from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
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.