Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Dickens of a Curry…

from Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:
Here are my hurried notes which I was forced to scribble down, due to your extremely quick departure to Dickens’ water-closet, caused by the unstoppable explosive nature of your severe reaction to that curry. I had a feeling when you informed me that it was a Two-for-One Deal from Master Sainsbury’s Emporium that you might be regretting it later. I heard from my Sources that they had had a delivery of old mutton from that new Butcher’s, handily situated next to the Abattoir, which unfortunately has been inundated with complaints after whole swathes of the Local Community went down with some nasty case of food poisoning. I believe this to have been engineered specifically to disguise the deliberate poisoning of Lord X, which we were called in to investigate the other day, but I digress.

After your disappearance, Dickens shot me a look so filled with Fear and Loathing that I momentarily lost my customary composure, and began fiddling with the end of my instrument, concealed safely within the pocket of my frock-coat. Dickens’ eyes bulged hugely from his whey-coloured visage, his lips drawn back in a ghastly parody of a man convulsed with laughter, but it was not hearty barks of merriment which issued from his mouth – he turned slowly in a sideways fashion and emitted a high-pitched squeal – “My God, Man, but you’re stinking up the place to High Heaven!!”

I had to admit that the odour issuing from the Water-Closet was hardly pleasant, but his rude and insensitive ejaculation did appear somewhat cruel, and I said as much to him. He turned to me with what I presumed would be some sort of Literary Put-down, but instead, a bone-chilling scream filled the room and caused him to fall off the Pouffe, dangerously close to the Fender – as I rushed to a grudging rescue, still smarting from his inconsiderate treatment of your good self, we both noticed another noxious smell in the room – but this one had the distinct tang of sulphur. What on earth!

At that moment, we heard the flush of Dickens’ new-fangled high-level cistern, and you appeared, silhouetted in the doorway, one hand down your trousers, adjusting some item of apparel, and the other locked on your trusty piece. “Let him have it!” I bellowed, and just at that moment, as your eyes adjusted to the fire-light, I heard an explosion, and muffled curses, as you rushed once more to relieve yourself.

To be continued.

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Posted by on December 29, 2014 in Detective Fiction


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A Dickens of a Christmas…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

As promised, here are my notes from the other night…

Holmes and I arrived at Dickens’ house at the appointed hour (11:55pm) on Christmas Eve. At my companion’s suggestion, I had brought along my patented ‘ghost buster’ tool which Holmes thought might come in handy if the so-called spirits turned out to be more flesh than fiend.

I was about to rap on the door knocker when Holmes touched my arm:

“Watson, stay your hand a moment…” and he indicated the door knocker itself, which until that moment I had only perceived as an instrument of knockerability. Now I saw to my horror that the design of the thing took the form of a human face, and one I was all too familiar with.

“Why Holmes,” I exclaimed. “It’s the face of Mr Bun the Baker!”

My companion chuckled. “Oh my dear Watson – had I half your imagination we should be in a jolly fix indeed. No, Doctor, it is in fact the face of our old friend Professor Moriarty.”

“Professor Moriarty?!” I screamed.

“Yes, Watson,” whispered my companion, clamping a hand over my mouth. “The very same. Now let us proceed with caution and a greater degree of quietude.”

I quickly recovered myself and assured Holmes of my support.

“I advise you to keep one hand on your tool, Watson.” And with that, he took out his set of skeleton keys and a moment later the door swung open and we stepped inside the house.

Dickens appeared from a side door, sweat dripping from his brow and a look of consternation on his poor face. “Thank Christ you’re here, Mr Holmes, and you too, Good Doctor.” He strode forward and grasped our hands, welcoming us into his home with a passion I would not have thought possible for a man of his stature.

Leading us through to the library, Dickens bid us to sit by the fire. “Tis almost time,” he whispered, glancing about himself as if expecting some apparition to appear. “At any moment the apparition will appear.”

I would have congratulated myself on my assessment of the situation, but at that very moment, the grandfather clock in the corner struck the hour. It was midnight.

Dickens seemed to withdraw into himself and leaned back into his chair as if it might protect him from whatever he was afraid of.

Holmes leaned forward, his keen senses picking up every movement, every sound. A sudden explosion of hot air rattled from underneath my chair. Holmes turned to me, a look of irritation in his eyes. “Was that you, Watson?”

“Sorry Holmes, I shouldn’t have had that curry.”

He silenced me with a finger to his lips, and peered around the room. Meanwhile, I watched Mr Dickens and noted with some alarm that the fellow’s face had drained of all colour…

To be continued

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Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Detective Fiction


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Flute Notes on a Mel and Patsy Pond…

from Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:

Watson – I should like to express my thanks for the Hamper of Delights, having sampled a selection, with Mrs Hudson this forenoon; she expressed her satisfaction with the Tessellated Twists, stating that they brought back memories of afternoons spent on Brighton’s sands, canoodling with her Johnny on his infrequent visits to Blighty, preferring, as he did, to wend his way through the Fleshpots of Europe, hawking his wares. I believe Hudson is still seeking treatment for conditions transferred to her person on those halcyon days long-gone.

As to Byron’s catchy ditty – I have transcribed the lyrics, including those in the vernacular dialect, in to my catch-all Notebook, which also includes the verbatim reports of your Night Terrors, captured occasionally on my nocturnal travels round 221B. I give you my word that they will never be used for purposes of Blackmail while breath inhabits my body.

On a different note, I could not believe the ruckus created in Geneva by the arrival of the warbler Jim Kerr and his good lady Patsy Kensit – trust that fool Byron to stir the pot, bringing up the subject of Patsy’s latest Burlesque Performance in the Lethal Weapon franchise, pay-rolled by our friend Dickens, and his business-partner Collins. Why did he have to egg Kerr on, fuelling his already bubbling suspicions as to her relationship with Mr Gibson, our friend from The Colonies, who had a leading role in this Family-Friendly production? To infer that Mr Gibson was offering more than professional encouragement was unnecessary and inflammatory – I am rather irked at having to part-fund the replacement chandelier, broken in the fray which ensued. I wonder whether the couple will weather the storm created by that nincompoop?

To return to more important matters, I should be most keen to embark on Dickens’ conundrum with your good self; call round at your soonest convenience – Hudson may not hear you ring, as she has indulged in some of Mrs Watson’s Elixirs of The Orient. I trust they do not contain that new fashionable flavouring, purchased from Mr Chang’s Emporium – I believe it has been the downfall of several local worthies.

Awaiting your arrival, SH.

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Posted by on December 21, 2014 in Detective Fiction


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Byron’s Lament…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Just a quick note to let you know I arrived safely back in the arms of my dear lady wife this morning. My head is much better and I believe myself fully recovered from whatever awful substance I imbibed during our stay with those infantile Romantics.

I’d like to thank you too, Holmes, for not over-egging the proverbial custard with jibes about my poor constitution – I had enough of that from Byron when he cheered us off with a rendition of his infamous “We’ll Go No More A-Boozing”:

So, we’ll go no more a-boozing
So late into the night,
Though the guts be still as thirsty,
And the bum-hole still as tight…

I don’t recall the rest, but I’m sure the words will come back to haunt me if I ever dare to touch that vile liqueur again.

Anyway, I had a card this morning from Chas Dickens, claiming we promised to look into the so-called ‘three ghosts’ who are apparently still keeping him awake at night, quoting Nicholas Nickleby at him. I trust you’re up for a Christmas Investigation, old pal?

I’ll pop round shortly with some of Mrs Watson’s festive fare (though I’ve been up with the squits all night so you might want to stay away from her ‘triangles of delight’).



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Posted by on December 20, 2014 in Detective Fiction


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Vying for the Arms of Mary…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

(Hand-delivered by urchins)
Watson – I sincerely hope you have recovered from the vast quantities of wine you were forced to consume last night, due to the brain-numbingly tedious hours of drivel we were bombarded with, issuing from the apertures of our companions, in a seemingly constant flow of ineffable ordure, much as Hercules must have faced when tasked with the unenviable job of cleaning the Augean stables.

I admit even I was taken aback by the huge disparity in the Public Reputation of the Acclaimed Romantic Poets, and the actuality of their output, given that what we witnessed was an average offering. I am beginning to believe the ugly rumours of their employing what is aptly (in this case) termed Ghost Writers (not to be confused with Dickens’ latest Sideshow currently hawking round the countryside – “Ghost Rider”, with that well-known Thesp. Nicholas McCage).

By the way, as Mary and I were threading our way through the Shambles which was the Market in this wearisome, parochial backwater, who did we have the absolute misfortune to bump in to (as he strode self-importantly around the place, booming in a seeming parody of that other well-known show-off, Brian d’Blessed),none other than that unholy bore Branagh, scouting for ideas for some wretched scribble he and Dickens have been working on. And wouldn’t you know – although I warned her not to breathe a word about her Idea from the ridiculous Ghost-Story-Competition – she blabbed until she was blue in the face.

What will be the outcome of That, I asked myself, while eyeing up some tasty-looking Emmenthal, lying on a bed of freshly-picked Gentians, and securing for myself a real humdinger of a chunk of the best Swiss Shag.

Anyhow, Watson, I trust we will find you somewhat refreshed when we return, and keep your fingers crossed that we have managed to shake Branagh off, as he was hinting broadly that he wouldn’t mind seeing you again, to reminisce about The Old Days. I cared not for the sleazy gleam in his eye as he pronounced the sentence.

Your friend, much wearied in all manner of ways,


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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Detective Fiction


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Monsters Incorporated…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
Villa Diodati, Geneva
(from the Diary of Dr Watson)

The events of the last few days are even now a blur in my poor, addled brain. I awoke this morning thinking the whole thing may have been a dream, but the hastily scribbled notes from that awful night were still clutched in my wretched hand, as if some greater power would not allow me to let them go.

I hurried downstairs and found the house empty, only a barely-legible note from Holmes saying he and Mary had gone off to the market. However, reading between the lines, I deduced that my companion is keen to drill her on that dreadful tale of hers, banging those monstrous thoughts from her sweet brain.

Back in my bedroom with a much-needed pot of strong coffee, I read over my notes. My almost indecipherable scrawl shows I was clearly drunk with wine and fear, since it breaks off at what I assume was a crucial point in the evening. However, since I cannot at present recall anything further, I shall record my notes here. Perhaps at some future point, I will regain something of these lost nights….

Shelly, Byron and the young Mary are sitting by the window this evening as the storm thrashes the countryside, rain drumming against the windows like buckshot on a tin drum. Holmes and I amuse ourselves with a game of gin rummy, while keeping half an ear on our friends’ discussion. The three of them have for the last few hours, busied themselves writing so-called ghost stories, but it is only now that their discussion is becoming interesting. My companion whispers that I should take notes, so I will annotate their dialogue from this point onwards:

SHELLEY: I say Byron, this was a tremendous idea of yours for us to spend this frightful evening writing ghost stories.

BYRON: Ah, dear Shelley, I am full to the neck with good ideas. Have you finished your mystical masterpiece yet?

MARY: Yes darling, tell us what you’ve written so far.

SHELLEY: Oh I think it’s pretty well finished. D’you want to hear it?

MARY/BYRON:   Of course!

SHELLEY: Well, it starts off with this huge big monster. And he decided to go down to the village pub and eat all the pies. And do you   know? That’s exactly what happens. The end.

BYRON: My word. Percy, you are truly the brightest star in Christendom. Have another drink…

MARY: What happened next?

SHELLEY: What’s that, my love?

MARY: What happened next?

SHELLEY: That’s it. Finito.

BYRON: Madame, what a talent your lover has. We should hoist him somewhere high and make him do naughty things for money.


BYRON: Sorry, did I say that out loud?

MARY: Lord Byron, let us hear your masterpiece.

BYRON: Very well. Twas on a clear night and the stars were a-twinkling in the sky…

SHELLEY: What astonishing language, don’t you think, my love?

MARY: Indeed. [At this point I detected that Mary was becoming a little irritable]

BYRON: And from the heavens a great cloud of poo fell onto the earth and everyone thereon was poo’d upon.

SHELLEY: Great thundering thundery things. Byron, you are indeed a talent to behold on a wet and windy night.

BYRON: Come along Mary, let us hear your tale.

SHELLEY: Yes, share your teensy weensy little story with us, darling.

MARY: Well, I’ve called it a gothic science fiction novel. The story is initially told by a man called Robert Walton who, in his letters, quotes the narrative of the hero of the book, Victor Frankenstein, who, in turn, quotes the monster’s first-person narrative. In addition, there are several minor characters…

BYRON: Sorry, what? I didn’t understand a word of that – are you writing in some archaic language? A bluu bluu bluu lah de dah de diddly…

SHELLEY: Old Byron’s right, my love. Can’t you just tell us what it’s about?

MARY: It’s about a woman who murders her lover and her lover’s friend with a big knife during a stormy night when the three of them are holding a competition to write a ghost story.

BYRON: [Here, Byron paused for several long minutes] Right. Perhaps you’d better…

SHELLEY: Yes, my dear, please continue…sounds amazing, doesn’t it Byron?

BYRON: Extraordinary…I think we should have it published…

MARY: The event on which this fiction is founded has been supposed, by Dr. Darwin, and some of the physiological writers of Germany, as not of impossible occurrence. I shall not be supposed as according the remotest degree of serious faith to such an imagination; yet, in assuming it as the basis of a work of fancy, I have not considered…

To be continued


Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Detective Fiction


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