Holmesian Musings and Ripping Yarns
Geeksago recently chatted with writer Will Thomas about his latest thriller about Cyrus Barker -- an eccentric private investigator and martial artist operating in Victorian England (our previous interview with him can be found here).
Minotaur Books will release the new book, 'Old Scores,' in early October.
1. To what extent is the plot centered around Japanese culture?
The entire novel is about the contrast of Japanese and English culture, specifically the similarities and differences between two small islands with strong caste systems and imperial ambitions and the complicated relationships between the countries. Japan was going through political tumult at the time and very much wanted to become a colonial power. The legation was the official debut of Japan on the worldwide stage and English approval was crucial.
2. Did any historical events influence the plot?
The Japanese did start a legation in England the following year at the private home of Lord Diosy. It spawned a craze for Asian fabric and decorating in English society. It also spawned plans for military domination in the East by Japan.
3. Will there be any changes regarding the characters in this book?
We get to see another layer of the onion peeled away from Cyrus Barker’s tragic past, as he unexpectedly comes face to face with an old adversary. Meanwhile, Thomas Llewelyn becomes closer to Rebecca Mocatta, while Barker’s ward, Bok Fu Ying, finds her own marriage a sore trial.
4. Are there any recurring villains or supporting characters returning for this installment?
The elusive Mr. K’ing returns from his appearance in The Limehouse Text, trying to win concessions from the legation and consolidating his own plans for power in the East End and Asia. China and the Chinese were very concerned about the growing power of Japan, but K’ing foresaw that there was profit to be made for a man with ambitious plans of his own.
5. What is next for the characters?
Thomas Llewelyn is making big plans for his life, but there is a wrench in the works when someone attempts to bring down Cyrus Barker, including everything and everyone he holds dear.