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Some Murders are Announced…

By Carrier Pigeon to Inspector Lestrade

Best Beef
My Dear Lestrade

I am writing to advise you of the current situation vis a vis Messrs Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John (Big Boy) Watson. If you have been exercising your underemployed observational skills recently, you may be aware that the aforementioned pair evaded your constables and boarded a train to Edinburgh, and further, that the well-known novelist and misanthrope Richard (mine’s a pint) Hannay had engaged them in a bid to solve a mystery pertaining to yet another of his lacklustre tales of woe, ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’.

I am at this moment entertaining this trio of tiresome tricksters at one of my lodging houses near the Anatomical Museum – an unintentional, but rather fitting geographical location, considering the procedures I have in mind for the three unfortunates.

Naturally, I wouldn’t as a rule choose to enlighten ‘The Fuzz’ regarding my preparations for what I imagine you would term ‘a triple murder’, but my enjoyment of a good brawl has thus far remained unfulfilled (Holmes in particular is being somewhat droll in his attempts at retaliation, and Watson is a useless twat at the best of times). I should be obliged, therefore, if you would be good enough to hop on the next train. We could meet for a drink in a quaint little hostelry just off Fleshmarket Close known as The Stab Inn, where I shall take pleasure in availing you of my plans. This will allow you, should you so wish, to attempt a rescue, and that in turn, will add (I hope) the necessary modicum of excitement to the proceedings to make it worth my while.

Should you not wish to attend, I shall be happy to post the various body parts back to Baker Street for the delectation of that slattern Mrs Hudson, labelled, of course, as ‘Finest Scottish Beef’. It would tickle me to imagine the silly cow stuffing her favourite detective into one of her ghastly pies.

I look forward to killing you seeing you later,

Yours murderously
Professor Moriarty

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2016 in Detective Fiction

 

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And From the Comfort of His Armchair…

From the diary of Doctor Watson.baker Street fireside

“I still don’t understand why you let that man go, Holmes,” I muttered, spreading a dollop of butter on one of Mrs Hudson’s hot muffins. “After all, he could have led us directly to Fu Manchu.”

Sherlock Holmes leaned back in his chair and puffed on his favourite Meerschaum pipe (the one whose carved bowl depicted a mountain goat and an eager youth engaged in a variety of deviant pursuits).  “Really, Watson? How ironic.” And he smiled that sardonic smile of his.

I turned to Lestrade, who was also buttering Mrs Hudson’s muffins. “Have you any idea, Inspector?”

Holmes made a tutting noise that I interpreted as meaning our police companion’s opinion was not worth listening to. I realised later that the particular tutting sound Holmes had uttered was the one signifying a failure on my part to have reached the same conclusions as he had himself.

Lestrade shook his head. “I believe I may have a small inclination, Doctor.”

“Naturally,” said Holmes. (I noticed for the first time that my friend’s attention had not been absent from Lestrade’s features since we had arrived back at Baker Street). I shuffled round in my chair and turned myself towards the policeman.

Lestrade sniffed and held the well-buttered muffin to his lips. “Is this margarine?” He looked at Holmes, then at me. Then at the muffin. Which is when a rather strange thing happened – his arm began to descend back towards the occasional table beside his chair. He replaced the muffin on the tea plate and taking out his handkerchief, wiped his fingers.

I glanced at Holmes, who glanced at me, then we both glanced at Lestrade.

There was a long pause during which I began to feel the need to break wind. Thankfully, I was able to maintain my dignity by clenching my buttocks, since the expression of such an intimate bodily function in front of our guest would not have endeared me to my companion.

Lestrade frowned. “Just tell me this – what gave me away?”

Staring hard at Lestrade, Holmes steepled his fingers and smiled. “Everyone knows that a certain Asian villain is lactose intolerant.” He chuckled. “Well?”

Lestrade pursed his lips and raising both hands towards his brow, began to peel away the rubber mask that concealed his true identity.

“My God! Holmes!” I cried. “It’s Fu Manchu!”

Holmes rolled his eyes. “Really Watson, you must desist from that infernal habit of using exclamation marks after your exclamations.”

“Sorry, Holmes,” said I, feeling slightly miffed. “But it’s him…”

“Yes, I know it’s him,” said Holmes, with another sardonic smile. Then, leaping to his feet, he grasped the edges of his dressing gown and flung out his arms, displaying his massive weapon.

“Bloody Hell, Holmes,” said I.

“Indeed.” And in an instant he had whipped the Samurai sword out of its sheath and brought it down on Fu Manchu’s head. Or rather, within an inch of the little bald patch on the top of his head.

Manchu rose slowly to his feet, keeping his beady little eyes on the blade, lest it should slip and lop off one of his ears. “Mr Holmes. It seems you win again.”

“Oh, for God’s sake!” I cried.

Holmes smiled, lowered his weapon and returned it to its sheath. Then holding out one hand towards Fu Manchu, made a little ‘come hither’ motion with his slender, but firm fingers.

“Very well,” said the arch villain. “You win this time,” and reaching into his jacket, pulled out a leather purse. Withdrawing a small coin, he handed it to my companion. “As usual?”

Holmes took the sixpenny piece and slipped it into his own pocket. “Thank you, Fu.”

And with that, Fu Manchu turned on his heel and left the room.

“What the fu…” I began.

But Holmes held up a hand. “Don’t you understand, Watson?”

I shook my head, feeling that something important had passed me by. Again.

Holmes shrugged. “It’s a game, Watson. Just a bloody game.”

“Sorry, what?”

The annoyance must have shown in my face for Holmes stepped forward and took my hairy little face in his hands. “You know how I often say ‘Game On,’ Watson?”

I nodded.

He gave me (for once) a wry smile. “Sometimes, my dear friend, it pays to take things literally. “

The look of pure condescension on my companion’s face threw me into an absolute rage and before I could stop myself, I was swinging my arm back and would have given him a jolly good right hook, but as with many things, the action of raising my arm prompted a reaction, and I let out a rather sudden, and loud (and smelly), fart.

We did laugh.

Watson.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2016 in Detective Fiction

 

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The Message…

From the Diary of Dr J Watson:

The journey to Scarborough was a pleasant enough one and Holmes and I spent the most part of it in quiet contemplation. I read the first few chapters of the latest Stephanie Kingie gothic horror novel (‘Miserly’ – the tale of a Scrooge-like character who finds himself confined to a remote hovel with a deranged former nurse during a snowstorm), while my companion immersed himself in composing a monograph concerning the traditional rituals of Mongolian tribesmen within the wider cultural context of angoran sweaters.

The pony and trap that collected us from the station was driven by a rather dour chap by the name of Pierrepoint, who had the irritating habit of turning a beady eye on us every few minutes and commenting on my, or my companion’s, height, weight or likelihood of committing murder. After a tedious hour of winding through lanes and byways, he dropped us at the village pub in Snot-on-the-moor, where we’d arranged to meet Mr Rogers.

Holmes was quiet until we had ordered food and ensconced ourselves in a corner near the fireplace. Finally, he turned to me and observed:

“I suppose you know who is behind all this wicker malarkey, Watson?”

I made on I was considering this while fiddling with the crockery for our meal, but since I had not one solitary hint as to the answer, I eventually replied with my tried and trusted answer:

“Sorry, Holmes, not a clue.”

Holmes chuckled to himself as if he’d somehow got one over on me again (Which of course he had). “Moriarty, Watson.”

“Oh, Holmes, for God sake!” I cried. “Will you never let this go? The man is dead.”

My friend gave me a piercing look. “Or is he?” Pulling a piece of paper from his inside pocket, he unfolded the sheet and handed it to me.

“It’s a telegram, Holmes.”

“No, Watson, it is a cleverly constructed representation of a telegram, intended to have us believe that it was sent by Colonel Sebastian Moran.”

“But he’s dead too, isn’t he?” Said I, skimming the details of the message.

Holmes gave me a grim stare. “He should be, Watson – I killed him myself. But this so-called telegram suggests not.”

“It says here that you and I are invited to attend a murder.” But Holmes, what can it mean?”

“It means,” said my companion, his small eyes staring into the fire, “that we are in great danger.” He looked up and his expression changed to one of apparent delight. “Ah Mr Shag and Mr Scoob. How lovely to see you.”

Shaggy Rogers stood in front of us, grinning widely, whole his ridiculously large and stupid hound nuzzled its face into my crotch.

“Whoa, dudes, what’s goin’ on, man?” Shaggy shook both our hands vigorously, then his smile faded and in a low voice he said, “You guys are in great danger.”

Holmes gave me a sardonic smile. “I trust you thought to bring your revolver, Watson?”

I nodded. “No, but I’ve still got a bag full of Mrs Hudson’s crunchy pies.”

To be continued

Watson

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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Something Wicker This Way Comes…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Holmes,Wicker-Mannie-for-web
I’ve just had a rather disturbing communication from our old pal Norville (Shaggy) Rogers, who has got himself embroiled in another one of those Wicker Mannie situations. Apparently, he and that idiot hound of his are holed up in what he refers to as ‘The Old Woodward Place’ in the village of Snot-on-the-moor, near Scarborough, Yorkshire.

Shaggy claims that a group of ‘wickery fanatics’ are at this very moment constructing a gigantic effigy on the beach that bears a remarkable resemblance to your good self. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Holmes, and before you dismiss this as mere pagan nonsense, I urge you to recall the tormented death of poor old Eddy Woodward, for it is that very individual’s former residence that Mr Rogers is currently occupying. And as you are so fond of saying, Holmes, ‘there’s no such thing as a coincidence, Watson, and pass the biscuits.’

Call me a superstitious fool, but I think it would be only sensible that we investigate these curious events at our earliest convenience.

I shall make the necessary arrangements and call for you this evening. I trust you will be able to drag yourself away from whaever indulgent diversion you are engaged in. (It might also be prudent to pack a bag of Mrs Hudson’s crunchy pies to sustain us on the trip).

Yours
Watson

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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Waiting for Watson…

From Sherlock Holmes Esq to Doctor Watson:

Watson
Why you will insist on gullibly taking Mrs Hudson’s bait every time, I will never know. Did you seriously believe I would be involved in such a vacuous, pointless pastime as that ridiculous Colonial import? – I sometimes wonder about your mental processes, Watson, especially when you fall for an obvious one like That. Anyway, that is beside the point.

If you Had engaged your Thinking Gears, you would have realised that I have been out and about, setting the wheels in motion and gathering the resources pertaining to this Case of Zellaby’s. I seem to remember several other similar incidences from my Metaphysical Studies with our old friend, Father Brown…I believe he himself was involved in something similar years ago…needless to say, he managed to get to the root of the Problem, drafting in, along the way, his associates, Endeavour and Sunday…Those were The Days…but I digress…

I shall be round to pick you up at 7  –  Please have your Goodbyes seen to long before then…I still blanch at the memory of catching yourself and Mrs Watson in that Very Passionate Send-Off in the middle of your Front Hall..I have tried, but unfortunately failed, to erase the mental picture of That Clinch many times since then; the Involuntary Retching Spasms impede my Cogitations somewhat…As to the Garlic and Sharpened sticks…..I believe the man has been reading far too much lurid Pulp Fiction…or associating too much with those well-known Absinthe Addicts Lee and Cushing.

Till my Arrival, your friend,

SH.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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Gone Cuckoo Huntin’…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Dear Holmes
Since you’re clearly far too busy with your latest hobby (yes, Holmes, Mrs Hudson told me everything about your association with the Chelsea Line-Dancing Club), I’m leaving you this note re my previous missive. Should you get this in the next day or so, I’d appreciate your joining me at the home of Gordon Zellaby as planned.

I’m catching the 6:42 to Midwich this evening, having spent some time collecting the various objects Zellaby advised during our telephone conversation two nights ago. I’m not entirely sure why he thinks wooden stakes and garlic will be appropriate tools in our intended ‘intervention’ but I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.

I shall of course send you updates as soon as I am able.

Yours

Somewhat pissed off,
Watson

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2015 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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