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Sherlock Holmes And The Grim Reaper

by Edward Lodi

About the Author: Edward Lodi has written more than 30 books, including six Cranberry Country Mysteries. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies published by Cemetery Dance, Murderous Ink, Main Street Rag, Rock Village Publishing, Superior Shores Press, and most recently Hungry Shadows Press and Black Widow Press. His story “Charnel House” was featured on Night Terrors Podcast.


Sherlock Holmes often disparaged my efforts to record in narrative form the details of those of his cases which I consider to be of more than passing interest. Therefore, I was somewhat taken aback when he remarked to me one morning, as we sat at breakfast in the rooms we shared at 221B Baker Street, “I see, Watson, that you have not as yet applied your literary talents to an account of the extraordinary events pertaining to The Grim Reaper.”

Before replying, I took my time cutting the kipper on my plate into bite-size pieces. After masticating a few mouthfuls, I said, “Surely, Holmes, with your superior skills at ratiocination, you have already deduced the reason why I have not yet done so.”

His ascetic face, with its deep-set and inscrutable eyes, crinkled with a smile. “Touché, Watson. If I have been remiss in revealing to you the full details of the case, it is because—until today—the ending had not been entirely satisfactory.”

“You were quite secretive at the time. Like a marsh hen concealing her chicks.”

At this Holmes laughed, a rare occurrence. “In the past I have been compared to what would, in their total, amount to an entire menagerie of creatures, but never I think to a marsh hen.” Replenishing the tea in his cup, he said, “When we have completed our meal I shall rectify the omission.”

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