Tag Archives: sherlock holmes

Haunted by the Hound

HALLOWEEN 2017: BY RACHEL KOVACINY

I can still remember the first time I read an entire, unabridged Sherlock Holmes adventure. I must have been about thirteen and knew I loved mysteries. I’d been devouring books about Trixie Belden and the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew for years, and my appetite for fictional crime-solving adventures just kept growing. Continue reading Haunted by the Hound

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The Modern Sherlock Holmes

JAN / FEB 2016: BY CHARITY BISHOP

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Few literary figures are better known or loved than Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s consulting sleuth, occupant of 221B Baker Street. Since his first literary appearance in 1889, he continues to capture the devotion of millions through short stories, novels, radio plays, television series, and films. And during WWII, he inspired people by shedding his deerstalker to enter the modern age and deliver much needed hope worldwide. Continue reading The Modern Sherlock Holmes

Brother Dear, Brother Mine: Sherlock

NOV / DEC 2014: BY CHARITY BISHOP

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I’ve adored Sherlock Holmes since childhood. I marveled at his genius and thought no one could top him… until I met his big brother, Mycroft, “even more brilliant” than Sherlock, but so lazy he never sets foot outside his club. Instead, he “occupies a minor position in the British government.”

Over the years, adaptations of the stories introduced Mycroft but didn’t explore him in depth other than as a condescending force in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, where he is a mastermind who constantly berates his little brother for his foolishness. Continue reading Brother Dear, Brother Mine: Sherlock

Launching a Conspiracy: Rewriting History in The Surrogate Assassin

MARCH / APRIL 2014: BY CHARITY BISHOP

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For as long as there have been assassinations, there have been conspiracy theorists. Few of them  captured my interest until I read The Surrogate Assassin, by Christopher Leppek. This well-written book invites Sherlock Holmes to investigate the events behind the president’s death and form new and startling conclusions. Holmes is drawn into the case through an appeal of Edwin Booth, the elder  brother of the infamous murderer of Abraham Lincoln. It is many years after the incident, but various historical figures are still alive, and Holmes is intrigued by the thought of unmasking the “true” murderer. Continue reading Launching a Conspiracy: Rewriting History in The Surrogate Assassin

A Sign of Respect: Holmes and Watson

JULY / AUG 2013: BY CARISSA HORTON

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“Upon my word, Watson!” said Holmes at last with an unsteady voice, “I owe you both my thanks and an apology. It was an unjustifiable experiment even for one’s self, and doubly so for a friend. I am really very sorry.”

“You know,” I answered with some emotion, for I had never seen so much of Holmes’ heart before, “that it is my greatest joy and privilege to help you.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot

You can count on one hand the number of times amateur detective Sherlock Holmes expresses verbal concern for his compatriot, Doctor John Watson. It’s not so much that Holmes doesn’t feel, for I believe he feels very deeply, but rather he can’t function in his chosen mode of professionalism if he gives emotion a stronghold. Still, the façade is cracked, just a little, every time he places Watson in serious danger, the type that could actually result in their deaths. It’s the brief moments, such as the one from Devil’s Foot, that show Watson how much Holmes actually cares for him as a friend and a colleague. Continue reading A Sign of Respect: Holmes and Watson

Creating the Myth of Holmes

NOV / DEC 2011: BY KATHARINE TAYLOR

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A tall, dark-haired man with a thin, prominent nose sits sunk in an easy chair gazing intently over his steepled fingers. Who is this man? It’s Sherlock Holmes, and if you happen to notice a plaid cape and a deerstalker cap hanging by the door, you should have no doubts at all about his identity. Even people who have never read a Holmes story in their lives recognize the deerstalker cap and curved pipe, as emblems of the greatest detective. Continue reading Creating the Myth of Holmes

Murder Rooms: The Story of Dr. Joseph Bell

NOV / DEC 2011: BY CHARITY BISHOP

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Growing up, my favorite fictional hero was Sherlock Holmes. The creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and one of the most revered literary figures in history, he set the standard for all detectives to come. Most are familiar with Holmes but some do not know of his remarkable source of inspiration: Dr. Joseph Bell, a renowned physician, professor, editor, and writer famed for his deductive reasoning and his skills as an early forensic pathologist. Conan Doyle studied medicine under him in Edinburgh and was so impressed by his ability to observe minute details about a person’s appearance and deduce information from it that he forever embodied him into the immortal character of Sherlock Holmes. Continue reading Murder Rooms: The Story of Dr. Joseph Bell