That’s not as surprising as you might think because N.P. Boyce’s wonderful creation could easily have appeared in an episode of a rather well known British sci-fi T.V. series. You see N.P. Boyce has form here. He is a writer and editor based in London and has previously published work with Big Finish’s Doctor Who and Bernice Summerfield ranges. He has also provided non-fiction material for Classic Doctor Who DVDs.
Indeed, “Veronica Britton: Chronic Detective” has been a most unusual project for Proxima. Eighteen months ago, Boyce approached me with a novella and a concept so ambitious that I instantly wanted to know more. In the intervening time, Proxima has worked with him as he expanded the universe of his charismatic central character, then gone back and heavily reworked early episodes to produce a cleverly structured novel. He says his favourite authors include Wilkie Collins, George Orwell, Christopher Priest and Kurt Vonnegut, and their influence certainly shows here.
Boyce introduces us to a Victorian time-traveller detective whose patch is all of London across all of time. During her adventures, we meet an exotic array of characters: an attractive time-sensitive companion, a mysterious chief of the Ministry of Time, a Tudor secret agent, a King who dreams the city and several quite macabre armies.
From an initial missing person case, Boyce takes his reader into uncharted territories. Time itself twists and turns, London is remade as the reader is treated to a chronogeographic apocalypse and Veronica becomes something far more than a simple detective.
Yet, at its very core, “Veronica Britton: Chronic Detective” remains a story of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. The fate of everything turns on the very human motivations and actions of lovers: past, present and future.
Oh, and did I mention there was a cat in it?
Veronica Britton: Chronic Detective is available now, and at a Time Pool near you.