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Journalism Professor Turns Writing Skills
to Sherlock Holmes Mystery
January 24, 2000

In January 1999, workmen renovating a suite of offices in England uncovered a trove of unpublished journals kept by Dr. John H. Watson, companion and biographer of the world's first consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker St., London. The journals included some of the most disturbing cases the two men ever encountered.

The Monster of St. Marylebone by Wayne Worcester, a professor of journalism, gives the chilling account of one of those cases. Shortly after Jack The Ripper's killing spree ended, another serial killer began to terrify London. Preying on shopkeepers in one of the city's upscale neighborhoods, the attacker mutilated his victims before mercilessly killing them. Holmes himself was taken captive, but escaped and went on a personal and obsessive hunt for the killer.

Since Arthur Conan Doyle's death in 1930, dozens of authors have written about his most famous character. The Monster of St. Marylebone, published in Nov. 1999 by New American Library, is Worcester's first Sherlock Holmes novel and his first work of fiction. His second novel, which is also based on Watson's journals, is due out later this year.

An avid reader of mysteries, Worcester decided to write the Sherlock Holmes novels because he has always enjoyed reading them.

"People are advised to write what they know, and what I knew was Holmes and that period," he says.

In addition to his duties at UConn, Worcester is a freelance non-fiction writer. Before joining the university in 1987, Worcester worked as a reporter and editor at the Providence Journal. Worcester and Maureen Croteau, professor and head of the journalism department, are co-authors of The Essential Researcher.

Allison Thompson