SNEAK PEEK: Selena Jones: Trial and Error by Jacquelyn Applegate

Selena Jones Trial and Error by Jacquelyn Applegate

 

 

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SYNOPSIS

 

It is September of 1898 when Mr Sherlock Holmes encounters a most unusual and unique woman. A woman who notices the most diminutive and trifling details that the common being often overlooks. Her name is Selena Jones.

Holmes is asked to find Selena when her maid, Mrs Baker, receives a threatening letter addressed to Miss Jones. When Holmes finds her, he realizes he has set eyes on her before. He finds, after having an extensive conversation with her, that she had deceived the men who had sent the letter and even solved the mystery of several murders.

Selena’s involvement leads to more deadly circumstances, however. A criminal organization, which has been building for some time, is now being hampered by her wits and presence. These men will stop at nothing to prevent her from causing any further interference.

A great evil rains down upon Selena triggering a chain of events that will bring Holmes and his dear friend Watson to her side. These events soon lead to a kidnapping and the mastermind behind the entire affair.

They find themselves in grave danger as the case takes a turn for the worst and Watson is taken prisoner. A ruse is set for Holmes, and Selena struggles to save Watson and reach Holmes in time. Her last venture, with Holmes, proves to be a deadly one but for whom?

 

 

EXCERPT

 

Dear Reader,

 

My letter is to anyone who may inherit or stumble upon my compilation if I fail to publish the work or pass it on before I meet the end of my years.

It was some time ago that Dr Watson had delivered a trunk filled with writings from both himself and Mr Holmes. I was a little apprehensive to open and read the papers at first, but I eventually did so. I had also received similar papers from someone very close to me. These papers were in the handwriting of Miss Selena Jones. As I read the papers, I found that both sets linked together to tell a story of a most magnificent woman and her trials she encountered to make more of her life.

I wish to remain anonymous at this time, but I will say that I was an acquaintance of Miss Jones. I was able to learn more of her through these writings. I was then compelled to piece the writings together and create a complete story from them. I did find it somewhat difficult due to the fact Selena and Mr Holmes’s writings were not always in a design of a story, but a log or journal of some sort. I tried to piece them together but found it best if I narrated some of their stories––mainly the first few chapters. It was obvious that neither one ever expected anything to come of this case until later. It was then that Selena kept a more detailed record, and Dr Watson began to write down Mr Holmes’s account into his stories or a journal. I felt the rest of their adventure was best told from their own words, so the reader could understand and feel more of their thoughts and emotions.

Dr Watson had been told to never let these writings into the public’s eye. I had chosen to stay out of the picture for many years; therefore, very few people know of me, and I felt it safe enough, at least, to compile the events. I am in hopes that, one day, the story of Selena’s trials and errors may be viewed.

 

         

Respectfully yours,

J.H.

 

 

 

 

 

Prologue

It was the first Friday in September of 1898. A day of relaxation and very little excitement that would be forgotten and pushed into the profundities of memory but would one day come rushing back like a wave upon the shore. A massive wave that would flood the mind with the memory of an event and an overheard conversation: A wave, which would leave its mark upon the sand forever.

The time was five-o’clock that Friday evening when Mr Sherlock Holmes returned to his hotel in Chatham after attending a performance featuring a mezzo-soprano by the name of Lady Duprey. Just two days earlier, he had been looking into a possible case.

Holmes was seated in the main area of the hotel, casually observing the behaviours of the guests and reading the local paper when he overheard an argument between the desk clerk and a young man.

“I’ve got you now, you thief!” cried the clerk.

“I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about,” replied the young man, who looked to be about eighteen.

“You know very well what. You were throwing rocks outside the other day. You broke my window and stole money from my box.”

“If you will excuse me, sir,” came a woman’s voice. “I don’t mean to interrupt, but I’m afraid you are making a mistake. This young man is quite innocent.”

Holmes folded his paper down and glared up to find the woman’s voice belonging to Lady Duprey.

“I am sorry, Lady Duprey, but what do you know of this? You couldn’t possibly know of this matter. He’s guilty and all the facts lead to it. Look at his attire and how he behaves.”

“I am afraid your facts have led you in the wrong direction. The true facts are right in front of you, but you have failed to notice them. You are looking for a young girl, around six years of age, sticky fingers, a keen eye, and––dark hair, yes––and quite use to taking what she needs, to survive. A gipsy girl, I believe. I have seen one about.”

“That’s absurd!” declared the clerk. “What makes you say such, madam?”

“The facts!” she spat aloud. “Your glass was broken just below the door knob, which suggest someone very short who needs to reach from under, and not over, in order to reach the lock and unlatch it comfortably. If the person were tall, save four foot six at least, they would have broken the pane from above. The latch is roughly six inches above the knob.”

“Nonsense, madam!”

She ignored him and continued on while Holmes listened intensely to the conversation.

“Secondly, the footprints in the gravel and the yard are very small and of a girl’s shoe. Shoes that are too large and very worn, I might add. The toe is hardly visible even from where she ran. The weight is mainly focused at the middle and back of the shoe. Therefore, the shoes are too large. There are also some traces of dirt on the edge of the door and the glass panes with little handprints. A little gipsy girl has broken in and stolen your money.”

“Now I’ve heard everything,” blurted the man. “You are a woman who sings and is very notable for your voice, but you are not the police nor a detective. I’m afraid I just cannot take your word on this. I know what I know, and he’s guilty.”

“Please! I didn’t do anything!” proclaimed the younger man. “Please, miss, don’t let him call the police! I swear I’m innocent!”

“I am sorry. I have said all I can.” She then turned to face the clerk. “It is a pity that this young man must suffer because you refuse to see all the facts.”

The clerk spoke as Lady Duprey began to walk away.

“How dare you, madam!” He voiced, “Are you accusing me of being dim?”

She immediately turned and retorted, “I do dare, and no I did not say you were dim; I merely said you fail to notice what is directly in front of you. The man who sees all is blind because he only sees what he wishes to see, whereas the man who is blind sees all because he hears what the other fails to see. After you have the wrong person arrested, you may wish to venture outside and look about. Have a pleasant day.” Lady Duprey spun about, grabbed the daily paper, and was off.

Holmes sat in thought, as he turned round in his chair. His brows drew down, in concentration, before he gazed up upon the broken pane at the rear door. His eyes gleamed with anxiety and excitement as he leaped up and pounced to the door to examine and put the lady’s theory into practice.

He scoured the ground like a hound and snatched his magnifying glass out as he studied the prints. At that moment, there was a faint sound from behind the bushes. Holmes twirled around to see a little gipsy girl running away. His mouth had lightly fallen open in astonishment of his findings. He swiftly turned his head back towards the hotel lobby.

“By Jove!” he uttered, as his brows knitted down, once again.

Holmes darted through the door and rushed to the desk clerk.

“Ah, Mr Holmes! How may I help you?”

“Lady Duprey. Where may I find her?”

“I am sorry, sir. She just checked out. She was in a hurry. I don’t know where she is headed. She usually does not leave so quickly after a performance,” replied the clerk.

“And you don’t know how I may find her?”

“No, sir. She never leaves her personal information. No one even knows her full name, for that matter. Never asked. She’s quite well known around these parts, for her music. Most everyone trusts her. The ones that know her.”

“Well, apparently not you,” Holmes blurted.

“I don’t follow?”

“No, of course not. Good day, sir.”

Holmes had retreated to his room to pack and prepare to catch his train back to London and return to the comforts of his old quarters at Baker Street.

“Ah, Holmes! I trust your case went well?” enquired his old friend, Watson, while reading the morning paper and enjoying a cup of coffee at the table.

“Oh, yes. It was a very simple one. The police were quite able to handle the entire ordeal. Everything was taken care of in two days. It was hardly a case of any interest. However …”

There was a pause of silence. Dr Watson was curious, so he spoke out.

“Ah ha! You said however. Therefore, something exciting happened. Pray tell, dear fellow?”

A faint grin came to his lips as he sat in his chair and turned towards his long-time friend.

“Have you ever heard of Lady Duprey?”

“Let me think. Oh yes. Is she a mezzo-soprano? I haven’t seen or heard her, but I’m told she has a very unique voice.”

“Ah, but not as unique as her mind.”

“How so? I take it you have met her, then?”

The faint curl upon Holmes’s lips grew into a generous grin.

“Well, not face to face. I did attend her performance, and I was at the same hotel.” He grasped his pipe, lit it, and cocked his eye in Watson’s direction with a smile as the pipe remained between his lips.

“Come now, Holmes. You have a story behind all this, and I’d like to hear it,” he urged.

“Very well. I shall not bore you with all the details, but I must admit to being quite intrigued and baffled at the same time. The desk clerk accused a young man of breaking the glass door and stealing money. After I examined the door, I knew he had not.”

“How does this fit in with Lady Duprey?” Watson continued with his coffee.

“I was first reading the paper when I heard her arguing with the clerk that the young man had not done the crime. He argued back saying the evidence was plain in sight. She countered back with a list of the obvious facts she had noticed. She stated that the glass was broken below the knob; therefore, the person in question was not the man but a child: a little gipsy girl, to be exact. She continued on that the girl would be roughly the age of six with dark hair and worn shoes.”

The doctor pulled his cup from his lips and laughed.

“You must be joking, Holmes. How on earth did she ever come up with that?”

Holmes did not laugh but merely glared at his colleague.

“I am not joking, Watson. There was more information that she gave. The clerk dismissed her idea and sent for the constable. I found her details so compelling that I decided to go outside and put her theory into practice. There were tiny handprints and footprints from a girl’s shoe, rather worn. Anyone tall would have broken the glass above the lock to reach it and not under. And then, there she was, running behind the bushes. A little dark-haired gipsy girl of about six.”

Watson was so taken aback that he froze in place with his cup inches from his lips and his mouth wide open. He did not know how to respond. He sat his cup down, never looking at the table, and made his way to the chair across from Holmes. There, he sat in disbelief as he stared at his friend. Finally, he spoke.

“Holmes, that’s impossible!”

“My sentiments exactly. Or so I thought,” said Holmes, over his pipe as his eyes remained fixed upon his friend. “I have no answers as to how she was able to come to such a conclusion. Unfortunately, I was unable to speak with her. She promptly left from the hotel within minutes. The clerk could not tell me why she left so hurriedly or even how I could contact her. Quite a narrow-minded fellow, I might add. Oh well. C’est la vie. One cannot dwell on what has past. I suppose this little ordeal shall have to remain a mystery to the both of us.”

Holmes knocked out his pipe, leaned back, and closed his eyes.

“All true, eh?” Watson asked, still in disbelief.

His friend gently nodded and replied, “Yes. All true.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

Miss Selena Jones

 

 

In early August of 1898, Selena had moved to her family home in Forest Row. She had fond memories of visiting her grandparents, as a child, and in her later childhood years, living there with her father. She had neither seen, nor stepped foot into the house for fifteen years. The only occupants, now, were the family maid, Mrs Baker, and the recent grounds-keeper and driver, Marcus.

Mrs Baker was a short elderly woman with brown eyes, small nose, and a full face. She was slightly over what would be considered average weight, but she was not, by any means, stout. She was also very set in her ways. Marcus, on the other hand, was a young, thin, short man of about the age of twenty-five. His eyes were deep set with thick brows and a square jaw.

Selena had left, those fifteen years ago, to travel about and further her study in music, voice, and theatre. She had returned in hopes of being able to settle down and find her purpose in life.

In early September, she was teaching piano and performing in the Chatham area where several murders had taken place. The news of the deaths did not trouble her a great deal until her close friend was found dead. At that moment, she knew something had to be done, so she set off to do some research on the women who had been killed.  To her astonishment, the women did have several things in common: they were all married, upper class, young women with no children, and had taken out a policy in case of their deaths. All the women lived in the area or travelled to Chatham frequently. It took several days for Selena to dig and find the connexions, but she had managed with a little persuasion and persistence.

Selena’s next task was to visit her friend’s husband and gather as much information as she could. The date was Tuesday, the sixth of September. Her visit was not a pleasant one due to the circumstances, but it did aid in a little comfort.

“John, I need you to tell me all you can about this policy and who sold it to Martha,” Selena pronounced.

“Well, she had taken out the policy about two weeks before her death. She was told she would receive a sum of two thousand pounds,” stated Mr John Carrington as he peered over the table to look at his late wife’s photo and then continued on about the agreement to have the policy.

“How did Martha come by it?”

Mr Carrington sat forward in his seat. “Martha was greeted by a man who claimed he was in a business of selling insurance in case of an unnatural death. He said he was from a very popular company in France and was starting one in Chatham and London.”

“What did this man look like?” she queried.

“I’ve never seen him, but Martha had told me he was a well-built, tall man, clean-shaven and dressed formally; top hat and all. Said his name was Mr Faimin Dereut. Said his business was called Insurance for Life; catered to young ladies of wealth.”

“May I see the papers?” She asked as she eagerly awaited his response.

“Of course. It is just one page. Here is the paper.” He reached to the small table next to his chair and picked up the paper.

Selena examined the paper quite thoroughly before returning it. At that instant, Mr Carrington could hold back no more.

He wept as he claimed, “I can’t believe this had happened. My beloved Martha is gone. If only I …”

“My dear, John,” she interrupted. “You could not have known or stopped her death from happening. No one could have done anything to stop this.” She then asked, “Have you received anything from this company?”

“Yes, they had sent round a paper for me to fill out. They said it would take about three months to go through, and that I would then receive the cheque.”

“Thank you, John. Please take care, and you needn’t be so harsh on yourself. You have done a great deal for Martha. I shall keep in touch.”

“Good day, Selena.”

Mr Carrington’s arms reached out to embrace Selena as he bid her farewell. The expression upon her face briefly went to a look of uneasiness. She quickly reacted as she took a swift step back and abruptly put her hand forth to offer a shake. Her reactions were then followed by a prompt smile and a nod bidding Mr Carrington farewell.

The following morning, Selena prepared to set off on her new adventure. Her first act was to get into the nest to see what type of birds she would be dealing with. She dressed the part and made sure the gentlemen knew she lived in a manor outside of Chatham. Selena wanted the men to believe she was looking to move closer since she was teaching in the area.

She passed by the company on her walk to her so-called work for several days. Just like a mouse and its trap, the men took the bait.

“Pardon me, madam. My name is Monsieur Dereut. I work for Insurance for Life. We cater to wealthy women who are married. Would you be interested?” the man put forth with a somewhat awkward French accent that seemed to be put on.

“Why would I need insurance?” she posed. “My husband has enough money to last my entire life.” She did not want to put him off but merely give him enough bait to take a bite and be pulled into her trap.

“Why, madam, all wealthy women are at risk of losing their life. Wealthy men tend to have a lot of enemies. We have done a study that proves wealthier women tend to die at least ten years earlier than most. Many have turned out to be murdered. We guarantee that all your assets will be taken care of, everything paid for such as any bills owed. The payment is very low: ten pounds for the first six months and then five pounds the rest of the year. Well worth the amount for two thousand pounds,” smiled Mr Dereut.

Selena’s eyes gleamed with excitement as she scrupulously listened to his every word and pronunciation. She could tell by his accent that he was not French. He was hiding something. Of that, she was sure of.

“Well, I suppose that could be true. You make a good point, sir. Perhaps I should take part in your policy. As you said, the price is not bad.” She paused for a second before speaking again. “Yes, I will take it,” she pronounced with a kind smile.

The papers were signed and her copy was given. Mr Dereut gave all his contact information in case she needed to contact him and said good-bye.

Selena rented a room just outside of Chatham. She spent the evening studying over the policy and pondering over the man’s name. Her brows were drawn over her eyes as she sat deep in thought.

“Something is all wrong with this name,” She uttered to herself.

She would spend the next few days following the man and studying his every move and habits. It was the eleventh when he had noticed he was being trailed. He confronted Selena about her following him, and she simply tried to play it off.

“I am just beginning to feel uneasy about my taking out the insurance and not sure if it is real,” she replied with an air of concern about her voice.

“Mrs Jones, there is no need for concern,” he stated dryly,  “I assure you all is real and your family will be at ease if it is ever needed. If I were you, though, I would not be snooping around so late since these murderers are still at liberty.”

She nodded, “I suppose you are correct. Thank you, Mr Dereut.” Selena went on her way as if she were headed back to Forest Row.

Several days later, he found her putting her nose into his business again. She was found asking questions about Mr Dereut, the other man that worked with him, and the person in which he was renting his office from. Time was running thin for Selena. She knew it was time to reel these men in before she lost her catch, or even worst, before they caught her. She decided to send a note to his office informing him she knew the policy was a scam and knew that he had murdered Martha. She was ending her policy, and if he did not destroy it, she would go to the police. Although she had no proof, she was rather certain he had murdered Martha, and felt that if he had, this letter would force him to show his hand.

Selena made sure he had seen her staying at the inn the night before. She wanted the men to be able to find her so she could complete her scheme. The time was nearing five-thirty in the morning when Selena set off from her room as if leaving for her job. She had seen the men off to her side but pretended to not notice them. She paused and rummaged around in her handbag as if she had lost something and turned to go back to her room.

Upon returning to her rented lodgings, she entered the bedroom and hid behind the door. Gently the main door opened. Her heart pounded as she took in a slow deep breath through her slightly parted lips and held it for what seemed like an eternity. Once, she licked her lower lip but never piercing them shut. If she had breathed through her nose, she would have heard her own breathing which would have impaired her ability to hear all other sounds around her.

A cold sweat ran down her temple as she felt her complexion going pale from anxiety. Her eyes followed the direction of the barely audible sounds the men made. Selena’s mind was like well-organised files that could be easily accessed and pieced together in any order she needed.  She heard one knife being pulled out from its casing and then another. She recalled both men being right handed and knew she would need to go for that arm first. She kept both hands in a fist close to her face and ready for an attack from the two men. Every second seemed to last for minutes. Her heart pounded so hard that she felt every beat in her throat. She took a slow deep breath from her mouth. At that moment, her feeling of apprehension was replaced with pure exhilaration. Her eyes drew in at the direction of the voice.

The men crept into the room and looked about with confusion as they did not see or hear the young lady. Mr Dereut’s assistant entered the bedroom.

“Where is she?” he asked. The man took a few more steps towards the opposite side of the room from where Selena held her place.

Mr Dereut was just entering the room, and instantly the door was flung back, knocking him off balance for a few moments. His knife fell from his hand, and Selena was now exposed. The smaller man sprang forward and thrust his knife at her. Selena grabbed his wrist as she twisted his arm downward, kneed him in the chest and pulled his thumb back to loosen the knife. Mr Dereut was now upon his feet and went towards her. As he did so, Selena pushed and gave the smaller man a swift kick into him, knocking him down once again. She kicked both knives away and pulled out a small revolver.

“I urge you not to move, gentlemen,” she pronounced, with a slight hint of excitement in her voice. “I am a dead on shot for aim, and I will not miss my target.” Her revolver was aimed precisely at their hands, without even the slightest sign of a quiver.

Both men gazed to the other in disbelief of what had just happened. Rage could be seen in Mr Dereut’s eyes as he peered back to Selena. His fist clenched tightly as his body appeared to be prepared to leap up and lunge toward Selena.

 

Chapter Two

The Letter

 

 

The morning of the sixteenth, Mrs Baker had received a most unusual letter. It was around five in the morning when she was awoken by a loud knock at the door. She grabbed her dressing gown and hurried to answer the door only to find a letter had been left at the doorstep and no one in sight. She opened the letter and gasped as she yelled for Marcus. They set off for London immediately.

The hour was a quarter past eight when Mrs Baker arrived at Baker Street. Mrs Hudson, the landlady, answered the door. She was an elderly woman with white hair fixed upon her head, a little over average weight, and about five feet in height. She asked Mrs Baker to wait in the foyer, while she went upstairs and attempted to rouse Mr Holmes.

“Mr Holmes?” She waited but received no response. “Mr Holmes, there is a lady here to see you, sir.”

“Mrs Hudson, I am in no mood to see anyone at this time. Do you even know what time it is?”

“Well, of course I know!” she bellowed. “It’s about time you get up. That’s what I know.”

“Tell her to go away and come back this afternoon,” conveyed Mr Holmes as he turned over in his bed.

“But Mr Holmes, she insists and will not leave until you see her. She’s rather upset and has travelled all the way from Sussex. Forest Row to be exact.”

Holmes gave a sigh of irritation. “Very well, then. Give me a few minutes before sending her up,” he cried as he threw his hands in the air and jumped to his feet to hastily dress.

Holmes rushed into the sitting room and grabbed his pipe off the mantle. He brushed his hair back with his fingers as a knock came to the door.

“Come in.” He stood by the fireplace as the lady entered and motioned as he said, “Please take a seat Mrs?”

“Mrs Baker, sir, but how did you…?”

“The band you wear upon the chain around your neck, and the imprint on the finger of your left hand from wearing a band. You are undoubtedly a widow, however, but let us get to the point.”

“Good heavens! Why yes, Mr Holmes! Well––well, I am sorry to bother you at this hour, but you see, my lady I work for has disappeared for several days, and I am most concerned.” Mrs Baker took a seat while clutching a letter in her hands.

Mr Holmes glanced down at the letter with eager eyes.

“Why have you not gone to the police about a missing person, Mrs Baker?” asked Mr Holmes with a slight irritation in his voice.

“I … I didn’t think they would bother since it had to do with those nasty men who had been attacking––”

Mr Holmes cut her off and pointed to the letter in her hand. “I see, and the letter you have, in your hand, must be from these supposed men since you clutch it so tightly with uneasiness. May I see it?”

“Why … why yes, you are correct; it is,” declared Mrs Baker as she handed the letter over to Mr Holmes who proceeded to un-crumple the missive and study it. The letter read as follows:

 

14 September

Stay out of our affairs Miss Jones. If you chose to continue to meddle into our business, you may find yourself in the same fate as the other women, except yours will be more unpleasant, I assure you. This is the last warning I will offer you. Keep your nose out of our business. Best you keep to what a woman should be doing. I hope I have made myself quite clear, madam.

 

“Quite a threatening letter, Mrs Baker. Why have you waited, till now, to come to me as seeing this letter was dated for the fourteenth of September and it is now the sixteenth? Your mistress may have already met her fate.” Mr Holmes gave Mrs Baker a most sincere but questionable look.

“I would have come sooner, but the letter did not arrive until five this morning. I promise you I am telling the truth. The letter was left by the door, and no one was in sight when I answered.” Her complexion went slightly pale at the thought of Selena being disposed of.

“Mrs Hudson, please bring a cup of coffee for Mrs Baker. Now—tell me everything leading up to this letter, and I shall assist in finding Miss Jones in anyway I can. I pray that it is not too late.” Mr Holmes laid his pipe down and sat with his hands in his lap as he leaned forward to eagerly listen. “Tell me, Mrs Baker, what is your mistress’s full name?”

Mrs Baker took a few sips from the cup that had been brought to her. She looked at the cup for a moment and then spoke. “Her name is Lady Selena Jones, or Miss Jones as she prefers, sir.”

“A very striking name. But not a common name for a lady from these parts.”

“No, it is not, Mr Holmes. It is from her mother. Her name was Marcelina. Her mother was French. Her parents wanted to give her an English name but reflect her mother’s French heritage so they came up with Selena.”

“Ah—I see. Pray continue.”

“Well, Mr Holmes, it all started weeks ago when my lady kept reading the papers about the women getting murdered. She seems to take to this sort of stuff. She is not your usual lady—I mean her behaviour, not her looks. She’s quite a beauty to look upon. Average in height, and she has some most beautiful features: very distinctive ones, at that. Her eyes are such a remarkable grey. There is something about when you look at her eyes that I cannot describe. It’s like a look of kindness and peace yet they seem to pierce straight through with such coldness. It’s like going into a trance. Once you look deep into her eyes, you get pulled in. Once you do, it is near impossible to not do as she asks, and I think she knows this. Well … I’m sorry I’m rambling …”

“No, it is quite all right. Do continue, Mrs Baker. I need as much detail about your mistress as you can give. Equally so about the men who may have taken her and why if at all possible.”

“Her hair is blonde, like a brightly coloured field of barley as the sun shines upon it, with faint waves. A light build, she has; as I said earlier, she’s of average height. She’s about five feet five inches. She keeps to herself and only has … had one friend, but she was murdered about two weeks ago. That is why she got into this mess. She is very well educated in the arts, but she tends to find herself drawn to things out of the ordinary, well, for women at least. And she’s full of fire and zest. I don’t know her all that well, now mind you. She has been gone for many years studying music, theatre, and who knows what. She studies all the time. She has travelled quite a bit, as well.

“I have been the family maid for over twenty years. Her parents died many years ago; her Mother first and then her Father. He made sure she was able to fend on her own. I do remember that much. The manor belonged to her grandparents.” There was a small pause and then she continued. “Well, she returned from a performance when her dear friend Martha got murdered. She had had enough. She was dreadfully angry and set off early the next day. She would be gone before dawn and back after nine in the evening. This went on for days. Then, the past few days, since about the fourteenth or so, I have not seen or heard from her at all.” She started to get upset as she spoke again. “I just know something has happened to her, Mr Holmes. If I had known she was going to be so bull-headed, I should have stopped her. I feel so …”

“Now, now, Mrs Baker. There would have been nothing you could have done to prevent her from going if she is, as you say, not like most ladies. If Miss Jones is as cunning and so set in her ways of finding these men as you make her out to be, then you should not worry yourself so. I feel she would know if she were in danger and needed to bow out of her hunt. However, since you have not heard from her in some time and due to the nature of the letter, I shall set out as soon as possible.” He stood up and led Mrs Baker to the door. He put his hand on the door moulding as he remarked, “ Mrs Baker, I promise you I shall find Miss Jones and see these men to justice.” He turned away and then looked back quickly. “Oh––and please leave your address with Mrs Hudson, so I may be able to reach you. Good day, Mrs Baker.” Mr Holmes twirled about and hurried off to his room to prepare for his trip to Chatham.

Passing Mrs Hudson just as he reached the foyer, he paused to don his cap and gloves. Once he was ready to depart, he grabbed his walking stick and turned to his landlady.

“Mrs Hudson, if Dr Watson shows this evening, please inform him I may be out of town for several days, on a case. I shall be in Chatham. Thank you, Mrs Hudson.”

Mr Holmes darted out the door wearing a long grey travelling-cloak, his travelling cap, and carrying one bag.

 

 

AUTHOR BIO

 

Jacquelyn Applegate is a music teacher for kindergarten through fifth grade in Lyles, TN. She holds a K-12 instrumental music education degree and has taught every grade level throughout the past twelve years. She has a great love for music and performs on several instruments. Her major instrument is trumpet, which she has played for 23 years, followed by guitar and piano. She enjoys composing music on occasions, performing at events, and on stage.

She also enjoys performing on stage for theatre. She has performed in several plays in her area and at TPAC in Nashville, TN. Her performance has included acting as well as performing trumpet on stage. She considers acting to be her greatest love along with performing her music.

Jacquelyn is very much into the arts. She also enjoys drawing, painting and sculpting. Her other hobbies include working on or building her cars such as her Knight Rider replica, fencing, being outdoors and writing her books. She is currently working on her second book titled Selena Jones & Sherlock Holmes: The Hunt. She is always looking at trying new hobbies and thrives on learning to do anything new.

Here is a list of her of her work:

Television: upscale Wentworth party guest on television show “Nashville” Season 2 Episode 3. 2013

Theatre: Clay Harris Theatre Beth : Young woman Alice (Beth’s sister), Secretary, trumpeter, played guitar,  drums, and piano, and woman at funeral.

The Clay Harris Variety Show: Koreen Bagaloosie (Seen in picture below wearing the blue)

The Beth Slater Whitson Story: at TPAC: Young woman Alice, Office worker, and trumpeter.

Clay Harris: Auction Tonight: Netty Gains (The nagging,money pinching wife) pictured beolw with the curlers.

July Fourthat Thora’s Meat and Three: (Carltina-crazy split personality woman looking for a job. She never liked anyone to touch her.)

Georgia Mudd: ( Farris- Cocktail waitress and is daughter from second marriage. Went everywhere with sister Edith.)

Scrooge: Ghost of Christmas Past, a sister to Bob Cratchit, fill in for Mrs. Cratchit during last performance when actress broke her foot.

Family Reunion: (Kitty–Over zealous religious woman who loves Hello Kitty.)

Madame Olga: The fortune teller with gray hair. I did this for some events and spoke with a Russian accent.

 

Website URLS

 

http://jacquelynapplegate.squarespace.com

Twitter: SelenaJonesBook

Facebook: Selena Jones Mysteries Featuring Sherlock Holmes By Jacquelyn Applegate.

 

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG11JaMJKjQ

 

 

Sneak Peeks are our way of helping readers find new books and authors and get previews. Please share and/or comment! Thank you!

 

 

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