The Adventure of the Purloined Portrait

The Early Case Files of Sherlock Holmes Book 4

by Liese Sherwood-Fabre

Genre: Historical Mystery



A long-buried past. A stolen portrait. The artist’s murder. Can Sherlock discover the connection between the three before he’s stopped permanently?

Sherlock can’t shake his apprehension about a family trip to Paris. His mother’s unflappable confidence vanished months ago, and her anxiety has set the whole family on edge. His greatest fears are realized when they witness the death of one of Mrs. Holmes’ former suitors.

As Sherlock seeks to unravel the reason behind the artist’s murder, he unearths a long-buried secret about his mother and survives several attempts to keep him from getting to the truth.

Can he bring a murderer to justice before he’s buried with these hidden secrets forever?

The Adventure of the Purloined Portrait is the gripping fourth case in The Early Case Files of Sherlock Holmes. If you enjoy traditional historical mysteries, you’ll love this origin series about the world’s greatest consulting detective.

Buy The Adventure of the Purloined Portrait to learn how Sherlock’s past shaped the sleuth he became.


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Running footfalls echoed on the street. We all turned in their direction as a black figure rushed toward us. Ernest and Mycroft stepped closer to Mother, shoving me forward toward the bulky man, his face covered by a scarf and now only a few strides from me and Gaspard. At the last moment, the man veered toward Gaspard, grabbed the portfolio from his grasp and continued up the street. The artist and I had the same reaction simultaneously. I dropped the canvas and set off in pursuit of the thief. Despite his protested ill health, Gaspard’s long legs assisted him in reaching the man first. His satchel flying behind him, he leapt onto the man’s back, pulling him down.

The two struggled, rolling about on the ground, with first one, then the other on top. At the next rotation, as the thief pinned Gaspard underneath him, I fell on the man, pulling him backward. As I did so, the portfolio fell from his grasp. The artist clutched the leather case to his chest and scrambled out from under his attacker.

With my attention directed toward the struggle, I failed to hear the carriage approaching until it was almost upon us. The black-clad man shrugged me off and lunged for the portfolio. Gaspard spun about and ran into the street.

Mother’s scream pierced the night as her former friend tripped on a loose paving stone and fell underneath the horses’ hooves. A series of sickening thuds followed as horse and man connected, freezing me to my spot.

The thief took advantage of my immobility to rush into the street, grab the portfolio now lying a few feet from Gaspard, and ascend the carriage. I stared at its back as it turned a corner and sped away.

The sound of more running footsteps shook me from my temporary paralysis. I rushed to the injured man. The horses had missed his head, but hoof marks on his shirt indicated his chest had been crushed. Somehow, he was still breathing


Liese Sherwood-Fabre knew she was destined to write when she got an A+ in the second grade for her story about Dick, Jane, and Sally’s ruined picnic. After obtaining her PhD, she joined the federal government and worked and lived internationally for more than fifteen years. Returning to the states, she seriously pursued her writing career, garnering such awards as a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest and a Pushcart Prize nomination. A recognized Sherlockian scholar, her essays have appeared in scion newsletters, the Baker Street Journal, and Canadian Holmes. She has recently turned this passion into an origin story series on Sherlock Holmes. The first book, The Adventure of the Murdered Midwife, was the CIBA Mystery and Mayhem 2020 winner.


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