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This is a collection of the first three stories written by the English author Dick Gillman. In these stories, he introduces the character of Julia Moriarty. Holmes and Watson become acutely aware of her existence in 1894 in the story aptly recorded by Watson as that of 'The Shadow of James Moriarty'. Shopping for a Christmas gift for Holmes exposes Watson to an underworld that he had hoped had disappeared with the death of James Moriarty. The New Year brings even greater peril as an attempt is made on Holmes's life and once again the shadow of James Moriarty seems to be reaching out. Revenge is clearly the motive but who is seeking to finally destroy Holmes? In order to solve the mystery, Holmes must offer his life in order to attempt a grand deception. In the second story, Watson goes on to describe how their paths cross again in 1897 when Holmes investigates the tragic case of 'The Highgate Magician'. The mysterious disappearance on stage of a magician's assistant is the beginning of a case that draws Holmes and Watson into the world of international intrigue. A German pianist, a diplomat working as an aide to the Kaiser is enraged by Holmes's activities during the investigation. However, this chance meeting inadvertently saves Holmes from certain death. A secret deal struck by the British Government with an old foe threatens to tear Sherlock and Mycroft apart. Only Holmes's unique skills of observation and deduction coupled with swift action can halt a very public assassination and avert war in Europe. In 1899, Watson recounts the case of 'The Severed Finger' in which Julia Moriarty reveals her truly ruthless nature. This, in turn, leads Holmes to describe her as "the very embodiment of evil." Holmes and Watson's evening is disturbed by a gruesome find by cabbie Henry Wiggins. A cryptic note and a freshly severed finger trigger a desperate search for its owner. Mycroft is summoned when the involvement of Julia Moriarty is discovered. Holmes has a bitter encounter with Moriarty and must now balance an arms shipment to a potential enemy against a man's life. It appears that Julia Moriarty has finally defeated Holmes...but all may not be as it seems.
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