It was a normal work day for pottery expert Soo Lin Yao where she entertained guests at the National Antiquities Museum and told them pottery and tea ceremony. As she was carrying out her work, she saw something which frightened her. Soo Lin Yao is very dedicated in her job that her co-workers were dumbfounded when she suddenly decided to quit and eventually disappeared.
John was having financial hardships and considered looking for a good paying job. Sherlock brought him to a “bank” that is actually a high-powered international finance house. An old acquaintance, Seb Wilkes, asked Sherlock for assist in exchange for any large fee. There was a break-in at the bank where nothing of value was taken. All they found was what appeared to be Chinese symbols spray-painted on a banker’s portrait. Sherlock remarked that this symbol was really a message to Edward Van Coon, an employee at the Hong Kong desk who did not report for work.
Sherlock went to Van Coon’s apartment. It had been locked. When he broke-in, he found Van Coon dead. The police, led by Detective Investigator Dimmock, were prepared to rule it as being suicide but Sherlock was insistent it had been murder.
A journalist, Brian Lurkis, was killed. Like Van Coon’s, his murder happened inside his locked apartment. Sherlock and John went to a library that Lurkis frequents and found inside a bookshelf exactly the same Chinese-looking symbols. It would appear that, like Van Coon, he was given exactly the same message before he was killed.
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