W. P. “Bill” Lawler is not one of those retirees who gets bored. He golfs; plays piano, guitar and banjo and he write books. The former Pittston Area elementary/middle-school teacher has written and published four books since he retired in 2000.
His latest is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche “Treachery in Torquay” wherein Holmes and Dr. Watson investigate murderous goings on in the usually peaceful English village of Torquay.
As the book’s rear cover blurb puts it “The lovely coastal community hard by the English Channel is now having to deal with a series of brutal crimes, the likes of which it has never seen before.”
The brutality begins in the first chapter when well-known Torquay resident Henry Dinsmore — a kind, hardworking man with no apparent enemies — is beaten to death walking home from work one foggy night.
Could he have been killed by the demon on a black horse of local folklore, a member of a Druid sect, or a jealous wife? Theories abound and bodies pile up. As the mystery deepens, enter Holmes and Watson to investigate the case.
“Treachery in Torquay” was released in September, 2018, by MX Publishing, London, UK, — the world’s largest publisher of Sherlock Holmes inspired books — and is available by contacting RankAmBill@comcast.net or at Amazon where it is available in both paperback and Kindle formats. There’s still time to get it for a Christmas gift with Amazon Prime.
Lawler, who lives in West Wyoming with his wife, Gloria, also a retired teacher, said, “I always liked to put things down on paper. I wrote a yearly poem for my golf team, when I coached in the 80s. I used to refer to it as ‘terse verse.’ ”
“Treachery in Torquay” is Lawler’s second Sherlock Holmes book. The first combined a Holmesian mystery with Lawler’s other love — golf. “Mystery at St. Andrews” is set at the home of golf, the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland.
Lawler always loved Sherlock Holmes and has read the complete collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Holmes mysteries several times, so it was a natural for him to combine a Holmes mystery with golf in “Mystery at St. Andrews” which was published in 2012, also by MX Publishing.
Lawler said in 1999 he wrote a history of Fox Hill Country Club for the club, which he believes “lit the fire that now burns for writing.” The club history led to his first two books “Rank Amateur, A Selection of Musings and Vague Recollections of a Passionate Golfer” (2006) and its sequel “Rank Amateur II, the Saga Continues”(2009.) The books, Lawler said, “ detail many of my experiences playing major level amateur golf over many, many years.”
So what’s next for Lawler? “I’m working on a book about Jimmy Brozzetti from Dunmore. Jim is famous for having attended 917 straight Yankee home games over an 11-year period. I hope to have it finished by the end of December.”