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Creator / Marcia Wilson

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Marcia Wilson is a writer of Canon-centric Sherlock Holmes fanfiction and published pastiches. Her fanfiction have been printed via MX Publishing as part of compilations and solo works.

Some of them can still be read under her pen name of aragonite here. As of February 2019, she has announced that her works would be moving to Archive Of Our Own for easier navigation. However, all of her Holmes works have been pulled from ffdotnet after someone tried to publish A Mouth of Ivy as their own work on Amazon.

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An (incomplete) chronological timeline of Wilson's works:

  • Between 1877 and 1879: "Devil's Milk" - Lestrade meets Holmes for the first time in Montague Street.
  • 1880: "A Mouth of Ivy" - the Yard investigates the murder of multiple holly-men.
  • 1881:
    • "An Ordinary Meeting" - the Yarders meet Watson for the first time.
    • "A Study in Brown" - Scotland Yard reacts to the publication of "A Study in Scarlet".
    • "A Well-Read Ghost" - The death of a bookseller, as witnessed by Holmes, Lestrade, and Constable Murcher.
  • 1882: "You Buy Bones" - Watson and the Yarders investigate a scientific scandal.
  • 1883:
    • "Test of the Professionals: The Adventure of The Flying Blue Pidgeon".
    • "Test of the Professionals: The Peaceful Night Poisonings".
  • 1884:
    • "Test of the Professionals: Leap Year".
    • "Courage Rises".
  • 1890: "The Kings and Queens of London".
  • 1891:
    • "The Moon-Cursers" - A normal raid turns deadly for Lestrade, bringing him across the Channel and face to face with Quimper.
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    • "Just Inspector Will Do".
    • "Great Sorrows" (half in 1889, half in 1891) - Watson acquires and loses the first ever copy of "The Hound of the Baskervilles".
    • "A Sword for Defense".
    • "The Narrow Path".
  • 1892:
    • "The End of All Things".
    • "A Fanged and Bitter Thing".
  • 1895:
    • "Swamped".
    • "The Muse of History".
    • "A Secondary Stain".
  • 1914: "The Days of Our Years".

Date unclear:

  • "Gunnysack Goose for Christmas".
  • "All In a Name".
  • "Ghosts in the Making".
  • "A Malversation of Mummies". (after 1880)
  • “The Mortal Condition”. (after 1884-1885)
  • "The Onion Vendor's Secret". The main story takes place some time between 1890 and 1895, but the framing device is set after the end of World War I.


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Works by Marcia Wilson provide examples of:

  • Action Girl:
    • Clea Cheatham, daughter and sister of wrestlers, who carried daggers beneath her skirts and can hold her own in a fight. She becomes a Mama Bear later.
    • Similarly, her best friend Hazel Bradstreet, who functions under the assumption that someone could create trouble for her at any moment.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Nicholas and Martin Lestrade. The Lestrades utilized this to full effect in their plot of shaming Lord Meredith and his entourage for angling (and payback for the Viscount's repeated disrespect of Inspector Lestrade), culminating in "the almost violent reactions at the sight of a small boy coolly referencing the notorious Oscar Wilde."
  • Adult Fear:
    • Just when he was ready to return home to his family, Dr. Watson loses his wife and infant son in one fell swoop, in an accident that has nothing to do with the forces threatening the Watsons. He has been barely out of mourning for Holmes.
  • Aerith and Bob: The Lestrade brothers - Paul, Geoffrey, and... Armoricus? Armoricus is very likely a Child by Rape and therefore Paul and Geoffrey's half-brother, which would make him related to Ivo and Jethro Quimper, owner of unusual names themselves.
  • Affably Evil: Colonel Moriarty, Sir Niles, John Clay, and Jethro Quimper. The other villains are quite contemptuous of John Clay's royal sensibilities and "effete" manners, though.
  • Against My Religion: The Reveal of exactly why the wool-skins were so distasteful in Constable Bourne's story in "Ghosts in the Making". They were pig skins, and Mr. McLords' Christian faith detested swine, to the point of refusing to be in the vicinity of anything belonging to a pig.
  • Animal Motif:
    • Quimper compares Lestrade to an ermine: a fierce, dapper fighter.
    • Jethro himself is compared to a fox.
    • Lestrade's middle name, "Broc'h", means "badger" (see Embarrassing Middle Name).
    • The Cooper brothers were nicknamed Grasshopper and Tadpole in their youths.
  • Anachronistic Clue: Watson figured out the bog-corpses were modern murder victims because some of the stomaches contained bannock cakes that were machine-ground, and potatoes - which didn't arrive in England until Elizabeth I's reign.
  • Arch-Enemy: Jethro Quimper and Geoffrey Lestrade hates each other's guts.
  • Bar Brawl: Bartram instigated one by insulting Lestrade. The combatants: the Cheatham brothers (except Myron) on one side, and Lestrade, Holmes, and Watson on the other, along with the rest of the eating-place.
  • Batman Gambit: Sir Henry Baskerville bluffed the criminals in “Ghosts in the Making” with a few ponies, his gun, and an impression of Officer Greep’s voice good enough to fool Bradstreet, who had met Greep.
  • Big Brother Instinct: The Cheatham brothers have this towards Clea to a stifling degree, who they consider The Baby of the Bunch.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Best friends and fellow Inspectors Bradstreet and Lestrade. To a lesser degree, Vitriolic Best Buds Gregson and Lestrade.
  • Brainy Brunette: Clea Lestrade has blue-black hair, is good with numbers, street-smart and witty.
  • Broken Pedestal: In "You Buy Bones", Watson has to deal with Dr. Parker, one of his mentors, being involved with murder and Grave Robbing For Science!.
  • Cain and Abel: Geoffrey Lestrade is the Abel to his brothers Paul and Armoricus - a Scotland Yard Inspector versus two criminals and murderers, one executed for the murder, one in Broadmoor (a prison for the criminally insane).
  • Call-Back:
    • In “A Sword for Defense”, Lestrade (while looking up information for Hopkins) recalls the lead-thief case and his first meeting with Clea.
    • In “The End of All Things”, Gregson mentions to Hopkins that he and Bradstreet took Lestrade to Watson for a patch-up and noticed that the doctor uses a phrenology chart for dart practice. This happened in “The Adventure of the Flying Blue Pidgeon” because Bartram roughed Lestrade up to warn him away from his baby sister.
  • Character Title: "The Muse of History" is this for Clea Lestrade, who was supposed to be named Clio - the Greek goddess of History.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The notebook Watson steals from Sir Niles is crucial to the Yarders finding out that the doctor is on the cult's hit list.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Savoy Nash makes an early appearance bringing his daughter Theresa to work at the Watson residence, complaining about the inclement weather affecting travel. He was later involved in the cab accident (see Tempting Fate) because another driver slipped on an icy patch in the road and crashed into them.
  • Child by Rape: It's implied that Armoricus Lestrade resulted from Ivo Quimper's abduction of Jeanne Lestrade, née Potier. Even if Armoricus wasn't Ivo's child, he was certainly treated that way.
  • Cock Fight:
    • Ivo Quimper and Thomas Lestrade over Jeanne Potier.
    • Repeated by their sons Jethro Quimper and Geoffrey Lestrade over Clea Cheatham. Both Lestrades got the women.
  • Contralto of Danger: Mary Watson's voice is "deep for a woman".
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • A paper containing the information Scotland Yard needs just happens to fall loose because a frustrated Hopkins flung his papers into the air.
    • Sir Niles’ notebook was read aloud just in time for the detectives to realize Dr. Watson was on the cult’s hit list. They were too late to prevent his abduction, though.
    • To a minor degree, Bradstreet caught a forger entirely by accident because he ran across the latter on the street.
  • Claustrophobia: Lestrade manages to have this and agoraphobia. He does well in neither small, enclosed spaces nor wide-open fields. That doesn't stop him from being sealed inside a pig, buried underground, and going through a cave-system in "Moon-Cursers", apprehending a murderer in a field in "Gunnysack Goose for Christmas", falling into an open grave in "The Narrow Path", and being in the same, small ship's hold with coffins in "The End of All Things".
  • Curtains Match the Window: According to her husband, Clea Lestrade has blue-black hair and "gorgeous lapis eyes" (lapis lazuli is a deep blue stone).
  • Da Chief: Chief Inspector Miller, who is far from a Reasonable Authority Figure as he plays favorites (Gregson is tapped to be his heir. Lestrade is hated because of his supposed French connexions, on top of the fact that he was sponsored into the Force and guided by a man Miller loathed, Inspector Davids).
  • Death of a Child:
    • "You Buy Bones" deals with the abduction and death of Inspector Bradstreet's younger sister Elspeth, right on the heels of him losing his two youngest children to illness.
    • Dr. Watson loses his wife and son in one fell swoop.
  • Defiled Forever: Ivo and Jethro Quimper both utilized this to get their hands on Jeanne Potier and Clea Cheatham. Ivo failed because the police found Jeanne in time, and then changed tacks to "graciously allow" his horseman to marry Jeanne. Jethro planned on having Clea be alone with him unchaperoned, then "graciously" offer to marry her to "protect her reputation".
  • Delirious Misidentification:
    • Thomas Lestrade mistook his (disowned) son Geoffrey for his father-in-law Triaged Potier, his grandson Martin for Geoffrey, and Martin's brother Nicholas for someone Geoffrey used to play with in the summer.
    • Bartram Cheatham's last memory of his mother was being confused for his oldest brother Myron.
  • Desecrating the Dead:
    • Potier damaged the tendons in the foot of the corpse that was passed off as Geoffrey's, so that people who only knew about the twisted foot wouldn't be able to make an identification. This is because he needed others to believe Geoffrey was dead and/or Potier was fooled by the corpse.
    • In "A Malversation of Mummies", Holmes and Watson finds out mummy powder was being used to make ink, and upon being apprehended by the authorities the culprits disposed of the stock in the ink-vats for newspapers.
  • Determinator: Thomas and Geoffrey Lestrade, though it's more obvious with Geoffrey since he's the Lestrade the story follows. His single-minded determination drives the plot.
  • Dramatic Sit-Down: Averted. Lestrade ordered someone to find a chair for Dr. Watson to collapse into, but Watson refused because he didn't think he'd be able to stand again if he sat.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: "All In A Name" revolves around the Inspectors having a contest and other ruminations over this.
    • Inspector Bradstreet is annoyed that his family keeps reusing the name "Roger" over and over again, and refuses to continue the tradition. He's also embarrassed by his middle name Thomas, because it was after a nun (Sister Thomasina) who saved his life.
    • Inspector Morton's initials spell out "MAM" (Morris Andrew Morton). The Inspectors noted that it was sufficient cause for childhood bullying.
    • Inspector Lestrade is determined not to let it be known that his middle name is "Broc'h", meaning "badger", because Holmes and Watson have spent years commenting on Lestrade's tenacity and single-mindedness, which the badger often represents in symbolism.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Hazel Bradstreet is annoyed by her cousins calling her "Filbert". Filberts are hazelnuts.
  • "Eureka!" Moment:
    • Lestrade seeing a fallen bell and ribbon, and connecting the dots to conclude that Dr. Watson was in danger.
    • Hopkins noticing that one of the deceased elderly victims had a son who died in Afghanistan, thereby connecting the confidence scheme and the gemstone smuggling, because of a piece of paper that had luckily fallen loose from its complaint form.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Quimper intends this for Lestrade, watching him marry Miss Cheatham.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Sir Niles' comment about a horseman named Lestrade in Plymouth, whose name was pronounced "L'estrade". That would have been Thomas Lestrade. Sir Niles was revealed to be part of the sacrificial cult, which involved Jethro Quimper, Geoffrey Lestrade's archnemesis.
    • When he was drowning in the Thames, Lestrade heard the river say to him, “The hour is come, but not the man.” Charles Cheatham fears that the river might also take the last person spoken to if the sacrifice did not arrive in time. Lestrade and Quimper’s ultimate fight was in the river, with the latter meeting his death by drowning and the former making a close escape.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Coupled with Fluffy Tamer and we have Nicholas Lestrade. He can call employees of the London Zoo over to his house simply because he keeps finding interesting creatures. This trait does not abate with time, as an adult Nick is seen in "The Days of Our Lives" getting harassed by a police officer over feeding bread to the birds in war-time, and bringing home a matched pair of rare parakeets he had tamed with the help of almonds.
  • Funetik Aksent: Used a lot with the Cheathams and their Lanky, but generally pops up when someone speaks with a regional accent.
  • Generation Xerox: Geoffrey Lestrade looks like his grandfather Triaged Potier, and his son Martin looks like Geoffrey but with Clea Lestrade's eyes.
  • The Glorious War Of Brotherly Rivalry:
    • Played straight with the Moriarty brothers. They kept a close tolerant-but-not-affectionate watch on each other while the Professor was alive. After Reichenbach, the Colonel reveals to Watson that he harbors a lot of resentment, anger, and hatred towards the Professor, and intends to usurp his criminal empire.
    • Also played straight with Paul and Armoricus Lestrade, who had sided with Jethro Quimper and ganged up against Geoffrey Lestrade ever since they were children.
    • Averted with the Watson brothers. Hamish was the hot-tempered, rash, but brilliant one, and John was the slower-paced, steadfast one. They still cared for each other as much as their nature allowed.
    • Most stridently averted with Geoffrey Lestrade's sons. Nicholas and Martin cared for each other out of brotherly love and not duty. Martin is not at all resentful of Nicholas for being the attention-grabbing sibling.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Lestrade does this, which the Constables refer to as "the doom finger".
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: A twofer from The Reveal that Jethro Quimper and Geoffrey Lestrade shared more than one half-brother between them - long ago, the Lestrades sold one of their children to replace Luke Quimper, who was promised in marriage but died as a baby. It meant that the current generation of Quimpers had Lestrade blood. This caused Jethro to beat his father to death in a rage, and Thomas Lestrade to turn into a (mostly) Empty Shell.
  • Happily Married: The Watsons and the Lestrades.
  • Hardboiled Detective: Lestrade, despite being an Inspector of Scotland Yard rather than a private eye, fits this trope. He has permission to carry a gun, is quite cynical, solves mysteries through dogged persistence (in a "workmanlike way", to use his words), wears clothing that are cut slightly too big for him (to allow ease of movement in a sudden fight). His Nice Hat is a bowler rather than a fedora, though.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Hartley Loseth, after the death of his younger brothers. That being said, he had warned Boggs about betraying Scotland Yard, but was ignored/dismissed.
  • I Banged Your Mom: Potier taunts d'Armor about selling his special wares to d'Armor's mother.
  • Identifying the Body: Potier was forced to do this to what is assumed is the body of his grandson. After seeing the body, Bradstreet is determined not to subject Clea to the sight.
  • Impersonating an Officer: In "The Moon-Cursers" Lestrade runs afoul of some crooks pretending to be police.
  • Insufferable Genius: Holmes, of course, but when he's out of the equation there's also Gregson, who is smarter and had a better education than Lestrade, and had no qualms about rubbing it into the little detective's face.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Lestrade usually goes for this trope after dealing with something aggravating (read: Sherlock Holmes) or bone-chilling.
  • Ironic Name: Dr. Mortimer notes that "a gray tigress of a woman" he knew went by "the unlikely name of Heaster". The footnote states that it meant "be silent", and girls were given that name in hopes they would be biddable.
  • Killer Cop: Police Constable Tubberman, who was The Mole for one of the criminal gangs of London, and murdered Sergeant Browne for his map of London.
  • Lawman Gone Bad: Sgt. Browne (and many others on the Force) thought Lestrade was this during the corruption scandal of 1877. He was, in fact, The Mole.
  • Lightning Bruiser: This is the Cheathams’ fighting style, taking advantage of the fact that many people think hulking masses are always slow.
  • Loophole Abuse: Jacobs was implicitly told to frame Thomas Lestrade (just by coming to the wrong conclusions rather than malice or conspiracy) for the murder of Ivo Quimper, because the Foreign Office was keeping an eye on Jethro Quimper. He worked around this by having Jeanne Lestrade give a detailed description of Jethro, the actual murderer, without stating his name in the report.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • In "A Well-Read Ghost", Lestrade comments that Holmes has to be seriously upset to forget one of the basic laws regarding the London poor - where their possessions go after death.
    • In “You Buy Bones”, Holyrood remarked that “Sherlock Holmes in nothing less than precise speech is one of the Six Warning Signs of the Oncoming Apocalypse.”
    • In "Swamped", Lestrade flung himself in front of Clea after she screamed (something she hadn't done in all the time he'd known her) to protect her from whatever danger she was seeing. It was the sight of her bedraggled sons holding an escaped exotic animal they'd caught from the Serpentine.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Averted. One of Quimper's henchmen in "The Moon-Cursers" is named Craddock, and so is a London Inspector with the water police in "A Fanged and Bitter Thing."
    • In "The Days of Our Years", as Martin and Nicholas have both become adults, they are referred to both in the narrative and by others as "Lestrade".
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: The Wardrobe Man was found in a wardrobe a man had bought for his wife.
  • Poirot Speak: Lestrade, Potier, and Quimper all pepper their words with Breton, though Quimper does it to a lesser degree than the other two.
  • Police Brutality: Discussed Trope by Lestrade and Bradstreet in “You Buy Bones”. They mention that the Old-Fashioned Copper who beats a confession out of someone is the rule rather than the exception.
  • Powers via Possession: Played for Laughs. Upon stumbling across Hopkins on his hands and feet, surrounded by a pile of paper, and getting screamed at not to touch anything, an appalled Gregson wondered if Sherlock Holmes had returned to possess the young Inspector.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Commissioner Barstone, who got the Yard to pile the Christmas loot onto Lestrade to make up for him being called out on a case by Holmes during the holidays.
    • Inspector Davids, the "Wonderful Welshman", who provided guidance and training for Lestrade.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In "Gunnysack Goose for Christmas", Watson explains that most of Holmes' disguises are intentionally batty because "who in their right mind would do this? People decide he's the genuine article as soon as they put eyes on him."
  • Replaced with Replica: Quimper got hold of Lestrade's gun and replaced the bullets with fake ones. Luckily, Lestrade found this out without attempting to fire the gun.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: In "Ghosts in the Making", the police pass the time and increase morale by having a storytelling contest about supposedly supernatural cases with mundane explanations.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Grioux versus a clot of pine caterpillars right down his shirt-front.
  • Shipper on Deck: Mrs. Collins and Hazel Bradstreet are quite supportive of Geoffrey/Clea.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Mary Watson. Helped by her experience in the Colonies, she isn't one to lose her head in a crisis.
  • Signature Item Clue:
    • Watson planted his cufflinks as a decoy and his cravat to lead the Yard to his scribbled message inside the keelboat's hold where he was held.
    • The investigators of Ivo Quimper's murder found a twig of licorice at the crime scene and assumed it belonged to Thomas Lestrade. However, both him and his son Geoffrey cannot take sweet things - Thomas uses peppermint to clean his teeth instead of licorice. The stick of licorice belonged to the actual murderer of Ivo Quimper, his son Jethro.
  • Smells of Death: Clea recognizes the scent on Geoffrey after he came home via riding in a boat used to carry the dead.
  • Smith of the Yard: Scotland Yard's exploits are followed by the media, both to applaud and to ridicule. Punch and The London Littoral came under criticism by the characters (particularly Lestrade) for their portrayal of the Yard.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Clea Lestrade née Cheatham, because the birth-records clerk couldn't spell Clio.
  • Spit Take: Lots and lots of it, usually with the Yarders. Here's one from "Ghosts in the Making":
    Behind Walters echoed the unmistakable sound of one Inspector Lestrade, Scotland Yard (Second Class 1880) violently parting ways with a swallow of brandy.
  • Supreme Chef: Hazel Bradstreet, Mrs. Hudson, Mrs. Collins, and Mary Watson are all good cooks, but Clea Lestrade's cooking (because the story focuses on her family) is treated as superb. In "Gunnysack Goose for Christmas", Clea is very offended at Mrs. Masters' repeated put-downs of her cooking.
  • Survivor Guilt: Watson had to convince Savoy and Theresa Nash that Mary and Arthur’s deaths wasn’t their fault, because they couldn’t have prevented Mrs. Watson and Whitney from leaving, nor foreseen the accident.
  • Stepford Smiler: Kate Whitney, who puts on this act to cope with her opium-addict husband, cruel/neglectful inlaws, and inattentive staff. It doesn't fool Mary Watson, though.
  • Temporal Theme Naming: Lestrade named his sons Nicholas and Martin after the saint's day nearest to their birth.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Discussed Trope. Watson points out that one should never say a day is "as bad as it can get" around a physician, because it can always get worse.
    • Mary states that she trusts Theresa’s father’s skills as a cabman and offers to take her son Arthur and friend Kate Whitney out for a ride to get the baby’s picture taken.The very next scene, Watson receives the news of Mary and Arthur’s death in a cab accident. Granted, she was tragically right: it wasn’t Savoy Nash’s fault. Another cab crashed into them, killing Mary and Arthur instantly, barely missing Kate, and ruining Mr. Nash’s livelihood because his old, faithful horse was fatally injured.
  • This Is My Name on Foreign: "Geoffrey" and "Quimper" are English versions of "Jafrez" and "Kemper".
  • Twin Switch: Hamish and John Watson utilized this to work for British Intelligence.
  • Under the Mistletoe: Clea Cheatham exploited this by wearing mistletoe earrings to coerce Geoffrey into kissing her. He chose to Take a Third Option and kiss her gloved hand instead.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Jethro Quimper went through this three times. The first two are offscreen in "The Moon-Cursers": he beat his father to death in a rage, and then broke at seeing the death bodies of two of his henchmen at the end of the fic. The last one is in "A Fanged and Bitter Thing", while fighting in the Thames with Lestrade, which led to Quimper's death by drowning.
  • White Sheep: Geoffrey Lestrade to the rest of his family, to the point of getting disowned.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Clea is scared of them, as demonstrated in "The Muse of History".
  • Write What You Know:
    • The journey through the caves in "The Moon-Cursers" was informed by Wilson's time working as a tour guide in a cave.
    • “They went to the bar... and there was nothing left.” was “an atrocious witticism” from Wilson’s brother-in-law.
  • Younger Than They Look: Lestrade realized this upon meeting Holmes for the first time in "Devil's Milk."
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Poor Watson during his abduction. He wakes up to the insides of a keelboat's hold and in a fake barrow.
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