By Harold Aker (?-?).
First appearance: The Royal Magazine, January 1902.
Short short story (5 pages, 3 illos).
Online at Hathi Trust (HERE).
People always seem to be saying that good help is hard to find; Mr. Chalcott and his house-hold are about to discover how true that is when an amateur detective sets out trying to locate a missing bracelet. Even Sherlock Holmes wouldn't in all candor make a claim like this: "My powers of observation, which are I may say of rather more than ordinary development, could not be deceived" (Poirot, certainly, but not Holmes). In the end, after the weeping of the housemaid, after the indignation of the gardener, after the smashing of the glass, and after the attack of the dog, Mr. Chalcott will have reason to regret suggesting, "Now then, Arliss, here's your chance. . .""I believe to this day that I owe my life to the insecurity with which that trouser leg was sewn together."
- We've had absolutely no success gathering info about Harold Aker; he's not listed on FictionMags, and for all we know "An Essay in Detection" might have been the only
story he ever had published.
The bottom line: