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Mar 27, 2019

“It is Porlock's writing” [VALL]  

The opening of The Valley of Fear introduced us to a mysterious individual: Porlock, who sent a cryptic note to Sherlock Holmes to warn him of doings afoot at Birlstone.

Sherlock Holmes didn't look into Porlock's identity too closely, but we do have a number of clues and inferences...

Mar 20, 2019

“The dancing Irish deviltry” [VALL]  

The Irish make scant appearances across the earlier Sherlock Holmes stories, but once we pass The Valley of Fear, it's as if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's brogue has been released onto the pages.


We explore some of those instances — including the subtle and passing ones early...

Mar 13, 2019

“the game was whist” [EMPT]  

We continue our monthly investigation into Games and Sports in the Sherlock Holmes stories, and in this case, we turn our attention to a card game. Specifically, whist.


There aren't too many instances of card games in the Canon, but whist comes up a couple of times. How was it played?...

Mar 6, 2019

“volumes of poetry” [ENGR] 

When we think of poetry, it's a style of writing that transports us, particularly emotionally, to another plane of existence. Poetry is like the rose over which Sherlock Holmes had a moment of reverie in "The Naval Treaty":

"But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are...