Rachel’s BLOG #1

Rachel will keep you informed while Gretchen is in her writer’s cabin diligently at work on the 3rd Rachel Holmes mystery.

Painting by Harrison Fisher. “The Study Hour.” Illustration published in The Ladies’ Home Journal, 1908.

My dearest Sean,

A lot has happened since last we met in Remarkable Power of Stimulus. I hope these letters may keep you up-to-date before Papa whisks me away on another Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson adventure. It is my favorite thing in the world, but does take away from my studies.

In London, Papa and Doctor Watson have solved some most difficult cases. I think Professor Coram’s mystery was deciphered mostly by my Papa’s love of tobacco. All I can relate about the Three Students case was that it did not take place at Oxford. Any thoughts on this? The Solitary Cyclist was another case caused by the greed of the gold fields. And finally one of my father’s greatest triumphs. Please keep it secret, Sean, if it appeared on the cover of Judy Magazine my goose would be cooked! Uncle Mycroft brought the case to him, saying, “You are the one man who can clear the matter up!” Let us just say Papa saved Britain from war.

My time at Oxford is drawing to a close. Even though my academic studies are excellent, finalizing them at St. Hilda’s is impossible. I tried every conceivable way. And failed! Could you imagine that? In my campaign to graduate from the finest of our British Universities, I acquired influential support, including Professor Dodson. Yet, the college was immovable on granting degrees to women.

Please write soon. I bet the Cambridge Association Team is glad for their new goalie. I cherish my time here, but this administrative tussle confirms the need for women’s equality.

The cholera quarantine may finally be over. Great for next month’s Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race. Oh, did you hear that Birt Acres, the moving picture artist will be immortalizing our win? See you then. I miss you and will write soon.


Do you enjoy my stories? Are there ways they could be improved? Please help me and future readers of my books by posting a review on Amazon. It would be incredibly helpful. Thanks in advance, Gretchen.

“Gretchen Altabef is, beyond doubt, one of the most preeminent writers of Sherlock Holmes pastiches.”

The Keys of Death is NOW available in KINDLE from Amazon, and everywhere.

In The Keys of Death, her dedication to research delivers a credible and compelling look at the world of a young Sherlock Holmes. Her impeccable characterizations, particularly of Mrs. Hudson (whom I also envision as a younger, vital woman) and supporting characters are richly drawn. The story itself builds to a stunning crescendo.

And the charming and edifying Victorian gardening journal appealed greatly to this “perennial optimist”. Ms. Altabef deserves high praise indeed for The Keys of Death as well as her previous two novels. Hopefully work on number four is currently underway!

Book blurb by Wendy Heyman-Marsaw, author of Memoirs from Mrs. Hudson’s Kitchen.

Gretchen is presently tucked away in her writer’s cabin with a goodly stock of Earl Grey and delicious concoctions from Mrs. Hudson’s Garden. She is diligently at work on the third Rachel Holmes novel.

Gretchen Altabef is an Award-Winning author who writes Sherlock Holmes from a woman’s point of view for MX Publishing. She also publishes with Belanger Books, Mondadori, and Mystery Magazine. These Scattered Houses, is in Holmes’ own voice, and resourcefully chronicles the conclusion of his undercover years. The Rachel Holmes Series begins with this novel. The sequel is, Remarkable Power of Stimulus. London is awash in murders, No. 221B under siege, anarchists threaten Paris, and Irene Adler reappears. Holmes returns to Baker Street knowing he will find Watson’s friendship and unerring aim are as dependable as the British Rail. Ms. Altabef’s most recent novel, THE KEYS OF DEATH is the unique genesis story of No. 221B Baker Street.

Editor & Contributor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Sherlock Holmes History

“In The Land of the Living” Short Story

Contributor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Sherlock Holmes History & an Editor.