Davies, Martin 1965–
Davies, Martin 1965–
PERSONAL: Born 1965.
ADDRESSES: Home—London, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Shaye Areheart Books, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
CAREER: Writer, editor, and television producer. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), producer.
Mrs. Hudson and the Spirits' Curse, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2004.
Mrs. Hudson and the Malabar Rose, Berkley Prime Crime (New York, NY), 2005.
The Conjurer's Bird, Shaye Areheart Books (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Martin Davies is a British Broadcasting Corporation television producer who wrote his first novel, Mrs. Hudson and the Spirits' Curse, as a birthday present for his father, who had wondered what life was like for Sherlock Holmes's housekeeper. As told by Davies, the famous fictional detective's housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, also has her share of adventures. The book is narrated by Flottie, an orphan who Mrs. Hudson takes in, and the story focuses on the mystery of English businessmen in Sumatra who may have been killed by a curse. Their surviving partners seek out Holmes but begin to die one by one in London as they are bitten by exotic spiders and snakes. Flottie helps Mrs. Hudson as she, in turn, aids Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in solving the case. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that the "novel delicately negotiates the rivalry between Holmes and Hudson by rooting her detective work in domestic details." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that readers "should be won over by this affectionate homage." The story's follow up, Mrs. Hudson and the Malabar Rose, portrays the famous detective's intrepid housekeeper giving Holmes pointers on a case involving an illusionist and missing jewels.
Davies veers away from her Mrs. Hudson character in The Conjurer's Bird, a novel about a search for the world's rarest bird specimen, first collected by Captain Cook in the South Pacific in 1774. Cook gave the specimen to naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, and then it disappeared. The story follows a series of characters interested in finding the bird for disparate reasons. The story is "a good-natured combination of hammy modern and more sensitive historical mysteries," wrote a Kirkus Reviews, contributor. A reviewer writing in Publishers Weekly called the novel a "gripping book of literary suspense," adding that Davies "renders the novel's botanical and zoological details with an immediacy that helps along the narrative."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2004, review of Mrs. Hudson and the Spirits' Curse, p. 1119; September 1, 2005, review of The Conjurer's Bird, p. 932.
Library Journal, April 1, 2005, Ann Kim, review of Mrs. Hudson and the Malabar Rose, p. 76.
Publishers Weekly, November 8, 2004, review of Mrs. Hudson and the Spirits' Curse, p. 39; August 29, 2005, review of The Conjurer's Bird, p. 31.