“The German ambassador, madam,” said Sherlock Holmes, “is reputed to be brilliant and very difficult.”
“My dear, Mr. Holmes,” she said. “He is a man. Like all men when they are drunk and in the throes of ecstasy, he will be easy.”
“I must warn you, he has a reputation amongst men who have encountered him of being dangerous.”
“And a reputation amongst women of falling asleep immediately after, if you know what I mean.”
Sherlock Holmes blushed ever so slightly. “Very well then, I shall expect your return with the document in forty-eight hours.” He slid a small stack of gold coins over to her. Without inspecting them, she placed them in her purse. “Oh, you do know how to make a lady happy, don’t you.”
She stood up from her chair in the bar at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. “I do believe I shall enjoy working with you, Mr. Holmes.” Without warning, she bent down and planted a kiss on the cheek of Sherlock Holmes and then stood back up and gave him an odd look.
“Mon dieu, why is I feel nothing from you? Were you neutered as a schoolboy?”
“Madam, a man must choose between being susceptible to the wiles of a woman, or being a good detective. He cannot have both. Allow me to wish you Godspeed.”
The woman known to the world as Mata Hari, turned and glided her way out of the bar. The eyes of every man in the room followed her.
This story is a tribute to His Last Bow. Once again, at the outbreak of the Great war, Sherlock homes must engage in dangerous espionage. He will be assisted by the most glamorous and tragic of spies, Mata Hari.
It will be published at the end of September. Pre-order it now at a discount price.