Holmes: The Darlington Substitution

“An engaging, humorous and cleverly written mystery.” - Books Life and Everything

A Novella-length Story That Sees Our Investigative Genious at His Wise-cracking Best

With Watson's literary career going from strength to strength, he secures a slot on local radio to publicise his new book.  Uncertain as how to well it went, he is still a little surprised when the recording isn't broadcast. Although disappointed, he disregards this snub to his confidence as a peculiar but unimportant bend in the path of his literary career.   

Holmes The Darlington SubstitutionSherlock Holmes is not so dismissive. He seizes upon the event, certain that there is more to this rebuff than meets the eye. He grills Watson to the content of his interview, convinced a key fact will reveal all. There is nothing. Watson is sure off that. An investigation ensues that takes Holmes to the end of the known world, a place just near Thirsk.

The Darlington Substitution is a retrospective account, occurring during the same time as the adventures chronicled in Holmes Volume 2. It sees Holmes at the height of his wisecracking, foulmouthed, law disregarding deductive brilliance.

As a novella it is the longest Holmes story to date...

...oh and did I mention it can be read for free?!


“I read this novella really quickly, partly because it’s short and partly because it’s so good. It completely exceeded my expectations and it frequently made me smile or laugh.”

Short Book and Scribes

“I giggled from start to finish with the dry humour that rolled off of each page.”

Books from Dusk till Dawn

“Fluent, engaging, and with a well-judged balance of wit and humour set against the investigation of a mystery, Small has incorporated the best aspects of Sherlock Holmes while adding his own imaginative twist.”


"The best novella I have ever read."

The Book Magnet

“Melvyn Small’s writing is superb.”

Whispering Stories


The Darlington Substitution can be read for free now on the Indipenned website or via the Indipenned Facebook.


The Darlington Substitution is also available from the following local retailers while stocks last:

Drake, The Bookshop, 27 Silver Street, Stockton On Tees  

Book Corner, 24 Milton Street, Saltburn-by-the-Sea

The Guisborough Bookshop, 4 Chaloner Street, Guisborough


Alternatively, you can buy The Darlington Substitution from Amazon on Kindle or paperback.

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