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The Butler Did Him

Barry Lowe

Classic Mystery

A Bramwell Holmes Mystery: Book 2

He screamed blue bloody murder when…

The Butler Did Him. Sherlock Holmes’ nephew, Bramwell, has set up his consulting detective practice on the edge of London’s Soho and his first case is not long in coming. Young impoverished Lord Windeler stands accused of stealing a priceless jeweled necklace from Lord Beaconsfield’s country house where he is spending his summer break from Oxford with his best friend, Bunty Beaconsfield. Witnesses testify they saw him with the stolen necklace even though Windeler has a watertight alibi. Unfortunately, he can’t reveal it because it would mean bringing disgrace upon not only himself but also his family. Can Bramwell Holmes and his faithful companion, Jack Woodward, solve the mystery and restore Windeler’s reputation without revealing the whole truth?


eBook Cover Price: 0.99

Length: 9561 words

Gay Mystery

Heat rating: 3

Excerpt

“Nephew,” Holmes interrupted. “I will make you a bargain. If you can read the character of the visitor half as successfully as I, then I will pass on to you any scraps of enquiries that I receive that do not interest me.”

Holmes sounded patronizing but I didn’t take it that way nor, I suspect, did Bram because he knew just how magnanimous was the gesture.

“Done,” Bram said as Tim showed the visitor into the sitting room.

The young man had the frantic look of someone in desperate trouble. He glanced around the room, “Mr. Holmes? I went to your premises in Baker Street and your housekeeper invited me to wait for your return. When I impressed on her that it was of the utmost urgency, she informed me I would find you here.”

He looked between Watson and Holmes himself, disregarding Bram and I as too young to be the man he sought. If Bram was disappointed the client was for his uncle it was short-lived.

“Pray, sir,” Holmes said. “Please be seated. But tell us nothing for now of your urgent matter. This is Dr Watson, here is my nephew Bramwell and his partner Mr. James Woodward.”

The young man barely acknowledged us, tapping his foot impatiently. I poured him a soothing cup of tea in the cup Holmes had no intention of using, pushing milk and sugar toward him. I hoped the simple task of adding them himself might calm him.

“Now, nephew. Begin.”

Bram stood still, examining the man carefully. “He is a member of the nobility although his family is somewhat impoverished.”

The visitor tried to pull the frayed cuffs of his shirt from view. He travelled up from the country, but not from his own family’s estate. He is the lord of the manor although his father, still living albeit in ill health, has relinquished the title to his eldest son. He is a student at either Oxford or Cambridge, I think Cambridge.”

Holmes had followed the line of reasoning up to a point but I saw a puzzled look cloud his face as Bram’s reading became impossibly precise. The young man was also troubled by Bram’s apparent familiarity with his life and for the first time took an interest in the man revealing his ‘secrets.’ There was a flicker of recognition but Bram cut it off with, “Pray, sir, do not interrupt my thoughts until I have finished. Remain mute. Yes, definitely Cambridge where you are studying…the law. You are particularly good at your studies and I think you have every chance of graduating with honors.”

“Bravo, nephew. You have the makings of a first-class mind or else the makings of a music hall mindreading act. Come Watson. Sir, we leave you in the capable hands of our nephew, Bramwell. I suspect you will receive more satisfaction from him than you would from me.”

“But…” the young man stuttered.

“Tea, next Thursday, my rooms, nephew. I’m sure you will succeed admirably with young Lord Windeler’s case. I have a feeling it is precisely the area in which your expertise lies. Good afternoon to you, Jack. Come Watson.”

Bram managed to utter, “How did…” before Holmes and Watson disappeared.

He turned to the visitor who was shaking visibly, “Frith, what brings you here?”

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