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First edition, December 2017
© 2017 Orlando Pearson
Ebook Edition © 2017 Delos Digital srl
Piazza Bonomelli 6/6 20139 Milano Italy
The King of Nova Alba approaches Sherlock Holmes with a mystery: who killed his predecessor?
Shakespeare wrote comedies, tragedies and histories. But he never got around to writing a whodunnit and this mixture of the Bard and Baker Street fills the gap in his oeuvre.
The King of Nova Alba approaches Sherlock Holmes. The current king’s predecessor on the Nova Alban throne, King Duncan, came to a violent end and Holmes’s petitioner is the prime suspect.
He wants Sherlock Holmes to find the true killer.There is many a twist in a familiar tale, before Holmes reveals the utterly unexpected truth.
Orlando Pearson, creator of the well-known Redacted Sherlock Holmes series, commutes into London during the day and communes with the spirits of Baker Street by night.
An international businessman, his interests include classical music, history, literature, current affairs, sport and economics. All these themes find their way into his stories which are being translated into German and Italian.Mr Pearson is married with two children and lives near Wisteria Lodge.
I came down to breakfast to find Holmes seated in his normal place. He did not look up from a document that had come in that morning’s post. After several minutes of intense concentration, he wordlessly passed it over to me, and I took it to the window to look at it in the sunlight shining into our sitting-room. It was an undated, unsigned note written in thick black ink and the address at the top was of a hotel in Rome.
“There will call upon you tonight at a quarter to eight o’clock, a gentleman who desires to consult you upon a matter of the highest importance. Your recent services to two of the royal houses of Europe and other services rendered outwith the more elevated levels of society, have shown that you are one who may safely be trusted with matters which are of an importance which can hardly be exaggerated. Pray be in your quarters at the stated hour.”
“What do you make of this letter?” Holmes asked.
“Its sender must be from the highest circles of society,” I remarked thoughtfully, as I attempted to put Holmes’s deductive methods into practice, “as the notepaper is of the highest quality, and the name of the hotel in Rome, Hotel di Savoia, suggests a lofty establishment”.
“Good, Watson, very sound,” said Holmes. “Anything else?”
I picked up the envelope and was surprised to see the postmark was a London one from the previous day. I pointed this out to Holmes, who countered “But what does this tell us?”
“Only, I suppose, that for whatever reason, the writer wrote the note from an Italian hotel before coming to London and sending it to us from here.”
“Still the same old Watson! Is it possible you fail to grasp the importance of what you have said? You observe without inferring. You state that it is written by someone from the highest circles of society, but in fact his knowledge of my assistance to two royal families suggests that the writer is himself a senior member of a royal house. Otherwise, it is unlikely he would be aware of this fact. We may therefore go further than merely to say that the writer is from the very highest circles of society.”
Holmes paused and I waited, barely able to contain my impatience to hear what might be his next inference.
“We can additionally,” continued Holmes at length, “note that the subject matter on which he wishes to consult with us is of such importance that he has not entrusted a secretary with drafting his correspondence. I deduce therefore that the member of the royal house has himself written this note in a hotel room using hotel stationery. The writer was clearly unsure of whether to send it at all, and in the end wrote it in Italy, but sent it off only once he had arrived in London. His precision over the time of our meeting combined with his hesitation in sending the note show a high level of vacillation.”
“Anything else?” I asked.