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Away with Murder…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

(From the diary of Dr Watson)

After the excitement of possibly facing yet another threat to our continued partnership via the odd band of villains known as The Black Moriartys, I have to admit to being a little disappointed to find Holmes had solved the case of the Green Bicycle Murder. Our pal Marshall Hall, naturally enough, was having none of it and is convinced his client Ronnie Light is a shining beacon of innocence, so much so that he point blank refused to even consider Holmes’ theories.

“The man’s a fool,” muttered my companion as we settled ourselves into our carriage for the journey home. “Can’t see beyond his own self-importance.” (I almost pointed out that Holmes is on occasion a victim of such pretensions himself, but thought better of mentioning it – I can always add something along those lines as a footnote to what will eventually be the published account of this adventure in The Strand Magazine). Instead, I offered platitudes along the usual themes of reputation and experience and eventually my kind words lulled Holmes into a restful sleep.

It may be that someday the world will recognise the guilt of Mr Light and my friend’s conclusions given due consideration, but as always, Holmes is already thinking about our next case: a telegram arrived at the hotel as we were leaving, inviting us to the home of one Charles Condomine, who apparently is having some problems with his dead wife. No doubt that awful charlatan Madame Arcati will turn up, as the house is very near her own residence. (I haven’t mentioned this last detail to Holmes since I can imagine his response…)

We should have a little time to recharge our detectivational batteries before setting out on what I shall title The Adventure of the Man Whose Wife Was Already Dead. Or something along those lines…

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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On our Bikes…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

(From the diary of Dr Watson)

Our arrival in Leicester was, unlike our train journey, uneventful. Holmes and I were met at the station by a spectacularly dull policeman by the name of Oats, who kept making banal comments about how satisfied his wife was. The man conveyed us by hackney carriage to a police station somewhere on the south side of the city.

Edward Marshall Hall met us at the front desk and thankfully whisked us away from the unintelligent constable to a public house around the corner, where we feasted on some local delicacy. He went over the facts of the case with us and after lunch we were taken to the scene where the woman’s body was found – the Via Devana road, next to a farm gate.

Holmes and Hall pondered over the scene for some time while I made notes about the possible route taken by the victim, Miss Wright, that might have led her to this terrible fate.

That evening, we dined on mince and potatoes, then Holmes excused himself and went off for a walk. I retired to my room to update my diary and had been there only a short while when a note appeared under my door:

Watson – No doubt you will have been irritated, frustrated and slightly alarmed in turn on¬†hearing the news from Mrs Hudson that I did not show up at the expected hour to be able to receive you chez moi the other evening; you likely fell in to one of your morose, grumpy moods alternating between slightly peeved silence, and voluble, slightly agitated verbosity – I know them well….however, you would, had you known the reason for my absence, have experienced the sensation of an icy hand grasping your vitals and tightening ever more painfully to inflict the maximum levels of discomfort and panic – I can almost feel it myself now…..Listen carefully, and I shall begin…

My suspicions where immediately aroused by the reference to Holmes and I’s meeting a few nights ago. Clearly, this must be the work of The Black Moriarty’s again. However, it was also possible that Holmes had been kidnapped and that this was some sort of precursor to a ransom note. I hastened to the front door with the intention of following in my companion’s footsteps.

As I flung open the inn door, Holmes himself staggered inside, grasping his arm. “Holmes!” I cried, supporting him as he stumbled into the public bar. “What on earth…?”

But my words where cut short when Holmes caught sight of the note (which was still in my hand). “Ah-ha” he exclaimed. “As I suspected.” He gave me a long stare. “Thankfully, our friends, the Black Moriartys are not well coordinated; otherwise you might now be considering a blackmail threat.”

He pulled up a stool at the bar and ordered milk stout for both of us. “Unfortunately, my assailant was able to get his knife into me, so as soon as I have a few drinks and a quiet smoke by the fire, you had better cast your medical expertise over my wound.”

I had to admire Holmes – at a time when normal people would be screaming blue murder, Sherlock Holmes would not alter his night-time routine – even if it meant that he might bleed to death. What a trooper.

Watson

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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On Bicycles and Doughnut Holes…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Holmes,
Further to our meeting at Baker Street, I have booked us on the 8:50 to Leicester tomorrow morning, which should get us there in time for an early lunch with Marshall Hall. We can go over the facts of the case, such as they are, on the outward journey, though I have already come up with a catchy title for it (should we succeed in solving the puzzle and its denouement be submitted in due course to The Strand magazine): The Extraordinary Case of the Green Bicycle Murder. Good eh? I’ve also telegraphed Hall to have Ronnie Light made available for your examination at some point tomorrow.

On a lighter note, my lady wife (despite your constant jibes) has set herself the chore of equalling Mrs Hudson’s crispy doughnuts. I dare not tell her this is a pointless task, but I’m sure you’ll excuse me if I nevertheless feign high praise upon my wife’s perfect holes. (You might like to bring along some of Mrs Hudson’s creations all the same, in case my good lady’s portals prove inedible).

I shall call for you in the morning in good time.

Yours, as ever

Watson

 

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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On the Further Uses of Modern Technology…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Holmes
As you no doubt appreciated in writing such an emotion-tugging tale, my immediate thoughts on receiving it were that once again I had succumbed to the selfishness, self-loathing and utter desperation that clouds my judgment on hearing such desperate peril – I could not believe I had been so thoughtless as to consider for one tiny moment that you would hold me in anything other than the noblest and most honourable of estimations, a true friend of intimate and cherished acquaintance that could never be equalled by ordinary men.

I have never felt so low, Holmes, as I did in those moments when I feared that once again, I have betrayed your trust. Pause for effect. And then, Holmes, and THEN! I saw the light.

Throwing caution to the wind, I ran down to the nearest telegraph office and sent a telegram to The Tilted Wig, and do you know what? Within minutes I had a reply from the bartender (one Angus McCoatup) confirming that indeed Mr Sherlock Holmes and Inspector McRae have spent the previous few days in what I believe is commonly known as a ‘lock-in’ at that very same hostelry, downing samples of every alcoholic beverage in the place.

Hah! So you thought to confound me with another one of your puzzles, eh? Well, you certainly had me fooled, but then I realised that had you really been in that dire situation (as you claimed) you would have encountered two problems: firstly, unless your captors had confined you within a telegraph office I cannot imagine how you would have sent your previous message by telegram. And secondly, even you Holmes, would never have omitted to give precise instructions as to where your rescuers might find you.

Even so, I had my doubts and it wasn’t until I questioned the so-called Ghillie friend of yours and discovered him to be none other than that infamous music-hall comedian Fat Tommy McTrinder (he soon coughed up the truth when I plied him with a little of what he calls ‘the water of life’), and further confirmed that he has poor claim on being the ‘funniest man in Scotland’.

I should think you’ve had a jolly good laugh at me, Holmes, and for once I don’t hold it against you. However, I urge you to sally forth and make haste to Baker Street as an interesting case has come into our hands: it seems that a young woman has been shot dead in Leicester and the police have arrested some chap named Ronnie Light. Your old pal Edward Marshall (Upsadaisy) Hall is convinced of the man’s innocence and hopes we shall intervene in finding the real culprit. I have replied that we shall be in touch shortly.

Let me know when you are home.
Yours Waspishly, Watson

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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