The Memoirs of Silver Blaze by Michael Sims
I shall not soon forget that awful night on the moors.
I was happy in King’s Pyland. At the time of my story, I was in my fifth year. I had already been an eminent racer for years, but at heart I am still a romantic colt, and northern Dartmoor is wild and free. Not that Colonel Ross permitted me to race across the moors. No, I was too valuable for that. But I breathed the bold spirit of the moors from dawn to dusk. I loved the rugged hillsides, the towering granite tors, and the mists that often veiled it all for hours before the sun could make headway.
My mother taught me that a gentleman never boasts, and thus I face a quandary. I hope that mentioning a fact won’t brand me a braggart; possibly you have been on the continent and failed to recognize the name Silver Blaze. (I have a white forehead but no other white markings except a mottled off foreleg.) Thistle was my dam and Isonomy my sire. Yes, the Isonomy, who in 1878 won the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket, and the next year both the Ascot Gold Cup and the Manchester Plate, and the next the Ascot again. It was a legacy to trip even the most cocksure colt, yet I fancy I showed myself worthy. Foaled in 1885 I barely perspired in winning the Two Thousand Guinea Stake in my third year. At Ascot I won the St. James Place Stakes in a canter. At the time I speak of, I was the favorite in the Wessex Cup, with odds of three to one.
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Lost Boys by Cornelia Funke
You always took care to hide your personal past under a cloak of mystery. No man is more aware of how dangerous a weapon it can be in the hands of an enemy. Only one case lifted this cloak for moments and I followed your wish—one may even call it an order—to destroy everything we gathered or wrote down on it. But I know you well enough (though you don’t make it easy to gain such knowledge, my dear friend, as I dare to call you by now) to be sure that one day you’ll wish to look back at what I am going to preserve with this letter: the shadow of a past that made you the man you are.
I often wondered whether you unveil the crimes and secrets of others so passionately because they remind you of secrets you hide from the world. This case—let’s call it ‘The Case of the Lost Boy”—proved that suspicion more than any other. It made me understand that my best friend covers his emotions with layers of frost because he is haunted by memories that are only bearable in such a frozen, lifeless state. The demons the great Sherlock Holmes fears live all within himself, and his best-kept secret is the place from which they hatched.
In the Company of Sherlock Holmes publishes today! Les Klinger and I, with some other contributors, will be at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale next week. (Mike Connelly has already signed his story there.) In the meantime, you can order a copy from:
Poisoned Pen Books (signed by Laurie King, Les Klinger, and others)
But wait, there’s more!
If you’re the kind who wants a REAL book, a leather-bound, marbled-paper, limited edition (they made 221 of them: get it?) how about this:
Signed on special pages by each of the authors and the editors, like this:
A few copies of this special edition are still available, from Mysterious Books in New York, here.