From Sherlock Holmes Esq to Doctor J. Watson
(Chateaux Pompadour, Rue de l’Ocean, Pornic, France)
As you will see from my current address, I am holidaying in a quaint little chateaux overlooking ‘Le Mer’ (excuse any shortcomings in my grammar – I haven’t locked lips with the lingo since prep school). After our last escapade, I decided to get away from it all for a while. Naturally, I would have invited you along, but given our recent adventures and the considerable time you and Mrs Watson have been apart, I thought it best to at least give her the opportunity of catching up on marital (ahem) activities.
You will be heartened that your missives are being forwarded to me via Henri the carrier pigeon, who is perched at my table as I write, awaiting the return communication. I perused your letter with great interest – the Starkadder brood sound fascinating and the case will no doubt provide an interesting distraction (I already have eight possible motives/murderers in mind). By all means sally forth down to Sussex and infiltrate the family. I will endeavour to join you in a few days, although Madame Pompadour and her large bosom appear to have one or two ‘petites faveurs’ on her agenda before I am able to depart this tranquil idyll.
Incidentally, I recall the incident at Folsom Lake and it may interest you to know that Henry Poste and his lady friend (mistress, actually, not wife), may have been the victims of foul play. In fact, I wondered at the time if it might be Miss Flora Poste herself who was behind the shenanigans. I have no wish to cast aspersions on your former classmate’s family, but please have a care in your dealings with the young woman – just in case.
By the by, you might wish to pack your trusty revolver – if at least one of my theories is correct, there will be another murder in the next few days.