“Sherlock Holmes, you are not leaving this county without visiting your mother!”
She then demanded that Sherlock introduce us, which he did. Rather awkwardly. He referred to me as “his…Watson” as he attempted to explain our relationship to his mother. I would have laughed, if I hadn’t been completely struck dumb by the realization that I was standing in front of the woman who had raised Sherlock AND Mycroft.
Her name, as it turns out, is Violet Sherrinfold-Holmes, and she is now the most terrifying woman I know. I practically felt her assessing me as her son talked about me and stiffly asked after their other relations. She had a very Holmes look in her eye. It’s the one that says “The game is afoot” and basically signals a series of events that will likely get me shot at – or would force me to shoot someone, whichever comes first.
I was relieved when she turned her attention back to her son, and I let myself tune out to give their reunion a bit of privacy.
That was a very bad decision, because in the few minutes I allowed myself to be distracted, Mrs. Holmes managed to worm herself into our investigation. As it turns out, she had gotten to know Adelpha Montrue in the few times she was in town for her trysts with Mr. Johnson – because she often stayed at a bed and breakfast owned by the Holmes family.
I found out later on that said bed and breakfast used to be Sherlock’s childhood home.
In any case, we learned that the Mr. Montrue we were looking for was, in fact, staying at the B&B. We rushed over there to catch him. While we were in the taxi, Mrs. Holmes requested to see the evidence we had on hand. It’s almost funny how quickly he handed them over. While she examined the contents of the phone, the postcards, and the letters, I heard Sherlock mumble something about how his mother always knew if HE had stolen the jam, even if Mycroft had always been the more obvious suspect.
We reached the rather charming house in under an hour, and it was Mrs. Holmes who shot out of it like a bullet – I guess that meant she’s figured it all out. Sherlock and I didn’t have a choice but to follow her as she explained to us that Adelpha Montrue didn’t exist. The handwriting in the letters supposedly written by Adelpha – which her son had said indicated an aggressive personality – had certain markers that clearly identified the writer as male. She also pointed out that there were inconsistencies in the tone of the text messages the victim supposedly sent to Mr. Johnson over the course of their affair. Given that she has an association with a Mr. Montrue, she can only deduce that they were working together to fool Mr. Johnson.
“The question is, why?” she asked.