The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Ectoplasmic Man

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-11-17
  • Publisher: Titan Books
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When Harry Houdini is framed and jailed for espionage, Sherlock Holmes vows to clear his name, with the two joining forces to take on blackmailers who have targeted the Prince of Wales. Itrs"s a case that requires all of their skills - both mental and physical. Can the daring duo solve what people are calling "The Crime of the Century"? Sir Arthur Conan Doylers"s timeless creation returns in a new series of handsomely designed detective stories. From the earliest days of Holmesrs" career to his astonishing encounters with Martian invaders, the Further Adventures series encapsulates the most varied and thrilling cases of the worldsrs" greatest detective.

Author Biography

Daniel Stashower is a novelist and magician. His works include: Elephants in the Distance, The Dime Museum Murders, The Beautiful Cigar Girl, and The Ghosts of Baker Street, an anthology of Sherlock Holmes stories.


Chapter VIII - Sherlock Holmes Investigates

In the wooded upper reaches of Stoke Newington, four miles from any other structure, sits the government office known as Gairstowe House. In all respects it appears to be an ordinary country estate, but for the two-storey row of offices jutting from its left wing. This oddly shaped building is surrounded by a tall wrought-iron fence, at the entrance of which stands a uniformed guard. On the morning following our episode at the Diogenes, the guard on duty was named Ian Turks. Upon our arrival at Gairstowe, I found myself making this young man's acquaintance while Holmes immediately threw himself down on all fours and began crawling about the grounds of the estate.

I have no doubt that Turks had never before seen a well turned-out, middle-aged gentleman behave in such a manner. Holmes sniffed about like a bloodhound, examining patches of grass with his convex lens and occasionally lying prostate for several moments, evidently absorbed in the deepest concentration. Though Turks, like the Palace Guards, was obviously trained to remain impassive in unusual situations, at length the young man was unable to contain his curiosity.

“Pardon me asking, mate,” said he, “but what is that fellow doing on the ground there?”

“Looking for footprints, no doubt,” I answered.

“Footprints! But all the footprints are inside! The bobbies found 'em.”

“He is aware of that, but he tends to carry his examinations a step or two beyond those of the official detectives.”

“Who is he then?”

“Mr. Sherlock Holmes.”

Turks gave a low whistle and stared again at my companion who had now rolled over on his back to survey the soles of his own shoes. “That's who he is? Cor! He's better looking in the drawings, isn't he!”*

Before I could formulate a reply, Holmes leapt to his feet and shouted across the grass to me. “Come along, Watson! There is nothing more to be learned here!”

Together we climbed the marble steps which led into the large entrance hall. There our cards were taken by a butler - rather too formally dressed for the early hour - who returned in a moment to conduct us into the presence of Lord O'Neill, the Secretary for European Affairs.

We were shown through a narrow corridor hung with oriental tapestries and into a large study lined with oak bookcases. Behind a scrivener's desk sat the man whom I took to be Lord O'Neill, and across from him sat a very large gentleman of stiff bearing, whom I did not recognise.

“Sherlock Holmes!” cried Lord O'Neill, rising so hastily that he swept a small stack of papers onto the floor. “I was delighted to receive your wire this morning! I wanted to send for you myself, but your brother, Mycroft, he, well-” He trailed off nervously. “And you must be Dr. Watson! You are welcome here, sir. Ah! Forgive me! I have been remiss! Allow me to present the honourable Herr Nichlaus Osey of Germany.”

The German rose and bowed formally in our direction. “I am pleased to meet the famous crime specialist,” he said in well-praised English, “though I did not expect that you would look quite this way”, he added, looking askance at Holmes's dishevelled, grass-stained clothing.

“Mr. Holmes's methods are a bit unorthodox,” Lord O'Neill said quickly, “but his results speak for themselves I assure you, I assure you. I was telling Herr Osey of your invaluable assistance during that ugly business back in 1900.”

“Ah, yes,” said Holmes carelessly, “a simple case, but not without some features of interest. I have recorded it in my notes as 'The Adventure of the Discursive Italian'.”

“Holmes,” I asked, though I saw that Lord O'Neill was anxious to proceed, &

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