So… Is It Good?

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

Archive for July, 2012

The Case of the Broken Hearts – Chapter 1

Posted by cyberpfalcon on July 31, 2012

The phone rang on the nightstand. It rang over and over again until Sheryl Holmes finally woke up and picked it up.

Angrily, she yelled into the phone, “Alright, what’s so important that you had to called me in the middle of the night?!”

“Sheryl, it’s Mike.”

Sheryl paused for a moment to calm down and to wake up. “Are you sending me on a case?”

“Yes.”

“But it’s 2 in the morning!”

“Well, I don’t dictate when people commit crimes. If I did, they wouldn’t happen at all.”

“Alright, alright, where am I going this time?”

And that’s how Sheryl found herself in front of the Wolfe Estates, a gated community for the wealthy, at half past 2 in the morning.

Sheryl stepped out of the taxi and headed towards one of the police officers standing guard in front of the gate and identified herself and her purpose for being there. While the officer was confirming her identity, Sheryl approached the security guard that was on duty. “So, you’re the security guard for this neighbourhood?”

“Yeah. Well, one of them, I stayed at the station next to the gate while my partner was patrolling the area.”

“Well, did you let anyone in or out around the time of the murder?”

“Nope.”

“Okay, thanks.”

“No problem, officer.”

“Oh no, I’m just a consultant.” Sheryl handed the security guard her business card, which proudly read, “Sheryl Holmes’ 221B Baker Detective Agency”. “Call me if you have anything you need investigated.”

The police officer from earlier walked up to Sheryl, “Okay, ma’am, you’ve been cleared. Here’s your I.D. Badge.”

Sheryl put the badge around her neck, and the officer guided her to the body.

Previous ChapterNext Chapter

This story is part of the Sheryl Holmes’ 221B Baker Detective Agency series.
New chapters to be posted on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The logo was created by solidgaunt, please visit his amazing gallery!

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Podcast With Pics… Paused

Posted by cyberpfalcon on July 25, 2012

Just wanted to note that I’m still trying to figure out the issues with uploading my videos to YouTube, so I have to pause the Podcast With Pics for a while.
In other news, a new Sheryl Holmes story next Tuesday!

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The Case of the Missing Cat

Posted by cyberpfalcon on July 17, 2012

Sheryl put down the newspaper and let out a satisfied grin. The headline of the article that she was reading said, “Private Detectives Help Catch Weapons Smugglers”, and the article described how Sheryl and Marlowe had helped the police round up members of a weapons smuggling ring. It didn’t go into much detail, of course, since the witnesses had to be protected, but the important thing was that Sheryl had some positive publicity going for her now.

“The cases should start rolling in!” she thought to herself as she ate a piece of candy.

The doorbell rang, startling Sheryl. She walked to the door and stared out the peephole to find a little girl outside her door.

Puzzled, she opened the door. Smiling at the little girl, Sheryl said, “What are you doing here, little girl?”

The little girl held up the newspaper, showing the very same article that Sheryl was reading earlier. “Are you Ms. Sheryl Holmes?”

“Yes, I am, but you can call me Holmes.”

The little girl put the newspaper back into her bag. “Why would I call you that?”

“Well, because that’s what everyone called Sherlock Holmes.”

“Who’s that?”

Sheryl stood there for a moment as she was taken aback by the fact that the little girl didn’t know who her idol was. Finally, she said, “He is one of the greatest detectives in the world, and my idol.”

The little girl pondered this information for a moment. Then she said, “Oh, then maybe I should go to him instead, do you know where he lives?”

Sheryl paused again, realizing that she should have explained things a bit better, “Oh, sorry there, I should have been more clear about this. He’s just a character in some stories that I love.”

“Oh…” The little girl looked disappointed, but she perked up again with a renewed sense of determination, “Then will you help me, Ms. Sheryl?”

Sheryl sighed again at yet another person refusing to call her by her surname. “Alright, what do you need help with?”

“I would like to hire you to find my cat!” The little girl then fumbled around in her pocket and took out what was probably her total savings at this point, “I have twelve dollars!”

The two of them stood in silence for a moment, as the girl eagerly waited for Sheryl to take her money and help her.

“Well,” said Sheryl, “my fee is usually a lot higher than twelve dollars.”

Tears started showing at the bottom of the little girl’s eyes. “So you won’t help me?”

Sheryl panicked a little as the little girl’s eyes started to swell up. “No, no! Of course I’ll help you!”

The little girl sobbed, “But this is all I have!”

“Well, this case is on me, okay?” Sheryl patted the girl’s head.

The little girl dried her tears and smiled, “Really? Thanks, Ms. Sheryl!”

“Well then, come inside and tell me about your case.”

Sheryl and the little girl walked into the living room and sat down onto the sofa.

“Would you like a piece of candy?” asked Sheryl, pointing to the bowl of candy on the coffee table.

“Yes!” The little girl excitedly grabbed one of the pieces of candy. She then unwrapped the candy delightfully and put it into her mouth.

“So, what’s your name?” asked Sheryl.

“Samantha!” the little girl replied with a delighted voice.

“So, Samantha, tell me about your missing cat.”

Samantha dug into her bag and pulled out a poster. The poster was headlined with the word “Missing”, underneath that was a picture of the cat and an address and phone number.”This is Annabell! We named her that because she wears a bell!”

Sheryl smiled at the innocent pun. “So, what happened?”

“A few days ago, I was playing with Annabell in the front yard, when her collar broke, I went in to get her a new one. Then as I was coming back out, I saw a stranger through the window and I looked outside. She picked up Annabell and drove away in her car.” Tears welled up in Samantha’s eyes again as she remembered what happened, “I ran out, but they were gone by the time I got out.”

Sheryl grabbed a tissue and handed it to the little girl. “This stranger, what did she look like?”

“I don’t know, she had short blonde hair, that’s all I could really see.” Samantha said while sobbing. She wiped her tears and snot with the tissue that Sheryl had handed her.

“What did your parents say?”

“They didn’t believe me, they just thought that Annabell had run off.” Samantha was calming down again. “We made these posters, but the kidnapper won’t give Annabell back so easily. So while my parents weren’t looking, I snuck out to find you!”

The girl then turned to face Sheryl and smiled as she said this. Sheryl stared back with a bewildered expression as it sunk into her that a missing child was now sitting beside her while the parents were probably worried and running around everywhere, trying to find their child.

Finally, Sheryl reacted, “Samantha, let’s get you home first.”

“So that you can take a look at the crime scene?”

“That’s right! But first, let me call your parents.”

Sheryl dialled the number on Samantha’s poster. Unfortunately, no one answered, so Sheryl left a message saying that she was bringing Samantha back to her home.

Sheryl sighed and put down the phone. However, it was then that Sheryl’s phone rang. “Sorry, hang on for another minute, Samantha.”

Sheryl picked up the phone and answered, “Hello, Sheryl Holmes’ 221B Ba-”

“I have a case for you, Sheryl.” Mike’s voice came through the phone.

“Oh, hi Mike. Sorry, I kinda have a case already.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

After a brief pause filled with disbelief, Mike replied, “Okay, well, my detectives can handle it without you then. What sort of case is this?”

“Well, it’s a case of the missing cat.”

“Oh, so you were hired by some rich old lady to go look for a cat?”

“… No, it’s just a little girl.”

There was a pause on the telephone. Sheryl could feel Mike’s anger through the phone, she quickly said, “Well, at least having a case is better than having no case?”

There was another pause before Mike’s voice came through the phone again. “Goodbye, Sheryl.”

The call disconnected and Sheryl put the phone down, still feeling the aftereffects of Mike’s suppressed disappointment about the case.

Samantha tugged Sheryl’s sleeve. “Can we go now, Ms. Sheryl?”

Snapping back to reality, Sheryl got up. “Alright, let’s go find your cat.”

***

Sheryl and Samantha got out of the bus. As soon as the two stepped off the bus, Sheryl saw posters of Annabell.

Or at least, what looked like Annabell. Some of the posters were of Annabell, however, there were also some that were of another cat. The name of this other missing cat was Shirley, and the address was one that was in the same neighbourhood that they were in. As far as Sheryl could tell though, the two cats were nearly identical. The only difference was that Annabell was wearing a bell.

“I guess someone else is missing their cat too.”

“Yeah, these posters were up a couple of days before Annabell went missing too.” Samantha paused for a moment, then, an idea popped into her head and she gasped. “Maybe she was also kidnapped by the same person that kidnapped Annabell!”

“Maybe…” Sheryl replied as she stared at the poster of Shirley, noting down the address, phone number, and other details on her notepad.

The two girls headed to Samantha’s house. They walked up the front porch and Samantha pulled out her key. As soon as they entered the house, a woman’s voice came rushing down the hall. “Samantha! Samantha, is that you?”

A woman ran down the hallway. As soon as she reached Samantha, she gave her an intense hug of relief. “Don’t run off like that again! I was so scared!”

“I- I’m sorry, mom.” Samantha said, her voice full of guilt.

“Samantha! You’re alright!” A man walked down the hallway where the woman came from, carrying a squirming cat in his arms. “Look who we found.”

“Annabell!” Samantha yelled out her friend’s name and her eyes gleamed.

The cat squirmed out of the man’s arms and ran away. Seeing this, Samantha chased the cat down the hallway and into the living room. “Wait, Annabell! It’s me!”

“You must be Sheryl Holmes.” The man extended his hand. “I am Nick, and this is my wife, Jean. Thank you for looking after our girl.”

Sheryl shook Nick’s hand.

Jean then grabbed Sheryl’s hand and held it gratefully. “Yes, thank you very much for bringing her back, we were so worried.”

“Oh, it’s no problem, I’m just glad that Samantha got Annabell back.”

Jean gestured towards the living room. “Please, come inside and have some tea with us.”

Sheryl agreed and the three headed into the living room, where Samantha was holding a collar with a bell attached to it. The cat, on the other hand, was hissing at her in the corner.

“C’mon Annabell, it’s me, Samantha!” The little girl pleaded with the cat, with tears welling up in her eyes.

Jean walked over to Samantha, “Oh honey, don’t cry. Annabell must just still be in shock from getting lost. She was squirmy too when your dad and I found her.”

Sheryl thought for a moment, “Is your cat usually squirmy?”

“No!” said Samantha, “Annabell usually isn’t like this!”

“Hmm,” Sheryl looked at the cat. “Does Annabell have any distinctive features?”

“What do you mean?” ask Jean.

“Like something to tell her apart from the other cats of the same breed.”

“Well, she does have a scar on her left side, but you can’t see it under the fur though.”

“Could you make sure that she still has the scar?”

“Well, of course she does.” Jean walked over to the cat and grabbed her. The cat tried to squirm away, but Jean held on as she checked for Annabell’s scar.

Jean parted the fur and tried to locate the scar, but after a few minutes, she realized, “There… isn’t a scar. This isn’t Annabell….”

“What?!” cried Samantha, “Where’s Annabell then?”

Samantha’s face fell, and she started sobbing.

Sheryl knelt down so that she and Samantha were at eye level, and she wiped Samantha’s tears with her hands. “Don’t worry, Samantha, I think I know where your cat is.”

Samantha opened her eyes, “You do?”

“Yes, just let me make a phone call.”

Sheryl got back up and Jean went over to comfort Samantha. Taking her phone out, Sheryl dialled the number that she saw on Shirley’s missing poster.

The phone rang a few times before a woman picked up. “Hello?”

“Hi, this is Sheryl Holmes, are you Shirley’s owner?”

“Yes, yes I am.”

“Well, I think we have your cat.”

“That’s not possible, I have Shirley right here.”

“Has she been acting differently since you brought her back?”

The woman paused for a bit before replying, “Well, she has been acting uncomfortable.”

“Where did you find your cat?”

“She was on someone’s lawn in my neighbourhood.”

It was obvious, now, that Shirley’s owner must have been the one that Samantha saw take Annabell away. Without her bell on, Annabell looked just like Shirley, leading Shirley’s owner to think that Annabell was Shirley.

Sheryl explained the situation, and the woman on the other end of the phone confirmed that there was indeed a scar on the cat that she had.

The two cats were each returned to their proper owners, and a few hours later, Sheryl finished the cup of tea that Jean had made while Samantha played happily with Annabell, who now had her bell back on.

Sheryl got up to leave, “Well, thank you for the tea. I should get going now.”

At the door, Nick and Jean thanked Sheryl again, and Samantha held out the twelve dollars she had offered earlier, “It’s for you, Ms. Sheryl!”

“Oh, don’t worry about it, this one’s on me.”

Samantha shook her head, and with a huge smile on her face, she said, “It’s to help you become a great detective!”

Sheryl looked at Samantha’s earnest face and smiled. “Okay then, thanks.”

She patted the little girl’s head and received her payment. Then, she placed a piece of candy in Samantha’s hand and walked out the door, waving goodbye.

Previous ChapterNext Chapter

This story is part of the Sheryl Holmes’ 221B Baker Detective Agency series.
The logo was created by solidgaunt, please visit his amazing gallery!

So that was the second Sheryl Holmes story, hope you enjoyed it! Since it’s the end of the case, there will be another one week break, so the next Sheryl Holmes story will be posted on July 31st.

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Truth, Justice, And The Superman Way (Review of Action Comics (Vol. 1) #775)

Posted by cyberpfalcon on July 6, 2012

Since Sheryl Holmes is taking a break this week, I thought I might do a review.
This time though, I’ll be doing a “podcast with pics” type of thing instead, because it’s easier to just vocalize my thoughts when reviewing something, and this way I can spend more time on writing the novel.

These are just meant to be short, little videos that I can make easily, so I won’t be editing them a lot.

This week, we’re reviewing Action Comics (Vol. 1) #775.

So, please enjoy the first So… Is It Good? podcast (with pics)!

Note: Wow, I tried to get this onto YouTube for 2 nights, but to no avail. I tried using VideoPad, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Live Movie Maker, Prism Video Converter, Any Video Converter, and a ton of other applications to convert and encode the video in formats like WMV, MP4, MPG, AVI, and even FLV. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

[Update on Aug. 13,2013] This video/podcast is no long online. The link in this post has been removed.

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The Case of the Smuggler’s Wife – Epilogue

Posted by cyberpfalcon on July 6, 2012

The night had fallen. It was a few hours after the arrest of Brett Summers.

Marlowe sat on his chair behind his desk, drinking another glass of scotch. Sheryl, on the other hand, had made herself at home on his sofa, where she was eating candy, drinking coffee, and playing on her portable game console.

Sheryl’s phone rang, and she answered it with a simple, “Hello?”

She listened for a little bit before responding, “Yes, I’m still in his office. I’ll tell him, thanks Watson.”

Now a bit cheered up from the news that she heard, she put her phone away and announced, “They got Scotty back. They were also able to catch a lot of Brett’s accomplices in the smuggling ring, including the boss, and Brett is going to testify.”

Not really cheered up, Marlowe stared at his glass of scotch before responding, “Good.”

Knowing that it was time to go, Sheryl finished her coffee and packed up her stuff. She was about to unwrap yet another piece of candy when she stopped.

Instead, she walked over to Marlowe’s desk and placed the piece of candy in front of him. “I know you’re upset about your client, Marlowe. I also know that you know that it wasn’t your fault, but yet, you can’t help feeling like you’re to blame for at least a part of it. However, at least Brett is turning over a new leaf and Scotty is safe.”

Marlowe looked up from his glass. They stared at each other for a moment.

Sheryl broke off the stare and walked towards the door, “Good night, Marlowe.”

She walked out the door, leaving Marlowe with his drink.

Marlowe stared at his drink again, before drinking the rest of it in one big gulp.

Finished with his drink, he picked up the piece of candy that Sheryl left on his desk. He looked at it for a moment and smiled a little. Then, he unwrapped the piece of candy and ate it.

Previous ChapterNext Chapter

This story is part of the Sheryl Holmes’ 221B Baker Detective Agency series.
The logo was created by solidgaunt, please visit his amazing gallery!

Hope you all enjoyed the first Sheryl Holmes story! Her next case will be posted after a one week break, on July 17, tune in then!

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The Case of the Smuggler’s Wife – Chapter 11

Posted by cyberpfalcon on July 3, 2012

There was a silence in the air as Brett finished his story.

Detective Watson did the only thing that he could do. He walked over to Brett Summers and arrested him. “Brett Summers, you’re under arrest. We’ll send men to rescue your son as soon as you tell us where your boss is keeping him.”

Watson cuffed Brett’s hands. He then gave Marlowe a glare. “I should arrest you too, Marlowe.”

Marlowe glared back with his fists clenched, “If you had let him talk to me alone in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened, ‘Detective’.”

The two men glared at each other for what seemed like ages. Finally, Watson walked towards the door with Brett Summers in tow. “Are you coming, Sheryl?”

Sheryl shook her head, “No, I’ll stay here. My role in this case is over.”

“Alright then, thank you for your help on this one, Sheryl… and Marlowe.”

And with that, Detective Watson left with Brett Summers.

Previous ChapterNext Chapter

This story is part of the Sheryl Holmes’ 221B Baker Detective Agency series.
New chapters to be posted on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The logo was created by solidgaunt, please visit his amazing gallery!

Posted in Sheryl Holmes' 221B Baker Detective Agency | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »