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,

So much 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. But I think the deciphering of Professor Coram’s mystery was enhanced 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 a European 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 in my campaign to graduate from the finest of our British Universities, Yet, the college was immovable on granting degrees to women. To me this confirms the need for women’s suffrage.

Please write soon. I bet the Cambridge Association Team is glad for their new goalie.

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 Oxford’s win? See you then. I miss you.


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. Diligently at work on the third Rachel Holmes novel.

Award-Winning author, Gretchen Altabef, publishes with MX, Belanger Books, Mondadori, and Mystery Magazine These Scattered Houses, in Sherlock Holmes’ own voice, chronicles the conclusion of his ‘Great Hiatus’. In Remarkable Power of Stimulus, Holmes finds London awash in murders, anarchists threatening Paris, and the return of Irene Adler. Under surveillance by Moriarty’s henchmen, Holmes steps into Baker Street knowing he will find Watson’s friendship and unerring aim are as dependable as the British Rail. THE KEYS OF DEATH is a genesis story of the young occupants of No. 221B Baker Street.

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

“In The Land of the Living” Short Story

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