The Illustrious ClientJob Occupation: Consulting Detective

Dru Ann, thank you so much for inviting me and Shirley to visit your blog today! Because I chronicle Shirley’s adventures, she prefers that I do the interviewing. I hope that’s okay with you. LOL.

Mary: Shirley, Dru Ann and her readers are curious to know what a day in your life is like. Tell us about a typical day for you.

Shirley: Mary, you know very well that my days are not typical.

Mary: Of course, they aren’t typical for anyone but you. Just tell us about yesterday, how about that?

Shirley: Yesterday I worked in my lab from five a.m. until noon. Then I went into the office, where Lix had a list of telephone calls for me to return. As you know, you weren’t in the office because you were at your naturopathic clinic.

Mary: This isn’t about me, Shirley. What happened when you returned your calls?

Shirley: One of the calls was from Lt. Xio. He had a suspect in custody for the alleged bomb threat at Lloyd Center Mall last week.

Mary: Alleged bombing? I hadn’t heard about that.

Shirley: No one was hurt. The alarm went off and people were frightened.

Mary: Did you interview the alleged suspect?

Shirley: No. I didn’t find the case interesting.

Mary: Yes, I can see why you didn’t find a few hundred people at the mall being frightened unnecessarily a bit boring. Murder is more your baliwick. Did you find anything interesting yesterday?

Shirley: I found it unusual that Lt. Xio telephoned me about something so trivial. I met him for coffee about three p.m. I queried him about his caseload.

Mary: And?

Shirley: He has something I think you and I will both find intriguing.

Mary: Oh goody. What is it?

Shirley: Apparently there’s a villain worthy of all of our attention. A Doctor Moriarty has moved to the Dunthorpe area. He’s suspected of engineering several large scale robberies in Seattle, but the SPD have had no joy in being able to pin anything on him.

Mary: You think you and I can solve some of these robberies?

Shirley: I don’t like to travel to Seattle. You know that, Mary.

Mary: Well, what then?

Shirley: Now that he has moved into the Greater Portland area, it won’t be long before we know what he is up to. We will be able to put a stop to his operations.

Mary: Do you think he’s related to the Moriarty in the original Sherlock Holmes adventures?

Shirley: Lix is working on his genealogy as we speak.

Mary: Thank you, Shirley, for granting this rare interview. And thanks again, Dru Ann, for having us! I hope your readers will follow our capers.


You can read more about Shirley and Mary in The Illustrious Client, the first book in the “Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson” mystery series, published by McCorkle Ink. The first book in the series is The Hounding. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Meet the author
Sandra de Helen’s books as well as short stories are available at bookstores, libraries, and online. Her poetry and plays are published in several journals. Samples of her works are on her website SandradeHelen.com. Even though she says she isn’t a “joiner,” de Helen is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Oregon Writers Colony, the Golden Crown Literary Society, and International Centre for Women Playwrights. Like her at Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and read her blog at RedCrested.com. She lives with her cat Stanton in Portland, Oregon where they both type.


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