The Closing by Les Klinger
Rachel finished the last few documents, put down her pen, and looked at McParland. His heart thumped, as it always did.
“How are you?” she said. “Charlotte says you’ve been on the road.”
He shrugged. “Yeah, had to go to New York for a client. Just a few days, though. How are you?”
Rachel smiled. “Great. Great.” McParland loved her smile. “How’s Sherlock?”
McParland smiled back. This had been a running joke with them, ever since law school, when she’d bought him an annotated edition of Conan Doyle’s stories and he’d gotten hooked. He’d been especially thrilled when he learned that his great-great-grand-uncle was the real-life model for a Pinkerton agent who appeared in one of the stories. His bizarre fascination with Holmes and his world had always amused Rachel, he thought, especially the Sherlockian “game” of pretending that Holmes and Watson weren’t fictional.
* * *
The Curious Affair of the Italian Art Dealer by Sara Paretsky
In an effort to rouse him from his stupor, I tried to draw Holmes’s attention to crimes reported in the sensationalist press. The stabbing of a cabman in Fleet Street “was banal beyond bearing,” while the theft of the Duchess of Hoovering’s emerald tiara “would prove to be the work of a criminal housemaid.” When later reports confirmed he was wrong in both cases—the Hoovering cadet, bitter at the privations of a youngest son, had sold the tiara to fund a disastrous trip to Monte Carlo, while the cabman turned out to have been a Russian spy trying to overhear secrets of a Hapsburg diplomat—Holmes sank deeper into his drugged stupor.
I could not neglect my own practice, or perhaps I should say, my other patients, who were usually more willing to follow my advice than was my brilliant but capricious friend. It was at the start of the third week of my stay with him that I was summoned to the Gloucester Hotel to attend a man who had been violently assaulted in the night.
In the Company of Sherlock Holmes publishes November 11. You can pre-order a copy from:
Poisoned Pen Books (signed by Laurie King, Les Klinger, and others)