Sherlock Holmes is goaded into a boxing match, in which his opponent, Sailor Mackenzie, loses both the bout and his life. All but Mrs. Hudson and her colleagues, Holmes and Watson, are convinced the fighter's death was an accident. The Baker Street trio travels to McLellan Manor in Yorkshire to sort through the numerous people who have reason to celebrate Mackenzie's death and the opportunity to cause it. Complicating their investigation, Holmes and Watson are asked to become protectors for Lily Langtry, and Mrs. Hudson to become her lady's maid, when the famous beauty is threatened by her latest paramour, the volatile George Baird. Before all can be resolved, Holmes will need to lead a séance in which he will call on a ghost to solve a 35-year old murder, and Mrs. Hudson will find herself in surprising alliance with the Jersey Lily.
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