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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Baltimore Diaries (Again-illy)…

from Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:

Watson – I have been doing a little digging concerning D’bignose and his associates…I fear we have stepped in to a veritable Vipers’ Nest of Political Intrigue, Skullduggery and Matters which should not be brought in to the Public Arena. I fear poor Poe was getting too near to exposing these corrupt and, yes, evil people, masquerading as Public Citizens and Guardians of the Peace, and paid the ultimate price for his Investigations.

I believe our very Lives are in danger, also, and we must therefore proceed with the utmost Care and Caution, looking over our shoulders at every turn, and ensuring our finely-honed senses and famous Antennae are tuned to the highest setting.
Did you by any chance pack your Special Supplies and Artefacts, as they assuredly would prove themselves Extremely useful in this instance? – I trust you also have brought your Ancillary Bag, with its contents. I believe, Watson, that we have entered in to a Case, which may prove to be our most Dangerous yet, fraught with Terrible Happenings, and Frightful Peril. For once, your legendary Warnings of Doom may be well-founded, but before we can even attempt to start our enquiries, we must locate Barnaby and that Dolt of a Sergeant, who went off 2 hours ago – to “Reconnoitre the Locality” – doubtless we will find them legless and devoid of dignity in some Hostelry or other…or Worse.

Therefore, it falls to us to search the Area, without entering in to similar difficulties…I realise that will be fairly hard to accomplish, but attempt it we must….Meet me outside “The Gibbet and Post” in 30 minutes, ready to venture forth in to the fray.
Your friend, SH.

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Posted by on January 31, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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Baltimore Diaries…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

From the diary of Doctor Watson

Our first port of call on arriving in Baltimore, was to visit Inspector D’bignose at the Police Department. The inspector went over his theories concerning the death of Mr Poe, while entertaining us with various anecdotes about his fellow officers. Holmes began to grow a little weary of these stories and at length advised our friend that perhaps he “might proceed to the actual point?”

The inspector then went on to tell us how between September 28 to October 3, his investigations could not prove conclusively whether Poe died by his own foolish behaviour, by an illness, by a gang of political hooligans, or at the hands of a cold-blooded killer. Though, he added, it was his own theory that ‘something wicked this way comes.”

Holmes smirked and muttered something along the lines of how Americans always quote Shakespeare at the most inappropriate times.

Inspector D’bignose flushed. “I was merely supposing, Mr Holmes, that whoever done for Mr Poe may still be out there.” He peered around suspiciously, as if a murderer might be lurking round every corner. “Waiting for his next unsuspecting victim.”

Holmes snorted. “I suggest we move on, Inspector. Watson and I will question Dr Snodgrass.”

And with that, Holmes turned on his ever-so-gallant heel and walked out into the street. After a moment he re-entered the room and coughed. “Where exactly can we find Dr Snodgrass, Inspector?”

The Inspector scribbled an address on a piece of paper and handed it to Holmes. After the latter had again departed, the policeman gave me a baleful stare. “Just between you and me, Doctor, I’d keep an eye out for your companion – if there is a killer out there, he might come a-knock knock knocking at your chamber door.”

I thanked him for his help and hurried off after Holmes, wondering if it was the Inspector himself who was responsible for the murder – if indeed, one had been committed.

To be continued

Watson

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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Barnaby Grudge…

from Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:

Watson – I do hope you have recovered sufficiently by now from your recent gastric problems to be prepared to accompany me on an investigation, should such be required; I have received word of a somewhat worrying situation which has arisen, which, if released into the public arena, could shatter the Careers and Reputations of several prominent Citizens, my own self included.

The person or persons behind said Scandal-in-the-Making is, unfortunately, so far unknown, but I have a few suspicions based on certain peculiarities in the syntax and grammar used in the Threatening Notes which have been sent to the individuals involved. I have to inform you that we will be joined on this case by our old friend Tom Barnaby, but unfortunately of course, this means his rather annoying and irritating Sergeant will also be included in the package. I know you and this gentleman have unfinished business to settle, but I strenuously advise you to rein in your horses
and act like a Gentleman, as fisticuffs and scabrous language would only add to the rancorous feelings and intrude negatively on our dealings.

I realise this will involve much self-control on your part, but I trust that the Mindfulness and Mystical Meditation Weekend which your good lady forced – sorry – invited you to accompany her, over the New Year Period, will have helped you greatly in this respect – you must not adopt your usual sneering attitude to the ways of our Oriental cousins, as I myself, as you know, have reaped huge benefits from my studies and practices in these areas; in fact I go as far as to credit them with a goodly part of my success in solving some of our more inscrutable outings; therefore, I will expect to see you, prepared to adopt a demeanour of complete aplomb, ready to meet our colleagues with the utmost professionalism and civility, keeping any private and personal disputes well-tucked-away and set-aside.

Your friend, SH.

NB Watson – Just received your missive, therefore I have telegraphed Tom Barnaby, and he will be delighted to accompany us to Baltimore – the other matter can be left simmering on the stove – a few days here nor there will make much difference.

SH.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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American Psycho Killer…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
Holmes,

I know you’re probably a little bored at the moment, but I have something I think you’ll be interested in – yesterday morning I had a letter from an old pal of mine. Edgar Allan Poe, or Eddy Poo-Brain (as I used to call him) attended a school near the house of my Great Aunt Mimsy while I was holidaying in Hackney with her one year. I was surprised that Poe still considered us to be pals – the last time we met, I put him over the kitchen table and gave him a good licking for scaring my Great Aunt with tales of a diabolical raven who came tapping at her chamber door in the middle of the night. The poor woman hasn’t slept properly since.

However, I digress: shortly after reading his letter, I received a rather alarming telegram from the Baltimore police department. It seems that last week, Poe was found in a drunken state outside Ryan’s Tavern and was subsequently taken to hospital where he died a few days later. As if this news were not upsetting enough, the message went on to ask if Sherlock Holmes would be interested in investigating rumours that Poe did not, as was first thought, die of alcohol poisoning, but was in fact the victim of murder.

I’ll be happy to make the necessary arrangements should you wish to take on the case.

Yours Watson.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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Marley’s Ghost…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
Holmes,
In view of recent events, I thought I’d better let you have my notes following on from your description of the incident concerning my exploding bowels…

From my perch inside Dickens’ water closet, I could hear the infamous scribbler arguing with my companion. As I concentrated on arranging my toilette, the stench of sulphur reached my tender nostrils. Pulling my trousers up (hopefully for the last time), I heard the clatter of what sounded like rusty chains being dragged along bare floorboards by some long-dead moneylender. I immediately put this ridiculous thought out of my head and burst through the door to take in a curious scene:
 
Dickens was back in his chair by the fire, his face as pale as an uncooked pancake, while Holmes stood over him,  staring across the room towards the door. I came out of the closet and turned my eyes towards an astonishing sight – a figure was in the doorway, his clothes ragged and dirty and his hands gripping the ends of the heavy chains that trailed after him. These chains seemed to consist of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel.

Dickens voice broke out: “Who the devil are you?”

I stared at the apparition, the stench of sulphur once again in my nostrils as the strange creature uttered these words…

“Ask me who I was.” The ghost (for I was convinced that this is what we beheld before us) spake again:

“Bugger off!” shouted Holmes.

“You don’t believe in me,” said the spirit, jangling his chains.

I was stood stock still in fright, my bowels trembling in my trousers, but Holmes took charge of the strange situation. Charging forward, he grasped the figure by the collar and shook him violently.

“Nice try, friend, but not nice enough to fool the greatest ghost-buster in town.” And with that he bopped the fellow over the head with a cosh (which presumably explained the bulge in his pocket) and the ‘ghost’ fell to the ground, groaning. Holmes grabbed the canister of sulphurous fumes that protruded from the stranger’s coat pocket. “Apologies Watson, I wrongly deduced that you were responsible for the atrocious smell.”

“Oh my fucking Christ,” exclaimed Dickens, hurrying across the room. “What can it be, what can it be?”

Holmes rolled his eyes and gave him a sardonic stare. “For God’s sake, Charlie, it’s just old Crowley up to his tricks again.” He slapped Dickens across the face. “You’re an idiot. Anyone can see this charlatan was simply playing you at your own game – feeding on your own pathetic insecurities. He had me going for a moment with that clever cast of Moriarty’s face on the door knocker, but now I see the truth. You see, Mr Dickens, the market for summoning up spirits isn’t what it was, so this inventive pea-brain was clearly hoping to induce some sort of collaborative deal with you on the basis of this…” He waved a dismissive hand at Crowley, who was rubbing his injured head. “This character.”

Holmes walked over to the fire and picked up his deerstalker. “Come along Watson, and please abstain from your pharting activities til you are safely within the bounds of your own water closet.” As he strode past the trembling Dickens, he added, “And if I were you Chas, I’d join forces with Crowley on this preposterous story. The man’s an idiot, but I must admit, he has an interesting creation here. ‘Man in Chains at Christmas’ – good title for one of your yuletide tales, I should think.” And with that he was off.

I nodded to Dickens and gave Crowley a swift kick as I passed.

And home (at last) to Mrs Watson.

Watson.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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