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“Sherlock Holmes was an amateur,” she said dismissively, sweeping across the room without hesitation.

“What?” He stood still for a moment and stared, baffled. “I thought he was supposed to have been the best detective ever. In fiction, at least.”

She laughed briefly. “Yes, they want you to think he was fictional. No, he was an idiot. For a start, his method of reasoning was in fact induction, not deduction. Taking specific details and observations and from those observations moving to the underlying principles or processes which explain them. Induction.”

“Right,” he said, looking around somewhat helplessly. “So. Um. What do you… Induce from this, then?”

She stopped and turned around, her sharp green eyes taking in everything.

“She was killed elsewhere and brought here,” she said. “Carried by two men, neither of whom were the actual murderer. Something of a Laurel and Hardy shaped duo, by the footprints. They’re both afraid of the killer, something you’ll be able to use to your advantage when you arrest them. They split up afterwards, one will be found in the nearest chain coffee shop drinking something overblown and complicated, you know, venti skinny café latte extra shot no foam, that sort of thing, the other went to catch a train, probably from Waterloo, and is travelling south. I’d go for the man in Starbucks, personally, much nearer.”

He blinked. “I’m not even going to ask you to explain all that,” he said with a sigh. “How do we recognise this coffee guy, aside from his drink?”

She steepled her fingers in front of her chin and smiled. “He’ll be the one in the damp raincoat.”

He raised an eyebrow. “A damp raincoat? That’s not very specific!”

“It is when it hasn’t been raining.”

With a wink, she brushed past him and out of the door.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: I couldn’t get the thought of Sherlock Holmes out of my head this evening (aided by finding the first episode of the very excellent Sherlock series on TV) so I wanted to do something along those lines. Unfortunately, a splitting headache meant I couldn’t think through the details properly, so I cheated on the explanation!)