And if that were not enough – imagine my surprise to find that an extract of my story ‘The Case of the Missing Sister’, though not the first story in the book, has been included in the Amazon product description! (scroll down to the bottom of the Amazon listing – though I have also included it on this post 🙂 )
An absolute must-have for the Sherlock fan!
A cornucopia of British detectives, dark deeds, and derring-do. Collected by one of the genre’s eminent editors, The Book of Extraordinary New Sherlock Holmes Stories features the timeless detective alongside favorite Sherlock Holmes characters, like Moriarty, Holmes, and Watson. Bringing together some of the most renowned American and British authors of crime today, this bumper volume of short stories for adults features:
- Jon Courtenay Grimwood
- Lavie Tidhar
- David Stuart Davies
- John Grant
- Rose Biggins
- David N.Smith
- O’Neil De Noux
- Rhys Hughes
- Catherine Lundoff
- Mark Mower
- Matthew Booth
- Martin Daley
- Jan Edwards
- Ashley Lister
- Keith Brooke
- Naching T.Kassa
- Phillip Vine
- Bev Vincent
- Keith Moray
- and Nick Sweet
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
From “The Case of the Missing Sister”
by Jan Edwards
Holmes frequently ridiculed my efforts as chronicler of our exploits, and chose to ignore the fact that they were the reason he had become the most famous detective in these islands. But the lovely Miss Adler seemed to have disturbed his composure in that regard far more than any case we had previously tackled. I was mentally forming the best answer for this when Mrs Hudson bustled in. “A letter for you, Dr Watson,” she trilled. “May I clear breakfast now?”
“You may, thank you,” Holmes said, when I did not reply.
I barely noticed her exit. The postmark told me all when that Scottish town had brought my family nothing but sorrow. I tapped the paper rectangle against my knee and stared into nothingness.
“Since you apparently know who the missive is from, and it plainly poses you a question, throwing it away unread would seem a pointless act my dear chap.”
I could feel Holmes’s gaze on me; those piercing eyes glittering with curiosity and anticipation. He could deduce what I would only presume, and had appeared to have already done so.
“You’re right of course, Holmes.” Sliding my nail beneath the seal I extracted the single sheet of paper and read quickly.
“Bad news?” Holmes enquired.
“Of the highest order,” I replied. “I shall read it to you, if I may?” Holmes nodded his assent and I sat back to angle the watery April sunlight directly onto the page.
Dalleth House, Perthshire,
10th May 1888
My dear Uncle John,
Please forgive my presumption in writing. I’ve followed your exploits with Mr. Sherlock Holmes ever since cook brought your stories to my attention. You write with such humanity I am absolutely certain that you will help me, despite our never having met.
There is no delicate way to write this so I shall be direct. My mother, your sister Elspeth, is missing. My father refuses to involve the police, and does not know that I am writing to you now. You and I have never met, but I beg of you to set aside the past and help me find her.
I have taken the liberty of enclosing train tickets for yourself and Mr. Holmes, and also a reservation at the White Stag Hotel.
With all good wishes and looking forward to meeting you very soon.
Your respectful niece,
Holmes held out his hand and I passed him the missive. He examined it minutely, turning the page over and back and peering at the envelope for a full minute. “A child with some strength of character to write so directly,” he said.
“She must be more than twenty years old, so hardly a child.”
Holmes inclined his head. “I was not aware you had a sister, far less a niece,” he said at last. “But then I know very little about your family.”
“You deduced that my watch had belonged to my father and thence my elder brother.” My hand strayed to touch the watch chain across my waistcoat and I smiled at a small triumph. “Unlike you to miss a clue.”
“You told me that you have no living kin in England.”
“No living relatives in England.” Even to my ears my reply was churlish.
Holmes lit his pipe, wreathing his features in smoke to almost but not quite hide his amusement. “I do understand your reticence. We neither of us wish to be defined by our beginnings. My own brother is known to you only because he made himself known.” Holmes lowered his chin to regard me suspiciously. “Who has the honour of being your brother-in-law?”
“Alexander Dalglish. I was still a boy at school when he whisked our dear Elspeth away. It broke my mother’s heart.”
Holmes nodded slowly. “I am sorry,” he said, with surprising gentleness. “Do you intend answering this cri de coeur?”
“My only niece?” I replied. “How can I refuse?”
“Then it is settled. If we leave immediately we will make the one o’clock train.” He rose abruptly, consulting his pocket watch and returning it to his waistcoat with a flourish. “Mrs Hudson! My laundry if you please!”