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The Isle of Devils

Author(s): Craig Janacek

Location(s): Bermuda

Genre(s): Historical, Mystery

Era(s): Later 19th Century

November, 1880. An aimless, freshly-wounded twenty-eight year-old discharged British Army surgeon finds himself washed ashore on the lush Atlantic island of Bermuda. He has few prospects, and seems content roaming the back streets of the ancient town of St. George’s, reading mystery novels, and wagering on games of chance. Slowly, it begins to dawn on him that his residence, the Globe Hotel, is filled to the brim with a series of enigmatic globetrotters. Why have the hurried English naturalist, the suave Portuguese traveler-in-wines, the gigantic Australian rugby-player, the languid Italian painter, the rough Greek pugilist, the fastidious Turkish engineer, the ireful Bohemian physician, the frail Spanish Marquesa, and the acerbic French solicitor with his stunning new American bride all gathered in this sleepy town in the farthest reaches of the British Empire? All of these idle ponderings are dashed from his brain when a terrible hurricane descends upon the isle and threatens to destroy the town. But when he awakens to find a dead man in the room next door, shot seven times and his corpse defaced with lurid symbols, everything and everyone begin to take on a sinister light. Asked to assist the outclassed local constable in his efforts to unravel the plethora of suspects and clues, he magnificently rises to the task. But what he discovers upon the Isle of Devils will change his life forevermore and set him upon the path to his destiny.

Told with a deep affection for the land and customs of Bermuda, The Isle of Devils seems at once fresh and yet wistfully familiar. Herein lies the long-lost earliest adventure – before he became the loyal friend and companion to the world’s first consulting detective – of one of the greatest writers to ever set ink upon a page.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021