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A Murder for Christmas (standard:mystery, 0 words)
Author: kendall thomas Added: Jun 03 2001Views/Reads: 2605/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A mini-mystery featuring Sherlock Holmes.

~A Murder for Christmas~ 

Holmes stared at the words ‘All I want for Christmas is. . .’ scrawled
across the floor, in blood, by the now deceased Sir Rodney Sloane, 
Professor Emeritus of Languages, retired lately from Oxford. 

He drew silently on the stem of his curved pipe, then slowly exhaled a
dense, blue cloud of smoke. 

“Where are the suspects?” he asked, in his typical laconic fashion. 

“In the drawing room, Mr. Holmes,” said Inspector Lestrade of Scotland
Yard.  “They were dinner guests of the professor last evening and were 
unable to leave the manor because of the sudden snow storm.  There is a 
Mr. Eric Wilson, barrister; a  Miss Kathleen Rossini, a former student 
of the professor; and a Dr. Emery Smith, a dentist.” 

“Hmm, excellent,” Holmes murmured, turning toward me with a sudden gleam
in his eyes.  “I think, Watson, there may be a little more to this case 
than is at first apparent.” 

“How so, Mr. Holmes?” Lestrade asked, with a smirk. “It’s obvious that
Professor Sloane intended to write ‘All I want for Christmas is my two 
front teeth.’  In my book that points to the dentist being our man.” 

“Yes, Lestrade,” Holmes answered wearily, with a trace of sarcasm.  
“And why do you suppose Sir Rodney didn’t just write us the name of his 
murderer outright?” 

Lestrade raised his chin at this and scratched at the back of his head. 
“Well, I suppose the case was the professor realized the murderer would 
have plenty of opportunity to return  -- since no one could leave 
because of the storm --  and erase his name before anyone else had seen 

“Yes, precisely, and we can, I think, safely assume the murderer isn’t a
fool; so if that person were the dentist why wouldn’t he also erase the 
popular lyrics that obviously would incriminate him?” 

“Well, I’m not . . . really . . . certain,” Lestrade answered,
hesitantly, taken aback. 

“Obviously because he is not the murderer,” Holmes stated flatly.  “But
the real murderer assumed he would be blamed for it.  And that is the 
reason the words were not erased.  Sir Rodney anticipated this and, 
being a linguist, managed a clever stratagem, in his last moments, to 
reveal the name of the murderer without the murderer being aware of it. 
The doctor is merely a red herring.” 

“I must say, Mr. Holmes, I don’t follow you,” Lestrade said, scratching
again at his scalp. 

Impatiently, Holmes turned to me.  “Watson, would you please inform
Inspector Lestrade as to what the medical term is for the front tooth.” 

“Why . . . uh . . . it is the incisor,” I answered, feeling as perplexed
as Lestrade looked. 

“Precisely!” Holmes exclaimed.  “And what, pray tell, is incisor an
anagram for?” 

I glanced at Lestrade who merely shrugged. 

“Come, gentlemen,” Holmes chided.   “Incisor is an anagram for Rossini.”

“Great Scot, Holmes, you amaze me!” I cried in utter astonishment.  “You
mean Miss Rossini is the murderer?” 

“Elementary, my dear Watson.” 


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