ArcNews Online

Winter 2005/2006

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African Adventure Novel by ArcNews Editor Published

book coverThomas K. Miller, editor-in-chief of ArcNews for 11 years, recently saw his novel The Great Detective at the Crucible of Life published by Wildside Press (Rockville, Maryland) under his pen name "Thos. Kent Miller." This adventure through the deserts of Ethiopia in 1872 pays homage to both Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain stories.

Says Miller, "I wrote the novel because I had read all the Quatermain books and I was eager for more. But the last book was published in 1927! So I decided to write one myself." In the process, he created what amounts to a satire of the entire genre of Sherlockian pastiches.

The Great Detective at the Crucible of Life presents layers of lost texts, complete with tongue-in-cheek introductions and notes. And, of course, the underlying principle of geospatial analysis and GIS plays a part. As Sherlock says in the book, "[I]t is perfectly obvious that there are some correspondences here. The map seems to fit nicely… . We only need to put all this disparate information into focus."

The Great Detective at the Crucible of Life by Thos. Kent Miller (trade pbk ISBN 0-8095-0050-7, hardcover ISBN 0-8095-0049-3) is available at,, and most online bookstores. See for information on Miller's 1988 Tibetan sequel.

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