Eastbourne and East Dean are the setting for the latest instalment of Sherlock Holmes, as the fictional detective uncovers a mystery near Beachy Head in a new book.
Written by New York Times bestselling author James Lovegrove, his second Sherlock Holmes novel ‘Gods of War’ is released on June 27, after his first instalment was released to rave reviews last year.
Set in 1913, with the threat of World War I hanging over England, the story begins with Dr Watson visiting his friend Holmes at his cottage in East Dean. As the body of a young man is discovered by the cliffs of nearby Beachy Head, the duo begin to investigate, uncovering a sinister conspiracy of shocking ramifications.
James Lovegrove said, “I am East Sussex born and bred and I’ve lived here for most of my life. It always had an appeal for me that Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes retire to a patch of countryside and coastline that I know so well. There have been other pastiche Holmes novels set during the great detective’s twilight years - Michael Chabon’s superb The Final Solution springs to mind - but none of the authors seem as familiar with the area as I am. In Gods Of War I have tried to make Edwardian Eastbourne and its surroundings as essential to the mood and atmosphere of the narrative as Victorian London is to the Holmes stories we know so well, not least by including local folk and folklore in the novel.”
Holmes has long been connected with East Dean - the retirement home of the fictional detective, also an avid beekeeper. A blue plaque on the Green marks his association with the village.
Sarah Leighton from the Beachy Head Estate said, “East Dean is proud of its association with Sherlock Holmes and it’s exciting to think of Beachy Head and surrounding countryside providing a backdrop to another adventure.” The book features Eastbourne venues including the Pier, Meads, Terminus Road, Grand Hotel and the station as well as Downland countryside like Beachy Head, Alfriston and the Cuckmere Valley.