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Sherlock Holmes & the Singular Affair

Before Baker Street, there was Montague.

Before partnership with a former army doctor recently returned from Afghanistan, Sherlock Holmes had but the quiet company of his own great intellect. Solitary he might be but, living as he did for the thrill of the chase, it was enough.

For a little while, at the least, it was enough. 

That is, until a client arrives at his door with a desperate plea and an invitation into a world of societal scandal and stage door dandies. Thrust deep in an all-consuming role and charged with the safe-keeping of another, Holmes must own to his limits or risk danger to others besides himself in this the case of the aluminium crutch. 

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Author

Author Bio – M. K. Wiseman has degrees in Interarts & Technology and Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her office, therefore, is a curious mix of storyboards and reference materials. Both help immensely in the writing of historical novels. She currently resides in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

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Aside from a touch of research into the background of the main figures in the case of the missing Tobias-Henry Price, Sherlock Holmes’ first task is to meet with Sir Edgar and learn what he might of the missing man . . . from an uncle who curiously claims that his nephew is not at all missing.

Excerpt, chapter 3:

… Sir Edgar gave a non-verbal grunt and took several shuffling, trembling steps over to a stiff-looking chair where he sat heavily. He indicated its partner. “Well then, have a seat. Brandy? Whisky?”

I thanked him and applied for the latter.

“We will have our drink, stare daggers at one another, and then you will be on your way, Mr. Holmes.” He lifted his glass and downed its contents. “There. Now you tell Miss Clarke that if my nephew wishes to pursue her, she will be second to know of it. Absent that, she should stay clear of him and his set.”

I smiled at his presumptions behind my having called. If he were to as eagerly lay the rest of his potential guilt out for me, I should have an easy time of it. I said, “I believe that the incident where she confronted your nephew on St. James’s was a simple case of mistaken identity—”

“And here? She mistook me, too? And in my own home? No, Mr. Holmes, you won’t put me out like that.”

“You know Miss Clarke? You’ve met her?” Surprise got the better of me. That was one lie tallied to her account, then.

“She has met me, yes. Pretty thing. Smart, too, if a bit too feeling for my tastes. But altogether an admirable specimen of her sex. As I said, Tobias is free to pursue her if he so chooses and not the other way around.”

“Then you would not object to Miss Clarke for your nephew?”

“Ha! She is headstrong. Bold beyond propriety. But you’ve seen my nephew, I dare say.” Those shrewd gimlet eyes were back on me, boring into me. “Or heard of him. A peacock, dancing close as he dares to the edges of what good society will quietly accept. Quite a pair they would make, yes? No, I would not object. I do not object. What I am is annoyed. Her impertinence is one thing. Yours quite another.”

Him annoyed? I buried my ire with a cool smile, saying, “My only wish is to clear up a little matter and prevent Miss Clarke from being unfairly used.”

“And my wish is to avoid scandal.”

“There has been no inconsistency that you are aware of?”

“On her end, I do not know.”
“Any enemies?”
“Besides unofficial detectives poking their noses into business they would be better off staying out of?” Sir Edgar parried, growling the words at me and half rising from his chair. “I tell you, the woman has ideas. Notions and fancies. Harmless, of course, but not worth your time, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.”

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