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Alum publishes Sherlock Holmes tale

April 29, 2014
Richard Radek

Richard Radek

Many authors are depicting Sherlock Holmes in new mysteries since copyright protection has expired on nearly all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales.

One of those writers is NIU alum Richard Radek, who has used his music background to create the plot. His story, “Part 1: The Problem of the Singular Stradivarius,” begins during a concert attended by Holmes and Dr. Watson.

A famous Hungarian violinist runs screaming from the stage and proclaims that someone has ruined his Stradivarius. A major element of the story involves Holmes using his own music knowledge as a violinist to solve the case.

Radek, who earned a bachelor’s degree in music from NIU in 1969, says he imitates the style and substance of the original stories and is working on publishing Part II and III of his series.

“My own background as a principal orchestral player and lifelong musician certainly facilitated the writing,” said Radek, who plays the trumpet. “However, a substantial amount of additional research was required to nail down the major premises and the myriad of historical details that support the story.”

Radek’s primary job has been working in arbitration. More than 25 years of writing on legal and technical issues has helped him with novel writing, he said.

His daughter, Kimberly Radek, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at NIU, had a hand in editing the book, which is available on Kindle and Amazon. She is an English professor at Illinois Valley Community College.