Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Inspector Ian McFergus had not been satisfied; not in the least satisfied. He had inspected Marley's body using all the due processes and checklists upon which the police division insisted and in which he had been trained. And he was not satisfied.
Marley's body had been found at the bottom of the stairs, dead as a doornail (McFergus wondered where that expression had come from). The inspector had walked around the body as required and had drawn a sketch as required. And however much it looked as if the old guy had simply tripped, Inspector McFergus had not been satisfied at the time and had been no more satisfied after the coroner had hauled the corpse, clothed in a shabby nightgown, away.
The next day he was told by his superiors that there were other things he should be working on, so he tried to forget about the incident of Jacob Marley.
Seven years later….
“Remember the Marley case?” Amy asked. “Nobody else seemed to think his death was suspicious. Just a careless man falling down a flight of stairs.”
“Ah, my dear. Nobody else on the force was warned in advance.”
The former inspector smiled. “A week before his death, I was told by a snitch that someone was going to kill Jacob Marley. of Scrooge and Marley. It would probably look like an accident, the fellow said.”
Retired police inspector Ian McFergus, haunted by the mysterious death of Jacob Marley, walks the streets and underworld of Victorian London looking for the truth, just before Christmas. He meets with a number of characters, including Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Fagin, the Artful Dodger, and Bill Sikes. And he consults with a youth who would, of course, deny any resemblance to a person named Sherlock.