Famous detective Sherlock Holmes was reluctantly called out of retirement today, to take on his most baffling case yet, the Case of the Murdered Singer.
'Dashed mysterious, Holmes, this business about the singer. I can't make head nor tail of it.' 'Watson, you are a moron, first we must investigate, then eliminate, then deduce, and all will become clear. Let us take a hot air balloon to the scene of the crime', and soon the duo were floating across the Atlantic Ocean.
'Rather bracing, this', Dr Watson said, firing his shotgun at Richard Branson's balloon and fatally puncturing it, and 'Be quiet', came from Sherlock Holmes, 'I am thinking', so the doctor starting taking pot shots at a passing albatross, but couldn't hit it. Soon they had landed the balloon on American soil, and immediately the sleuth asked a passer-by some questions.
'Sir', he said, 'did you know the singer Michael Dixon?', and 'Nope', was the reply. 'Aha!', Holmes said, 'your shoes tell me your aunt is a vegetarian Boston Pink Sox fan that goes swimming twice a week', and 'Remarkable!', came from Dr Watson, though the American just shrugged and muttered 'Elementary.'
'Come, Watson, this land of savages and bank robbers may have discovered Hansom cabs by now', and soon they were speeding towards the home of famous songwriter Quincy Bones.
Holmes rapped sharply on that man's front door, breaking one of its glass panes, and it was opened by Mr Bones. 'Yeah?', the musician said, 'whaddaya want?' 'The singer Michael Dixon did not die of natural causes', replied the detective, 'and you have the evidence!' 'OK, OK', Bones sighed, 'you'd better come in', and the pair crossed over the threshhold, Watson narrowly missing tripping over a large grey and white Persian cat.
'How did you work it out, Mr Holmes?', for even in America the sleuth had become very famous. 'Quite easily', Holmes replied. 'Dixon had long shown a dislike for being famous, and an almost phobia of performing at concerts. He wrote to you, Mr Bones, and asked him for advice, and you suggested to him to fake his own death.' 'But he IS dead', Bones pointed out, 'so how do you explain that?'
'It must have been murder', Dr Watson said, 'but who had the motive for doing the crime?' 'Not Mr Bones here', said Holmes, 'though he is earning a fortune on back catalogue songwriting royalties, but he doesn't need the money.'
'No, our next port of call is back in London', and soon the two were travelling back to Britain in a Royal Navy submarine. 'Clever little things, these undersea boats', Watson said, pushing a button and firing a torpedo at the boat that had rescued Richard Branson from the sea, promptly sinking it, 'wonder if we could sail up The Thames in it?'
After docking at Greenwich Holmes and Watson went to Baker Street, and the detective retired to his rooms with some syringes and his violin, and soon a sound like nails being dragged down a blackboard by a hysterical cat was heard in the house. The next morning at breakfast, a bleary-eyed Holmes staggered into the breakfast room.
'Any joy with the case?', Dr Watson asked him, and after eating a slice of toast and marmalade he replied 'Yes, Watson, we must go to the U2 concert hall, and there I shall unmask the culprit', and soon they were confronting that hall's manager, Sir Allbad McSwindles.
'Sir Allbad, it was you who arranged for Dixon's death, was it not? You had lost a multi-million pound lawsuit against the singer, and claimed he had reneged on a single concert deal featuring all of his family members. I put it to you, sir, that you killed Michael Dixon in revenge and to save millions, and that you have stolen millions more from rival concert promoters ABC Ltd, from their sales of concert tickets you were managing.'
'And that you secretly made a gramophone recording of Dixon's rehearsals, to be exclusively released after the singer's death.' 'Blast you, Sherlock Holmes!', cried the manager, and ran for the door out of his office, but Holmes and Watson beat him to it, and the thriller being enacted was out of their lives.
Pausing merely to cosh McSwindles with his Algerian teak knobkerrie and then 'phone Scotland Yard, Sherlock Holmes patiently waited with Dr Watson for the eight hours it always takes the Metropolitan Police to arrive at anywhere a crime has been committed.
'Well, Holmes', the doctor said, 'solving this case has certainly been one of your finest efforts. Now you can go back to your retirement once more.' 'Yes, Watson, now that McSwindles will be tried and hanged for murdering Michael Dixon, I can once more devote my time to playing my violin and taking almost suicidal amounts of cocaine.'
And the two sat around twiddling their thumbs, then picked up books to read from Allbad McSwindles' book shelves. Sherlock Holmes chose 'It's Staring You In The Face', by Samuel L. Jackson, and Dr Watson took a copy of 'Money Moonwalks', by Neil Armakhan.