from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
I had a telegram this morning that I believe will interest you, and since I perceived the other night that you have no urgent cases at present, I’m sure you’ll be glad to set your mind to the mystery.
The missive was from a chap named Wheatley who apparently is the author of several supposedly ‘popular’ novels of the occult variety – not the sort of thing you would read, Holmes. However, he recounts a rather interesting visitor: Wheatley, or Big Den, as he likes to be called, claims that one of his fictional characters – the Duke de Richleau – turned up on his doorstep the other night demanding that he perform some bizarre ritual in order to make him (Richleau) into a real person, rather than a fictional character.
I’m sure you’ll have already deduced, as I have, that this must be some weird blackmailing plot, but as Wheatley has invited us for dinner tomorrow evening, I thought it would at least give us an interesting puzzle to mull over.