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The Adventure Of The Vanished Women

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.


One day this past summer upon returning to 221B Baker Street after an absence of several hours, Sherlock Holmes nodded to me, removed his deerstalker, and tossed it onto the acid-stained table top before proceeding to the mantel, where he stood in silence as he stuffed tobacco from the Persian slipper into his pipe. Applying a match to the tobacco he said, “I suggest that you not waste ink and foolscap on such a trifling affair as that which took place at Oldquay.”

Setting my pen aside I looked up from the desk where I had been furiously scribbling. “But Holmes,” I protested, “surely such a baffling mystery as presented itself is worthy of the public’s attention.” Then, taken aback I found myself asking, “But how could you possibly know that I have been recording ‘The Adventure of the Vanished Women’? I know that your eyesight is keen, but surely not so keen as to be able to read my less than admirable penmanship from across the room!”

Holmes chuckled. “Come, come, my dear Watson. My eyesight is keen enough to see that the pile of foolscap to your left is considerably smaller than it was yesterday afternoon, while that to your right is considerably larger. Last evening you spent at least an hour fidgeting in your armchair while leafing through your journal. As I passed to fetch my violin I observed that at the top of the page upon which you had finally settled were scrawled the words ‘Vanished Women.’ I also observed that, no longer chafing in your chair, you spent the remainder of the evening reviewing your notes concerning the matter. Therefore—”

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