Long Beach, CA. An engineer “by education,
training, and experience,” he describes himself as “a recovering
engineer.”  He left engineering to become the junior partner in Allen
& Allen Semiotics Inc., a corporation that his wife, Lynn, launched
for their diversified home business. Their projects include designing
databases for mid-sized companies. John Allen holds a BS from the United
States Air Force Academy, an MS from the University of Southern
California, and an MA from the University of California, Riverside.

You can visit his website at

Interview with John Allen:

How did you come up with name of this book?
Lynn, my wife, proposed that I name the first book in my Louise Conan Doyle Mystery Series Brimstone. The story involves a Civil War era Colt .36 caliber black powder revolver. Black powder is a mixture of graphite, potassium nitrate (also known as saltpeter), and sulfur (also known as brimstone.) It's difficult to imagine a book named Saltpeter.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
Lynn is the voracious reader in the family, and she particularly likes mysteries. To the extent that I find time for fiction, I prefer mysteries and courtroom dramas. I am particularly impressed by the writing of Raymond Chandler and his character Philip Marlowe. I proudly adapt one of his scenes and one of his metaphors for Brimstone.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I much prefer writing in silence. Even as I write this, I hear a leaf blower outside, distracting me, trying (I am convinced) to drive me mad. Charles Babbage, inventor of the modern computer, was even more bothered by noise. He campaigned to limit the London street noises, and the street musicians retaliated by targeting his residence. Babbage wrote of his complaints in Chapter on Street Nuisances, which included a contribution from Charles Dickens. Dickens wrote that he and his colleagues "are daily interrupted, harassed, worried, wearied, driven nearly mad, by street musicians. [...] No sooner does it become known to the producers of horrible sounds that any of your correspondents have particular need of quiet in their own houses, than the said houses are beleaguered by discordant hosts seeking to be bought off.

What do you feel you can accomplish with this book?
I hope to bring credit to Louise Conan Doyle as the actual creator of Sherlock Holmes, and I hope that Louise will help me with my other avocation, freeing innocent people from prison.

What is your next project?
I have eleven more books to complete in the Louise Conan Doyle Mystery Series, and there are nearly 200,000 people wrongfully behind bars in the good ol' USA. I suspect I have plenty before me to fill my time.

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