The very name sounds like two thumps of a pile driver and still carries the echo of what the Romans called it two thousand plus years ago—Londinium.
All great cities become distinct characters in novels, but London—the place where I grew up, lived, and worked—has a particular hold on the imagination.
Charles Dickens. Conan Doyle. Graham Greene. Ian Fleming. Len Deighton. John Le Carre. Great writers all have all had London at the centre of most all of their works. Inspiration built upon inspiration.
The first short story—set in present day London—is from an anthology edited by Leslie Klinger and Laurie R. King:
A STUDY IN SHERLOCK Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon
Inspired by the Holmes Canon
A STUDY IN SHERLOCK - 17 stories written by such luminaries as Lee Child, Neil Gaiman, Jacqueline Winspear, Jan Burke, and Laura Lippman. Tony's story:
As to 'An Exact Knowledge of London'
Tony Broadbent rather brilliantly brings Holmes and Watson to present-day London in a quite different way from TV's Sherlock. Equally dazzling is Neil Gaiman's tale of Holmes and bees in China. There isn't a dud here. — The District Messenger (Official monthly newsletter of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London.)
…But the best stories focus on the universal appeal of Holmes. Tony Broadbent in "As to 'An Exact Knowledge of London'" and Neil Gaiman in "The Case of Death and Honey" both explore the tantalizing question of how Holmes manages to be both fictional and immortal. — Kirkus
Laurie R. King (The Beekeeper's Apprentice and 10 other Mary Russell novels) and Leslie S. Klinger (The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes) have not stuck to the usual suspects for this stellar anthology of new short stories that pay homage to the great detective... — Publishers Weekly
Arguably the most exciting city in the world. A magnet to the imagination. And so much larger than life—there could be no other choice but to name it twice. It's certainly the city that never sleeps. Or can ever afford to. Vigilance is all.
All great cities lend their distinct character to films as well as novels, but New York—whether called Gotham or The Big Apple—whether the story is set in yesterday, today or tomorrow—seems to excite the mind like no other.
This third short story takes place in pre and post 9/11 New York and is from an anthology of short stories compiled by Mystery Writers of America and edited by Brad Melzer:
The Mystery Box – Stories of what lies hidden inside the mystery box
"Dust to dust. Ashes to ashes.
Smithereens to smithereens.
Illegitimum non carborundum."
– NYPD Bomb Squad Officer
"This all-original MWA anthology includes a nice mix of big names and rising stars among its 21 offerings, all plotted in some manner around a box (literal or metaphorical) and its contents."
— Publishers Weekly
"I will confess that I had been relatively unfamiliar with Tony Broadbent before reading his excellent "The Remaining Unknowns." I will be sure to rectify that oversight. The story involves the member of a bomb squad who is called to a particularly difficult job. As he thinks about how to save the citizens of New York, he recollects about his past and his family, even as his own life hangs in the balance. The result is an edge-of-the-seat read with a ticking clock that drowns out all else."
— Bookreporter NY, NY