Interview with Granny Holmes from The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Missing Sock by Renee Hand
I sat calmly in my cushy brown leather chair, staring out the only window in my office that faces the busy streets of downtown Naples, Florida. As I glance at my watch, I hear a soft rapping on my door. My guest has arrived on time for our interview. I quickly turned my chair around to face my desk, and rose.
As I sauntered towards the door, I hastily glanced at a mirror on the wall checking my appearance. Satisfied, I opened the door and moved to the side to allow my guest to enter. As the woman walked in, I was left completely speechless. She was a unique woman, with grayish white hair that looked as soft as a kitten’s coat. Her hair was wrapped tightly in a bun on the top of her head with chopsticks stabbed unceremoniously through it.
I closed the door and walked back over to my guest who had just sat down into a chair opposite mine. I reached out my hand in greeting and she accepted it. We shook hands for a few seconds before she introduced herself.
“I am Nellie Holmes, but you can call me Granny if you would like. I am apart of the detective team known as The Crypto-Capers.”
I then released her hand, which was now sore from her firm grip, and moved to sit back into my chair. As my eyes perused Granny’s appearance, I noticed how stray pieces of hair near her forehead were loose and wild as they framed her face. As she sat quietly in front of me, her eyes held a sparkle. The sight made me smile for it gave me an indication of Granny’s demeanor. She seemed as wild and unpredictable as her hair.
“Thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me, Granny.”
“My pleasure, dear,” replied Granny. As she smiled sweetly, she placed a large fuchsia pink handbag onto her lap. It matched her lime green polka dotted sweater nicely.
“That is a beautiful handbag you got there, Granny. Do you mind if I ask you what’s inside?”
“No, not at all!” Granny unlatched her handbag and began emptying the contents onto a nearby table as she spoke. “Well, as you know, I am a detective. My team and I travel all around the world solving cases. We are currently in the middle of a case in Naples, which is the only reason why I agreed to this interview. You will understand, won’t you, if I have to leave suddenly?”
“Of course,” I reassured Granny, as my gaze moved with interest to the items that now lay on the table. There were many items that caught my attention, while the rest left me confused.
“This is one of the many cameras that I have to take pictures of evidence with and so forth. The images go right to Morris, who is the computer genius of the group. He then takes the images and analyzes it. He is amazing with the computer. He also looks out for the group and keeps us well informed, as well as updated with new equipment. This book over here is a book of languages. I am a master of various languages and use it to keep my skills sharp.” Granny then held up a mass of yellow yarn. “And this—well—this is my knitting. To be honest, I am terrible at it, but I am determined to master it.” Granny unfolded the mass, which looked more like something from an ink blot test. I said nothing as I smiled politely. Surprisingly, Granny made no mention of the wad of zip ties on the table or the rectangular red brick. Instead, she smiled, her features expressing her desire to end the topic.
“Your profession is quite an interesting one. How did you fall into it?”
“I have the gift left to me by my grandfather. His name was Sherlock Holmes, as you know, he was a great detective. His amazing abilities of reasoning and deduction, as well as his keen eye for observation, run through the Holmes’ veins through and through. My son is a detective as well as my grandchildren, Maxwell and Mia. Max and Mia are apart of The Crypto-Capers team, along with me and Morris. At the ages of fourteen and twelve, they have managed to pass the rigorous tests of Scotland Yard and have proudly earned the detective title. Our team actually began because of their accomplishments. I travel along, not only to supervise what is going on, but to help solve crimes. I love the chase!” Granny’s eyes lit up with excitement.
“Can you tell me more about the specialties of your team?”
“You already know about Morris and I. Max is great at observation and detail, while Mia is our cryptogrammer. She solves majority of the cryptograms that we come across. She is amazing at deciphering code.”
“Speaking of that, how do you find these cryptograms?”
“The cases we solve are unique in nature, which is why we are so busy. When certain items go missing or are stolen, we are asked to find them. Usually our clients are important and wish for us to use as much discretion as possible. We are a trustworthy group if nothing else. Usually cryptograms are left behind, or they fall from someone’s pocket. Or, as in most cases, the cryptograms are intercepted. Cryptograms are messages written in code, a communication between people about something. How we come about them varies, but when we do, we are always able to solve them and get our man, or woman.” For the first time I noticed the strange watch that Granny wore on her wrist.
“Your watch does not look like an ordinary watch.”
“That’s because its not, dear. This watch is a way for my team to communicate to one another. No matter where we are we can talk and tell each other what is happening, we are rarely left in the dark. Also, our watches can do some pretty amazing things. I even think that I have floss in mine. No wait, that is steel cable.” My eyes opened wide in amazement. Before I could ask another question, a voice came through on Granny’s watch phone.
“Granny, he’s coming you way!” Before I could say a word, Granny held up her pointer finger.
“If you could excuse me, dear,” spoke Granny excitedly as she began to shove the items that were on the table back into her handbag. She then closed the handbag, rose abruptly from her chair, and dashed to the door. My mind was left reeling with what was going on, then I realized something. The Crypto-Capers team must feel this way all the time.
Curious, I moved towards the window and opened it, hoping to see what was going on. Then I saw it. A man was running on the sidewalk towards the front of my building coming from the right. He was pushing people out of his way causing all sorts of chaos. I felt compelled to do something, but I didn’t have to.
When the man reached the sidewalk in front of my door, all I saw was a smear of pink. Granny had used her handbag to take out the man. Now I know why Granny kept a brick in her handbag, for moments like these. I began to shake my head and smile.
I saw Granny dig her hand into her handbag and pull out a zip tie. She then proceeded to tie the man’s hands behind his back. With strength I wouldn’t have expected, I saw Granny lift up the man by his arm in one smooth motion and lead him down the street where it looked like the rest of her team was waiting. Before she left she gave me one final wave. The perfect ending to an interesting interview. I had my story.
The two books in the series available now are:
The Case of the Missing Sock ISBN# 978-0-87839-304-6
The Case of Red Rock Canyon ISBN# 978-0-87839-309-1