Monday, February 20, 2012

An Inside Look at Mr. Kennedy and the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard

To celebrate the debut release of AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY, I thought I'd take these next few days here at Get Lost in a Story to give you an inside look into Detective Kennedy's world of sleuthing and intrigue. Fairly basic to his success in the field are the gadgets and weapons both he and the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard rely on to help them solve the case and bring in the bad guys.

Day One : Monday, February 20, 2012

G I Z M O S,  G A D G E T S,  W I D G E T S   
A N D  W E A P O N S 
of Special Branch, Scotland Yard

Put James Bond in a time machine and transport him to late Victorian London, add a good bit of Sherlock Holmes, a splash of Lord Byron and you get pretty close to The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard. Although the detectives are reality-based characters, the plot lines, sleuthing methods and gadgetry edge on Steampunk. Just take a look at their gadgets!

This is the real thing, an antique Webley Mk I .455 Revolver, circa 1887. Standard issue small-arm for Special Branch Yard men.

 By 1887, an electrical torch powered dry cell batteries is designed and tested for field use. Batteries are laid front to back in a paper tube capped with a light bulb and a rough brass reflector. A number of these prototype devices are donated to Scotland Yard whose Special Branch detectives, respond favorably to them.

 By the 1880's Victorian London is awash in anarchists both domestic and foreign. These destructive dynamiters are the prime reason for the creation of Special Branch, Scotland Yard.
 For Scotland Yard's secret weapon against the dynamiters see below

Alfred's not a gadget, he's a special operative and he's also the most valuable dog in Queen Victoria's Empire. Named after Alfred Nobel, the bloodhound has been trained to alert to the scent of diatomaceous earth and sodium carbonate as well as nitro. Alfred enjoys a supporting role in every Gentlemen of Scotland Yard novel and nearly always steals the scene.

Known affectionately as "Roger" by Special Branch Yard men, the skeleton key is capable of opening any lock regardless of make or type. 

H A T   D E T E C T I V E   C A M E R A
In an upcoming story, Archibald Bruce, director of the Special Branch Crime Laboratory, spends a great deal of time and effort perfecting the hat detective. The camera folds inside the same as an ordinary opera hat. The Lens and shutter may be immediately placed into position by a bayonet joint. It is fitted with the best Rectilinear lens, working at f/11.   

Rifle silencer invented by Hiram Percy Maxim with design input and financing from Phineas Gunn, the the hero of book three in the series, A Private Duel with Agent Gunn.


Q U E S T I O N   F O R  C O M M E N T E R S:

What is your all time favorite spy gadget from film, novels or TV?

C O N T E S T  &  G I V E A W A Y S

To celebrate my debut release, I am giving away a signed copy of AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY to one commenter everyday for three days. In addition, all commenters will be entered in a special giveaway promotion: Jewelry inspired by the romantic notion of recapturing lost time as the French title ‘Le Temps Perdu’ A Steampunk watch necklace from the Time Travel Collection by Yolanda Pang. Cyber travel to Poetic Designs and see for yourself just how whimsical this watch necklace is! 

The AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY promotion continues here at Get Lost in a Story for three days! I will post the winner on here on February 23 and on my website:  
Leave a comment each day and you have another chance to win.
Good luck everyone!

 Tomorrow the heroine of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy, Cassandra St. Cloud, will discuss her influences in art, and share a few little known facts about Mr. Kennedy!

For the story blurbs for An Affair with Mr. Kennedy, A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis and A Private Duel with Agent Gunn, visit my website:

***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America and Canadian addresses only. If an electronic Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, I may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


booklover0226 said...

James Bond always had some great gadgets but my favorite was Maxwell Smart's shoe-phone!

An Affair with Mr. Kennedy has been added to my wish list.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Karen H in NC said...

I'm a big fan of not only James Bond films but ALIAS! I think Marshall was the wizard of gadgets and gizmos with at least one outstanding prop in every episode for 5 years! Can't really name a favorite though.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Cat Schield said...

I love Alias, but recently I'm become a huge fan of Burn Notice. I like the way Michael makes cool spy gadgets out of simple things. One episode he made a receiver out of a wire hanger, a pringles can and some USB cable so he was able to capture a cell phone signal. I don't know if it was possible, but it sure looked cool!

Congrats on the new release, Jillian! I can't wait to follow Mr. Kennedy's adventures.

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

I always liked the gadgets in Wild Wild West - the TV show. But, I will also go with Maxwell Smart's shoe phone as my favorite. Get Smart was a great show.

I really want your book- How many times can I post the next 3 days! And I LOVE your cover. It is one of my favorite covers ever.

Renee said...

Oh I love gadgets, and like Cat, I love them made out of simple things like hairs placed across doors to find out if someone was there. I love everday things masquerading as innocent objects yet containing tear gas or bullets and such. I loved the hat that Odd Job had on bond that when thrown cut the head off of a statue. Pretty impressive!

Quilt Lady said...

Hey I love gadgets too. James Bond really had some neat ones. Love the cover of this book and its sounds like a very interesting read. Can't wait to read it.

Jillian Stone said...


I had a feeling the shoe phone was going to be popular!

Gjillian said...

Karen H in NC,

I just don't think it's a spy story without gadgets and gizmos! In the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series I get to add a little Steampunk by making the gadgets and vehicles "experimental" and slightly ahead of 1887.

Gjillian said...

Cat Schield,

Thanks Cat! I'm checking out Burn Notice! Love cool gadgets make out of found objects!

Gjillian said...

Hi Tammy!

You have three or four more chances to comment as this is my debut author week at Get Lost in Story!

I have received so many compliments on the cover of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy. I was truly blessed by the cover Gods!

Gjillian said...


Yes, Odd Job's bowler. Great gadget!

Na said...

These gadgets are so interesting. I especially like the Roger key and wished moden keys looked like that! Not to mention how handy it is for the men of Scotland Yard.

Gjillian said...

Quilt Lady,

I think human beings just have a fascination with tools, widgets, and gadgets. Look at all the gizmos they sell on TV––for $9.99––like the microwave pasta cooker!

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Hi Jill -

I was thnking of commenting 8 or 10 times each day!

It is so funny how much your cover speaks to me. The cover gods did bless you!

chey said...

Get Smart's shoe phone is my favourite.

Winnie P said...

The shoe phone was also the first thing that popped into my mind also. The cone of silence was the thing that really made me laugh. How about the lipstick gun?

Angi Morgan said...

Can't wait to read this one, I've waited for it a long time.

You know, I was probably exposed to GET SMART before any other spies. LOVE THAT SHOW ! Agent 99 was awesome.


Heather Snow said...

Hi Jillian! I LOVE this post...I have my copy of AN AFFAIR WITH MR KENNEDY, in paperback because the cover is SO scrumptious! I can't wait to start reading (as soon as I turn in my proposal, it is my reward!).

Congratulations on your success, my friend. I know you've worked hard for it, and I can't wait to watch it all roll in for you!

Jane said...

Congrats on the new release, Jill. Batman has some cool gadgets, but I can't think of any specific ones except his Batmobile.

Donnell said...

Oh, Jill, you're out, you're out. I loved MacGyver, and Maxwell Smart. I am the corniest person imaginable, but gadgets have always appealed to me. Cannot wait to read AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY! Yay!!!!

Barbara E. said...

My all time favorite spy gadget was James Bond's Lotus Esprit from the Spy Who Loved Me. Besides the machine gun disguised as headlights and surface to air missiles, it could convert from land use to underwater submarine use. I always loved all the gadgets that Q would come up with for 007, they were always really cool.
I liked the gadgets mentioned in the post and I'm really looking forward to reading An Affair with Mr. Kennedy.

kiki w said...

Sounds like this book is going to be great. I love to learn about old gadgets.

Nancy Holland said...

Hi, Jillian. Already have the book. Clearly in the competition for "sexiest historical cover ever." Can't wait to read it.

Gjillian said...

Hi Na,

Yes Roger is handy, all right! ;)

Gjillian said...

Hi Chey,

There's just something about that shoe phone!

Gjillian said...

A lipstick gun is a nifty go-to item for a female agent in a tight spot. Good one!

Gjillian said...

Thanks Angi!

Maxwell Smart might not have ever solved any crimes had it not been for dumb luck and 99!

Gjillian said...

Thanks Heather!

I am also looking forward to sitting down to a nice hot cup of tea and Sweet Enemy. And great success back at you!

Gjillian said...

Oh yeah, he did have some excellent gadgets, like his bat cape glider!

Gjillian said...

Thanks Donnell!

For me, it's just not a spy story without codes to crack, secret weapons and a sleuthing gadget here and there!

Gjillian said...

Barbara E,

I love the classic Bond films with Sean Connery and especially Q's gadget demonstration scenes!

Gjillian said...

Thanks kiki w,

What is fun about the Victorian gadget conceit is that what seems old to us is futuristic to them!

Gjillian said...

Hi Nancy!

Indeed, I have been blessed by the cover gods! There is just something about Mr. Kennedy––the way he is holding her and then she's rather intriguing herself. It's a lovely mystery!

bn100 said...

Great post! I would say Maxwell Smart's shoe phone.


LilMissMolly said...

Arsnic. You don't see much poisoning these days.
lvsgund at

Maria from 'gaelikaa's diary' said...

Quite a creepy post. Very atmospheric...

lindseye said...

I always enjoyed The Adventures of Brisco County Jr who had lots of western steampunk gadgets.
linze_e at

Eli Yanti said...

congrats on your debut release ;)

i love the cover so much, pls dont change it =D

Margay said...

I can't really think of any gadgets because I don't watch a lot of spy movies, but these ones look cool!

Tammy Yenalavitch said...


When I got home from work last night, I really looked at all your great gadgets. Alfred is absolutely adorable - a special operative bloodhound. I bet he always gets his man!

Gjillian said...

Congratulations lindseye!!!

You've won a signed copy of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy! Please go to the WINNERS tab under the masthead and e-mail your mailing information. I'll get your copy out to you right away.

To find out who won the Steampunk Watch Necklace go to my website:

Thanks to all of you who shared your favorite spy gadgets it was so much fun to chat with you!

Jim Thomson said...

Really Good Post

We provide quality gun camera to our customers with affordable prices. At our site, you will also be amazed with our excellent .

Anonymous said...

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or
something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home
a bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog.
An excellent read. I'll definitely be back.
Also visit my site ... ameriloan