THREE VERY DIFFERENT BAKER STREETS. THREE VERY DIFFERENT SHERLOCKS. THREE EXTRAORDINARY NEW CASES.
Brilliant, distracted, sarcastic, abrasive, superior, fiercely loyal and—above all—ferociously principled, Sherlock Holmes is a hero for all times. Every era has its thieves and monsters, its exploiters and abusers, and in every era the detective of Baker Street will piece together the clues and bring the guilty to book.
In alt.sherlock.holmes, the creators of Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets have invited three talented writers to bring startling visions of the Great Detective and the redoubtable Doctor Watson to the page: as a carnival owner and fortune teller in the 'thirties American Dust Bowl, as a drugged-up, tuned-out weirdnik in 'sixties New York City, and as the most irregular consultant in present-day Hollywood.
The game's afoot! Whether hunting a vandal, a killer, or a shadowy conspiracy, in Indiana, California or New York, Holmes and Watson are on the case.
"Three authors have obviously spent not a little time immersed in the muse of Sherlock. For a fictional dude he/she sure does get around… if time is a pool, boy, this is a deep one."– SF CrowsNest
"Recommended especially for those who collect Sherlock stories, and would be enjoyable to fans of mystery stories in general."– San Francisco Book Review
"Each one of the interpretations somehow managed to bring a freshness to a story that's been told time and time again (and very well at that.)"– Dora Reads
"Agent Trenet, who is this?" I asked.
Before she could answer, the gypsy spun to face me and thrust his hand across the table. "Vagabond. Performer. Owner and proprietor of Soggiorno Brothers Traveling Wonder Show. I am Crash."
"He's a thief and a liar," Trenet spat. She tossed a lock of blonde hair out of her eyes and put some distance between her and Sanford Haus.
Rather than bristle at the accusations, Haus smiled. He lifted one shoulder in a dismissive shrug and regarded me with interest. "And you, soldier boy? Have you a name?"
I winced as I got to my feet. Shook his hand as I replied, "Jim Walker."
"Jim? Well, isn't that just dandy?"
"How did you know?" I asked.
"That I am a—was"—I corrected myself quickly—"a soldier? All that stuff about South Carolina? Alabama? Did she tell you?"
Trenet plopped into the chair I'd just vacated and crossed her arms over her chest. "Here we go."
"You walk with a stiff leg," said Haus as he began to divest himself of Madame Yvonde's ample hips. "The footprint of your right is significantly deeper than that of your left. You've had an injury of some sort that has led to amputation. While that might be more common for a farmer, you dress too well for someone working the fields. You're of an age to have served in the Great War, so I can presume soldier."
Haus shimmied out of the costume while he explained. Beneath all those rags and scarves was a stained undershirt, brown trousers and suspenders. Sanford's arms were ropy sinew and milk-white marble. He threw off the bald cap and tousled his red curls.
"Now, there are very few regiments that are accepting of negroes. It's clear by your accent that you are a northerner. There was one regiment from the North that saw enough fire that might account for your leg, and that was the 369th out of New York. They mustered in South Carolina. I made a very educated guess that you had been part of Harlem's Hellfighters. You confirmed this suspicion when I needled you about Hellfire."
My jaw hung open. "You... that's..."
But he went on, enjoying the sound of his own voice. "After you returned from the war, you spent some time at Tuskegee in Alabama. I can tell that by the ring on your right hand, with the school's seal."
"Incredible," I gasped.
"Now we get to the fun part. When you fished out your money, you made the mistake of flashing your badge. I am more than familiar with Pinkerton Agents," he said with a nod to Trenet. "Considering our previous associations, I could only assume that Adele was with you. I stacked the cards and played to that knowledge by giving you The Empress."
"And the Devil?"
Sanford Haus bowed. "I am what I am."