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The Case of the Burnt Wires

by J.J. White

About the Author: J.J. White has been published in literary journals and magazines, including, The Homestead Review, Pithead Chapel, The Grey Sparrow Journal, The Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post 2016 and 2018 anthologies. He's had three novels published and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his short piece, Tour Bus.


It is with saddened heart I write this, my narration of a case Mr Sherlock Holmes refused to allow me to set to pen. I had promised the great detective I would wait until his death before chronicling this story which I call, ‘The Case of the Burnt Wires.’ Although this mystery was solved and concluded by Holmes in the autumn of 1886, I withheld publication until now. I have waited dutifully for time and circumstances to pass and shall now proceed with the tale.

One day—it was on the sixth of September, 1886—after hastily concluding with any last patients, I rushed back to Baker Street with disturbing news I wished to convey to my friend and roommate of five years, Sherlock Holmes.

I had unfortunately left my key to our apartment at my office and despite my loud and frequent pummeling of the door, Holmes would not answer. This was not because he had suddenly forgotten his manners; it was that he could not hear my apoplectic thumping over his violin as he lovingly played Bach’s Sonata in G minor.

Being somewhat familiar to the piece, I waited patiently for a semibreve rest I knew to be coming soon, and taking advantage of the break, knocked loudly once more.

I was soon greeted at my own door by my friend. ‘Watson!’ exclaimed he. ‘You have forgotten your key again, I see. Come in! Come in! I am nearly finished and looking forward to our dinner, although you are quite early.’

Before I could explain the reason, Holmes had deduced it himself. ‘You have news, Doctor.’

‘Yes. But how—?’

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