TERENCE FAHERTY “The Cardboard Box.” Sherlock Holmes. Short story. Published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, January/February, 2019. Currently nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Short Story.

   With all due respect to the author, the editors at EQMM and everyone who voted for this story, you can count this as among the many many stories I haven’t read. I got no further into the story than this passage from the first page. I don’t know about you, but I found the following snippet of dialogue impossibly clumsy and awkward. To me it sounds like nothing Arthur Conan Doyle ever wrote. If I’m wrong, feel free to tell me so.

   Suddenly, Holmes’s voice broke into my reverie. “You are quite correct, Watson. It is a preposterous way to settle a dispute.”

   “Huh?”

   “Forgive me for indulging in my little mind-reading act. I’ve been reading yours like a large-print edition ever since you attracted my attention by discarding your newspaper. Do you recall what caused your train of thought to leave the station?”

   “Huh?” I said again.

   You can read the entire story online. Look for it here. (Follow the link.)