So… Is It Good?

A blog featuring the various writings of E. H. Lau.

The Case of the Smuggler’s Wife – Chapter 2

Posted by cyberpfalcon on May 31, 2012

Sheryl found herself just outside of an alleyway.

The alleyway was closed off by the usual police setup. Police tape across the openings of the alleyways, the uniformed police guarding the entrances, the police cars parked close to the alleyway, and the like. A sign saying ‘The Golden Inn’ hung on one of the buildings next to the alleyway.

Sheryl took a piece of candy out of her pocket, unwrapped it, and placed it in her mouth. She walked up to one of the police officers guarding the alleyway, and told him who she was while showing him her identification. After he called in on his radio and received confirmed that Sheryl was allowed to be there, he smiled and lifted the police tape up for her. “Go right on in then, miss.”

Sheryl thanked the police officer and walked into the alleyway.

In the middle of the alleyway, a plain-clothes detective and a forensic scientist were examining a body. Sheryl took out some latex gloves and put them on as she walked towards them. She walked up next to the detective and the scientist and crouched down with them.

The victim was a young woman, whose long hair was now covered in the dried blood that had leaked out from the bullet hole in her forehead. Her dying expression seemed to had been one of acceptance, but now all that was left was a vacant stare.

The forensic scientist greeted Sheryl, “Hello Sheryl.”

“Holmes, call me Holmes,” Sheryl said.

The detective rolled his eyes a little and said, “Hello Sheryl.”

Sheryl also rolled her eyes a little in response and greeted the detective, “Hello Dr. Watson.”

At the mention of that name, the detective’s brow furrowed and he angrily responded. “You know very well that I’m not a doctor, it’s Detective Wa-”

Sheryl interrupted Detective Watson, “So, what do we have here boys?”

The forensic scientist stood up. “Victim was killed by a gunshot to the head. No other wounds were found in my quick examination. I’ll send you the report of the full examination after I’m done, Detective.”

Detective Watson also stood up. He nodded and said, “Thank you.”

The forensic scientist walked off to continue with his duties. When he had walked far away enough, Sheryl started doing her own quick examination of the body.

Detective Watson turned around and noticed Sheryl’s unauthorized fiddling. Angrily, he told her, “Stop touching the body, Sheryl! According to procedure, I’m supposed to-”

Sheryl brushed the detective off, “Oh, you cops and your procedures. C’mon, trust the detective!”

“… I’m the detective around here,” Detective Watson muttered.

Not paying any attention to the detective, Sheryl found the victim’s wallet and opened it up. Sighing, Watson bent down to have a look at the wallet with Sheryl.

The first thing that the two saw when Sheryl opened the wallet was a picture of the victim along with a man and boy; the three of them looked close and happy in the picture.

“Ah, so she has a husband and a son, it seems,” observed Sheryl.

“Or they could be her brother and nephew,” countered Detective Watson.

However, Sheryl pointed out, “… Good point, except that they’re wearing matching wedding rings on their ring fingers.”

Watson paused for a bit, and decided that Sheryl was right, “Fine.”

Sheryl continued flipping through the victim’s wallet, eventually pulling out the victim’s driver’s license. Sheryl looked over the license and said, “Her name was Virginia Summers.”

The next item of importance that Sheryl found was a business card, which read, ‘Marlowe’s Private Investigations’. There was a silence as the both of them stared at the business card with a sense of foreboding.

Finally, Sheryl put the wallet down, and they both got up. Watson motioned to another officer that they were done with the body, and both he and Sheryl walked towards to the end of the alleyway.

“Well, looks like we’re going to see Marlowe,” said Sheryl.

Detective Watson furrowed his brows again, “That card could mean anything, Sheryl.”

“Considering Marlowe’s reputation, I’d say that it’s worth at least a visit,” Sheryl replied.

Watson looked back into the alleyway, sighed a little, and said, “Alright then, I’ll report this and send some of my men over to-”

Watson turned back around and noticed that Sheryl had already walked off without him. Catching up to Sheryl, he grabs her by the shoulder, “Hey! You can’t go by yourself! This is still a police investigation.”

“Oh c’mon, Watson, lay off the procedures a little. Besides, I want to go see Marlowe again, he makes good coffee.” Reaching into her pocket, she took out two pieces of candy. Unwrapping one and eating it, she offers Watson the other one, “Candy?”

Watson dismissed the candy and sighed, “I can’t believe that I have to work with you again!”

“Oh c’mon, Watson, you know you like working with a Holmes,” said Sheryl.

Frustrated, Watson said, “This isn’t one of your Sherlock Holmes stories, Sheryl! First of all, I’m in charge here. Second of all, working with you is like babysitting. And last of all, you’re nothing like Sherlock Holmes.”

Upon hearing that, Sheryl got angry herself and leaned in closer to yell at Watson, “Yes, I know that you’re in charge here, ‘Detective Watson’. You know, you used to like being with me when we were in high school and we were…”

Sheryl’s voice trailed off, their faces were close enough now that their lips were almost touching. Their lips lingered in that position for a moment, then Sheryl leaned back.

Her voice softer now, Sheryl continued, “But then again, maybe you didn’t like being with me, since you…”

Sheryl’s voice trailed off again, and Watson looked away in guilt.

“Look Sheryl, I-” Watson began as he looked back up, only to find that Sheryl was once again walking away.

“C’mon Detective,” said Sheryl, “we’re wasting time.”

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This story is part of the Sheryl Holmes’ 221B Baker Detective Agency series.
New chapters to be posted on Tuesdays and Fridays.
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7 Responses to “The Case of the Smuggler’s Wife – Chapter 2”

  1. I find the coincidence of a Watson and a Holmes a bit much — it would be somewhat funnier if it was a nickname she wouldn’t stop using on him. However, the graphic murder seen and the humour don’t go great together.

    Forensic scientists are rarely used at an actual crime scene unless the police are certain that they need extra analysis on site to get all of the evidence. Usually detectives handle a lot of it, with crime scene technicians.

    • Thanks for reading!
      I don’t want to say too much, but let’s just say that there is a point to the Holmes and Watson coincidence that will be revealed in the upcoming chapters.

      I didn’t know that, guess I’ve been watching too much TV, haha.
      So, what about other people, like medical examiners and such? Or do they bring the body to the medical examiner?
      Do you know of any sources that I can use?

      Well, hopefully you enjoyed reading some of this, even with some inaccuracies.

      Thanks for your comments, and I hope you’ll read more!

  2. I did a review on Web Fiction Guide because here’s the weird thing — I love the humor tone you’ve got in the narrative voice. However,I think it doesn’t suit violent crime scenes, and I think the juxtaposition of the smuggler’s wife and the missing cat was weird. If you concentrated on the humor I think you’d have something fun to work with — and in my review I recommend re-envisioning Sheryl as a child sleuth instead of an adult, because then you don’t need to have as many accurate facts.

    Bodies are brought to a medical examiner at the coroner’s office. I would start with Wikipedia’ entries on crime scenes and forensic science, and then follow up with some of the sources in the reference section for more detail, and then I’d go to the library.

    • … wow.
      Just read your review, and I gotta say, that’s a great idea!
      I’ve been trying to figure out how I could differentiate this from the rest, and this could be it, thank you very much!

      I will definitely give it a shot, thank you!

  3. And thank you! That’s an awesome response to what I hoped was a good idea — I think it suits your strengths and leaves you room to improve at the same time. A lot of advantages, and on the plus side, I think I’ll get to read and recommend a 4 star story — and if you take it as far as I think you’re capable, maybe even 5 star. If you check out my other reviews, you’ll see I don’t hand those out willy-nilly. But the fun energy in this tells me you can infuse your story with enthusiasm — and that’s way more suited to children’s literature. In adults it’s usually in farce, which is difficult to sustain and I wouldn’t try it with something as venerable as Holmes.

    It’s somehing you could try with another topic, if you were so inclined — comedy seems to come easily to you.

    Would love it if you could sign up for the Web Fiction Guide forums there’s lots of helpful writers there — and if you mentioned how my review was helpful it just underlines how well the review system can work. Thanks!

    • Wow, I’m sorry that it took it over a month to get back to you. Work crept up on me, and we’ve been really busy for the last month or so.

      I just finished writing the “re-envisioning” that you suggested, and I really hope that it’s up to par. Would you mind if I contact you again when I get it up (I plan to write a few more first to work out a consistent tone before I post the first one up), and giving me your thoughts?

      I don’t usually post on forums, but I’ll see what I can do.

      Just wanted to make sure, you’re the author of “The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin” and “No Man an Island”, right?

  4. I would love to check it out once you have it ready — feel free to email me at — I am eager to see what happens if you play to your strengths, I think it could be awesome.

    I just thought it would be helpful to the whole idea and atmosphere of “Web Fiction Guide” if they saw how reviews can affect writers in a positive way — I was really flattered that my comments mattered. I hope I was helpful. I think any reader would like to see that their comments are taken seriously — we’re all always learning, and being open to it is a great mindset that will probably take you far!

    Yes, those are the stories I write.

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