Book Excerpt: Die Again, Mr. Holmes

No one who has read every single Sherlock Homes story has failed to close the book at the end of the last story without at least a twinge and a sigh. If only there were more!

And there are! Not written by Arthur Conan Doyle, but written by literate fans.

Dozens and dozens.

Our excerpt comes from a series of new stories featuring not only the intrepid Holmes and his doughty friend Dr. Watson, but also (ahem) Holmes’s daughter, one Lucy James. Because this is the eighth book in the series, written by Anna Elliott and Charles Veley in chapters alternating the viewpoint of Lucy James and Dr. Watson, no matter-of-fact explanation of her origin is presented. Something to do with Moriarty — and, no, she is not the daughter of Irene Adler!

The questions about her family background apparently are explained in one of the earlier books. I look forward to reading them.

The book opens with a Prologue set ten days after the start of Chapter One. Narrated by Dr. Watson, it describes how Holmes is shot by minions of a scurrilous opium smuggler, then drowns in the icy water of a river in Winter. Here is the last paragraph of the Prologue. The person speaking is Secretary Landsdowne, a high-ranking member of the British government:

“I knew the water was dangerously cold. As you know, freezing water can paralyze a man’s limbs in no time. There were blocks of ice here and there, but none close enough for Mr. Holmes to hold onto. We lowered a dingy to rescue him. I watched throughout. He was struggling to stay afloat. He took off his coat, which was dragging him down, and tried to swim to the dinghy. It was a valiant effort, but before we could reach him, he went under. He was gone.”