We'd just returned from a quiet, civilised evening in the pub when our latest client arrived at Baker Street. She was a nurse. And, apparently, she'd been out for dinner. With a ghost.
The client (she's asked me not to reveal her name) told us that she'd been on a date and that everything had gone well. He'd been the perfect gentleman, apparently. They'd swapped numbers but, when he hadn't got in touch, she'd gone to his flat to see if he was okay. And it turns out, he wasn't. Because according to his landlord, the guy who'd been in the flat had died over a week before. She'd then found a website where other women were talking about similar experiences.
Sherlock went onto the website and found a number of other women he believed had met the same man. He couldn't work out a connection between them, though. They had different backgrounds and interests. The man had given a different name on each occasion. But then he worked out how he'd done it. He'd taken the names of people from obituaries. He'd found single recently-deceased men who had lived alone - and he'd taken the women back to their homes. So on each occasion, he'd taken a dead man's identity for one night only.
But, while he was pleased to have worked out how it had been done, Sherlock was annoyed that he couldn't work out why he'd done it.
Because, sometimes, Sherlock Holmes can really miss the bloody obvious. I pointed out that it was just a tiny bit possible that possibly there was a man out there who just, possibly, maybe wanted a few one-night stands. I know, a shocking revelation. Case solved.
Quite a good trick though.
Harry Watson 21 July
Mary Morstan 21 July
I am an experienced medical doctor recently returned from Afghanistan.