In this compelling collection of seven stories, the young Stamford joins Sherlock Holmes, the world’s first consulting detective to untangle a series of mysterious crimes.
The Record of the Tarleton Murders
The body of a woman in her late thirties is found in Seven Dials with a serene smile on her face. The Honourable Clive Moreton-Ashbee is found dead in his family home in Oxfordshire also wearing a chillingly peaceful smile. In light of these murders, Sherlock and Stamford travel to Sibberton Hall to find the connection between the fatalities but with Pennington, Sherlock’s biggest rival from the past, lost on an expedition to the Yucatan, this case will be no ordinary one. Tension arises when another is found dead by the hearth. Will Holmes be able to solve these mysterious murders?
The Case of Vamberry, the Wine Merchant
Young Stamford invites Holmes to a dinner at his parents’ house where the Kentish Brewers’ Association, of which his father is President, is honouring a guest from France who happens to be a chemist. Holmes suspects that one of the guests, Josiah Vamberry, a man with the largest store of top-class claret in the whole of England, is in a bad financial situation. Following an awful argument between Mr Stamford and Mr Vamberry, the latter is found with his throat cut and Mr Stamford arrested. Holmes is desperate to save his friend’s father. Mr Stamford is among the several investors whose finances took a severe knock with the failing of the chateaux but would financial ruin prompt him to kill? Holmes sets out to prove the innocence of his friend’s father and a gripping case unfolds.
The Adventure of the Old Russian Woman
After an absence from the Reading Room of the British Museum, Holmes returns to find his usual place occupied by a strange Germanic man with grizzled hair. Holmes’ curiosity is aroused when the man lets out a deep-throated grunt, says that no one can frighten him and fiercely crumples a piece of paper in his hands. When an old Russian woman empties the wastepaper baskets, the German leaves behind a piece of paper containing a strange symbol and beneath this symbol the letters ARX are written. Can Holmes solve this seemingly impossible and perplexing case?
The Singular Affair of the Aluminium Crutch
Determined to make his own way in the world, Sherlock places a discreet advertisement in several newspapers offering his services as the world’s first consulting detective. A young woman soon shows up at Montague Street asking for his help to find her crippled fiancée who, all of a sudden, disappeared from her life. As Holmes investigates he finds a mysterious laboratory, a crutch left behind, a large amount of strangely shaped ash and a distinct burning smell. Can Holmes work out if this is a murder, suicide or death by misadventure?
Other stories include:
Mrs Farintosh and an Opal Tiara
Matilda Briggs and the Giant Rat of Sumatra
A Full Account of Ricoletti of the Club Foot
‘A treat for any Holmes fan.’ – Tom Kasey, best-selling author of ‘Cold Kill’.
Ian Charnock is an art historian, an authority on the work of El Greece and an international classic car rally driver. He also the author of Watson’s Last Case.