The Adventure of Sir Scrope
Just days after I sent the last tea chest, containing documents pertaining to my long association with the Great Detective, to Scotland Yard, I received an intriguing package.
It should be stated that I am inundated with letters from readers, who have been compelled to put pen to paper after reading the published accounts of the mysteries Holmes and I have solved, asking whether they might have an audience with me or some such. Yet, the individual who had sent the package didn’t appear to want anything from me. Quite the contrary. He offered to reveal the details of a case which, by his reckoning, Holmes hadn’t shared with me. It pains me to say that this wasn’t a unique situation either, as disreputable journalists and trophy collectors have tried to befriend me in the hope of obtaining information for their own nefarious purposes or memorabilia from which they hoped to profit, using similar tactics.
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In the Afterword Nicola explains how she was inspired by a hat and how her idea for the story led to more research about one of our greatest sleuths of the Victorian era.
Scrolls, Peacock Feathers and Rivalry
Monday, 5th January 1885
Overnight the temperature had dipped below freezing, ensuring the thick fog hadn’t dissipated. It hung in the air like sludge, creating a halo effect around streetlamps and left an oily smear wherever it settled. Nathaniel Willis wondered if this was what it had been like in the ‘Year Without a Summer’.
His hometown had its share of tall chimney stacks and domestic chimneys choking the air with smoke but, as it was only small-scale industry, the effects were nothing compared to those suffered by Londoners.
Breathing in the London fog was akin to taking in a lungful of moisture-laden air in the Palm House at Kew Gardens, whilst surrounded by pipe smokers, puffing their way through bowls of tarry shag. He felt as wretched as them without having had any of the enjoyment.
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In the Afterword Nicola writes about the research behind the story – a find that led her from one enquiry to another with false leads and unexpected discoveries.