Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz

‘It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubbable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one.’

Hello!

We invite you to participate in this edition of The Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz. As always, this little game requires no submission of answers to anyone—you are playing against yourself and the clock; it is not necessary for anyone else to take the least notice of what you do.

To play along:

–Read the quote from the Canon provided below.

–As quickly as you can, identify the speaker and the adventure featuring the quote.

–Scroll down a few inches to see if you have the correct answer.

–Leave a note in the comments, if you wish, about your answer and your time.

Ron Lies/ JHWS ‘Chips’

Margie Deck/JHWS ‘Mopsy’

Quick Quote Quiz 6/19/2018:  Today, we have a quote from Holmes.  What is it that he and Watson are going to pull off after all?  Which case?

‘I’m afraid…that all the Queen’s horses and all the Queen’s men cannot avail in this matter.’ He had spread out his big map of London, and leaned eagerly over it.’Well, well,’ said he presently, with an exclamation of satisfaction, ‘things are turning a little in our direction at last. Why, Watson, I do honestly believe that we are going to pull it off after all.’

 

^

^

^

^

^

^

Answer: Sherlock Holmes, the recovery of the Bruce Partington Plans, BRUC

Holmes in the Heartland

Later this summer, the very first Holmes in the Heartland conference will take place in St. Louis, IL. It promises to be a welcoming gathering for all sorts of Holmes fans and lots of fun. A number of Watsonians are planning to attend; I wish I could be there, too!

Rob Nunn (JHWS “Beacon”) shares the details:

Holmes in the Heartland will be happening on August 10-12, as we celebrate the installation of the new St. Louis Sherlockian Research Collection at the St. Louis Public Library and highlight the city of St. Louis. We will celebrate with a weekend full of BBQ, blues, tea, history and plenty of Sherlockian discussion! The weekend’s schedule includes:

Friday, August 10:

Welcome to St. Louis 221BBQ and Blues Carbuncle Night

Tour of the National Blues Museum and dinner at Sugarfire Smokehouse

Saturday, August 11:

A Curious Collection: The St. Louis Sherlockian Collection

We will be displaying the St. Louis Sherlockian Research Collection and have a full day of Sherlockian presentations at the central branch of the St. Louis Public Library. Speakers include:

  • Tim Johnson, Keynote Speaker, curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota
  • Mary Schroeder, ASH, founder of the St. Louis Sherlockian Research Collection and longtime St. Louis Sherlockian
  • Bill Cochran, BSI, donor of a complete run of the Baker Street Journal to the Sherlockian Research Collection
  • Bill Mason, BSI, author of “Pursuing Sherlock Holmes” and former Head Light of The Beacon Society
  • Tassy Hayden, fan fiction writer and former co-host of the wildly popular The Three Patch Podcast
  • Brad Keefauver, BSI, ASH, blogger at Sherlock Peoria and author of “The Elementary Methods of Sherlock Holmes”
  • Don Hobbs, BSI, ASH, owner of the largest foreign language Sherlockian book collection
  • Black Knights Fighting Group, displaying Baritsu and recreating the fighting techniques of Victorian London
  • Plus a surprise guest speaker linking Sherlock Holmes to Missouri!

​Dinner Saturday night will be at historic Favazza’s on The Hill.

Sunday, August 12:

Medical History and Afternoon Tea

Tours of The Bernard Becker Medical Library with a focus on Victorian era medical treatments starting and 9:00 and an afternoon tea at The London Tea Room following.

You can register for one, two or all three days of Sherlockian fun! More information can be found at https://parallelcasestl.wixsite.com/home/holmes-in-the-heartland. We would love to have you! Come at once if convenient!

Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz

It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubbable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one.’

Hello Watsonians—

We invite you to participate in this edition of The Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz.  As always, this little game requires no submission of answers to anyone—you are playing against yourself and the clock; it is not necessary for anyone else to take the least notice of what you do.

To play along:

–Read the quote from the Canon provided below.

–As quickly as you can, identify the speaker and the adventure featuring the quote.

–Note how long it took you to arrive at the answer.

–Scroll down a few inches to see if you have the correct answer.

–Leave a note in the comments, if you wish, about your answer and your time.

Ron Lies/ JHWS ‘Chips’

Margie Deck/JHWS ‘Mopsy’

Quick Quote Quiz 6/12/2018:  Sherlock Holmes said or wrote ‘my dear Watson’ some 89 times. In one instance, he wrote it twice in the same note.  Which note?  Which adventure?

^

^

^

^

^

^

^

Answer: Holmes’s Goodbye note to Watson, FINA

My DEAR WATSON, he said, I write these few lines through the courtesy of Mr Moriarty, who awaits my convenience for the final discussion of those questions which lie between us.  He has been giving me a sketch of the methods by which he avoided the English police and kept himself informed of our movements. They certainly confirm the very high opinion which I had formed of his abilities. I am pleased to think that I shall be able to free society from any further effects of his presence, though I fear that it is at a cost which will give pain to my friends, and especially, my dear Watson, to you.  I have already explained to you, however, that my career had in any case reached its crisis, and that no possible conclusion to it could be more congenial to me than this.  Indeed, if I may make a full confession to you, I was quite convinced that the letter from Meiringen was a hoax, and I allowed you to depart on that errand under the persuasion that some development of this sort would follow. Tell Inspector Paterson that the papers which he needs to convict the gang are in pigeon-hole M, done up in a blue envelope and inscribed “Moriarty”. I made every disposition of my property before leaving England, and handed it to my brother Mycroft.  Pray give my greetings to Mrs Watson, and believe me to be, my dear fellow,
Very sincerely yours, SHERLOCK HOLMES.

Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz

‘It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubbable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one.’

Hello Watsonians—

We invite you to participate in this edition of The Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz.  As always, this little game requires no submission of answers to anyone—you are playing against yourself and the clock; it is not necessary for anyone else to take the least notice of what you do.

To play along:

–Read the quote from the Canon provided below.

–As quickly as you can, identify the speaker and the adventure featuring the quote.

–Note how long it took you to arrive at the answer.

–Scroll down a few inches to see if you have the correct answer.

–Leave a note in the comments, if you wish, about your answer and your time.

Ron Lies/ JHWS ‘Chips’

Margie Deck/JHWS ‘Mopsy’

Quick Quote Quiz 6/5/2018:  “Be at the third pillar from the left outside the Lyceum Theatre to-night at seven o’clock.”

^

^

^

^

^

^

^

Answer: Thaddeus Sholto (writing to Mary Morstan), SIGN

Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz

‘It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubbable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one.’

Hello Watsonians—

We invite you to participate in this edition of The Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz.  As always, this little game requires no submission of answers to anyone—you are playing against yourself and the clock; it is not necessary for anyone else to take the least notice of what you do.

To play along:

–Read the quote from the Canon provided below.

–As quickly as you can, identify the speaker and the adventure featuring the quote.

–Note how long it took you to arrive at the answer.

–Scroll down a few inches to see if you have the correct answer.

–Leave a note in the comments, if you wish, about your answer and your time.

Ron Lies/ JHWS ‘Chips’

Margie Deck/JHWS ‘Mopsy’

Quick Quote Quiz 5/29/2018:  “That’s Prescott’s machine, and those bundles on the table are two thousand of Prescott’s notes worth a hundred each and fit to pass anywhere. Help yourselves, gentlemen. Call it a deal and let me beat it.”

^

^

^

^

^

^

Answer: ‘Killer’ Evans, 3GAR

JHWS and GDPR

If you’re anything like me, you’ve recently been flooded with notifications of privacy policy updates. Here at the Watson Society, we have also updated our Privacy Policy to be in compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Our Society is physically based in the United States, but we have members around the world, including a number in EU countries.

In order to comply with the GDPR, we must receive your permission (“opt-in”) to hold your postal and e-mail addresses, where made available, on our mailing lists so that the Society can send you copies of The Watsonian (physical or digital), as well as send membership/subscription renewal notices by e-mail.

Please “opt-in” under the new Regulation by confirming your name, address, e-mail address and telephone number electronically via our GDPR Confirmation Page.

Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz Introduction

‘It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubbable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one.’

Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz

Hello Watsonians—

We invite you to participate in a new periodic feature: The Diogenes Club Quick Quote Quiz.  This little game requires no submission of answers to anyone—you are playing against yourself and the clock; it is not necessary for anyone else to take the least notice of what you do.

To play along:

–Read the quote from the Canon provided below.

–As quickly as you can, identify the speaker and the adventure featuring the quote.

–Note how long it took you to arrive at the answer.

–Scroll down a few inches to see if you have the correct answer.

–Leave a note in the comments, if you wish, about your answer and your time.

That’s it!  We are starting you off with one that may be easy as to the speaker, but how well can you remember which adventure it is from?  Imagine “Jeopardy” music in the background.

We hope you will enjoy playing.

Ron Lies/ JHWS ‘Chips’

Margie Deck/JHWS ‘Mopsy’

 

Quick Quote Quiz 5/10/2018:  “The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning.”

^

^

^

^

^

^

^

^

Answer: Sherlock Holmes, SIGN

TH6: Every Link Rings True 1-Question Pop Quiz Results & Answers

Hi Watsonians,

The 17th deadline for submissions for the 1-question pop quiz has passed, and the result feels a bit like the scene from “Casablanca”: Time to round up the usual suspects.  As before, Ron ‘Chips’ Lies and Sheila ‘Daisy’ Holtgrieve submitted perfect answers.

I hope a few more of you had some fun thinking about the possibilities.  Work continues on TH6: Every Link Rings True, and the final draft will be finished in a few weeks.  Having taken to heart the good response to the second TH warm up game, I am writing the hunt to closely match the style of the second game.

Time to get your teams ready!

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

‘It is so long a chain, and yet every link rings true.’

TH6: Every Link Rings True 4th Warm Up Quiz: 1 Big Question

Holmes and Watson once had very similar solo experiences—many years apart. Their descriptions of their individual experiences were marked by eerily similar loneliness, mystery, shadows, sundown, and fauna.  Where was Watson? What year was Watson there? Where was Holmes? What year was Holmes there? What fauna?

Answer—

Holmes: Bathing Pool, beach at Sussex Downs/1907/Sea-birds

Watson: Moor/1889/Gull or Curlew

Holmes

Date: ‘ It occurred after my withdrawal to my little Sussex home …Towards the end of July 1907, there was a severe gale, the wind blowing up-Channel, heaping the seas to the base of the cliffs, and leaving a lagoon at the turn of the tide.’

Event: ‘From The Gables I walked down to the bathing pool. The sun had sunk and the shadow of the great cliff lay black across the water, which glimmered dully like a sheet of lead. The place was deserted and there was no sign of life save for two Sea-birds circling and screaming overhead. In the fading light I could dimly make out the little dog’s spoor upon the sand round the very rock on which his master’s towel had been laid. For a long time I stood in deep meditation while the shadows grew darker around me.’ (LION)

Watson

Date: ‘To James Mortimer, MRCS, from his friends of the CCH’, was engraved upon it, with the date ‘1884’…. What was he, then? If he was in the hospital and yet not on the staff, he could only have been a house-surgeon or a house-physician – little more than a senior student. And he left five years ago – the date is on the stick’  (1884 + 5 = 1889)*

(*We realize there is some disagreement among the chronologists with this dating but we are electing to believe Sherlock Holmes.)

Event: ‘The sun was already sinking when I reached the summit of the hill, and the long slopes beneath me were all golden-green on one side and gray shadow on the other. A haze lay low upon the farthest sky-line, out of which jutted the fantastic shapes of Belliver and Vixen Tor. Over the wide expanse there was no sound and no movement. One great grey bird, a gull or curlew, soared aloft in the blue heaven. He and I seemed to be the only living things between the huge arch of the sky and the desert beneath it. The barren scene, the sense of loneliness, and the mystery and urgency of my task all struck a chill into my heart.’ (HOUN)

 

 

 

On May 7th…

May 7, 1902: Holmes confronted Sir Robert Norberton at the crypt. [SHOS]

Illustration by Frank Wiles for The Strand Magazine

Someone was walking in the chapel above. It was the firm, rapid step of one who came with a definite purpose, and knew well the ground upon which he walked. A light streamed down the stairs, and an instant later the man who bore it was framed in the Gothic archway. He was a terrible figure, huge in stature and fierce in manner. A large stable lantern which he held in front of him shone upwards upon a strong, heavily-moustached face and angry eyes, which glared round him into every recess of the vault, finally fixing themselves with a deadly stare upon my companion and myself.
“Who the devil are you?” he thundered. “And what are you doing upon my property?” Then, as Holmes returned no answer, he took a couple of steps forward and raised a heavy stick which he carried. “Do you hear me?” he cried. “Who are you? What are you doing here?” His cudgel quivered in the air.
But, instead of shrinking, Holmes advanced to meet him.
“I also have a question to ask you, Sir Robert,” he said in his sternest tone. “Who is this? And what is it doing here?”
He turned and tore open the coffin lid behind him. In the glare of the lantern I saw a body swathed in a sheet from head to foot, with dreadful, witch-like features, all nose and chin, projecting at one end, the dim glazed eyes staring from a discoloured and crumbling face.

Date information provided by the volume A Day-by-Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled and edited by William S Dorn.

Calling All Members

The Spring 2018 Watsonian is about to go to press. Print issues will be mailed directly from the printer, so now is the time to make sure your information is up to date! If you have changed mailing address since November, please let Selena Buttons know ASAP. (If you’ve already contacted us with your new address, thank you!)

If your membership expired at the end of 2017, you will not be on the mailing list for this new issue. We know you don’t want to miss out, so please take a moment to double-check your membership dates on the Members Page. If your membership ended in December 2017, pop over to the Shop to purchase a 2018 Membership. (If your membership is current through 6/18, there is a separate renewal available that lasts through the end of 2019. Please contact Selena Buttons for details.)

On May 4th…

Today is a day of great significance in the Canon. We give you these three events:

First…

May 4, 1847: John Ferrier and Lucy were rescued by the Mormons. [STUD]

Illustration by D H Friston

 

The rescuing party were speedily able to convince the two castaways that their appearance was no delusion. One of them seized the little girl and hoisted her upon his shoulder, while two others supported her gaunt companion, and assisted him towards the wagons.
“My name is John Ferrier,” the wanderer explained; “me and that little un are all that’s left o’ twenty-one people. The rest is all dead o’ thirst and hunger away down in the south.”
“Is she your child?” asked someone.
“I guess she is now,” the other cried, defiantly; “she’s mine ’cause I saved her. No man will take her from me. She’s Lucy Ferrier from this day on. Who are you, though?”

 

Second…

May 4, 1882: An advertisement seeking Mary Morstan’s address appeared in The Times. [SIGN]

Ann Bell as Mary Morstan (1968)

“I have not yet described to you the most singular part. About six years ago – to be exact, upon the 4th of May, 1882 – an advertisement appeared in The Times asking for the address of Miss Mary Morstan, and stating that it would be to her advantage to come forward. There was no name and address appended. I had at the time just entered the family of Mrs. Cecil Forrester in the capacity of governess. By her advice I published my address in the advertisement column. The same day there arrived through the post a small cardboard box addressed to me, which I found to contain a very large and lustrous pearl. No word of writing was enclosed. Since then every year upon the same date there has always appeared a similar box, containing a similar pearl, without any clue as to the sender. They have been pronounced by an expert to be of a rare variety and of considerable value. You can see for yourselves that they are very handsome.”

And FINAlly…
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist. -Selena Buttons)

May 4, 1891: Moriarty died in a plunge over the Reichenbach Falls. [FINA]

An examination by experts leaves little doubt that a personal contest between the two men ended, as it could hardly fail to end in such a situation, in their reeling over, locked in each other’s arms. Any attempt at recovering the bodies was absolutely hopeless, and there, deep down in that dreadful cauldron of swirling water and seething foam, will lie for all time the most dangerous criminal and the foremost champion of the law of their generation.

 

 

Date provided by the volume A Day-by-Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled and edited by William S Dorn.

TH6: Every Link Rings True 1-Question Pop Quiz

Hello Watsonians,

I know I promised to be quiet for awhile, but while working on TH6 I came across an interesting serendipity.  While my happy discovery ultimately proved unworkable as part of the actual treasure hunt, it is perfect for a one-(big)-question pop quiz.  I hope you will agree, and decide to give this one a go.

Answers should be submitted to treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com no later than May 17.

Now, back to it…

Margie/  JHWS ‘Mopsy’

‘It is so long a chain, and yet every link rings true.’

Holmes and Watson once had very similar solo experiences—many years apart. Their descriptions of their individual experiences were marked by eerily similar loneliness, mystery, shadows, sundown, and fauna.

Where was Watson? What year was Watson there?

Where was Holmes? What year was Holmes there?

What fauna?

Helpful hint: Sherlock Holmes once told Dr. Watson: “We are moving in exalted circles.” Do not let the circles go over your head.

On April 30th…

April 30, 1895: Violet Smith was kidnapped. [SOLI]

Holmes threw the reins into my lap and sprang down from the cart.
“You’re the man we want to see. Where is Miss Violet Smith?” he said, in his quick, clear way.

“That’s what I am asking you. You’re in her dogcart. You ought to know where she is.”

“We met the dogcart on the road. There was no one in it. We drove back to help the young lady.”

“Good Lord! Good Lord! What shall I do?” cried the stranger, in an ecstasy of despair. “They’ve got her, that hellhound Woodley and the blackguard parson. Come, man, come, if you really are her friend. Stand by me and we’ll save her, if I have to leave my carcass in Charlington Wood.”

April 30, 1895: Bob Carruthers shot Jack Woodley. [SOLI]

His revolver cracked, and I saw the blood spurt from the front of Woodley’s waistcoat. He spun round with a scream and fell upon his back, his hideous red face turning suddenly to a dreadful mottled pallor. The old man, still clad in his surplice, burst into such a string of foul oaths as I have never heard, and pulled out a revolver of his own, but before he could raise it he was looking down the barrel of Holmes’s weapon.

 

Some date information provided by the volume A Day-by-Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled and edited by William S Dorn.

On April 29th…

April 29, 1902 (or thereabouts): Sir Robert Norberton gave away his sister’s pet spaniel. [SHOS]

“Jasper” in Granada’s “Shoscombe Old Place”

“When did Sir Robert give away his sister’s dog?”

“It was just a week ago today. The creature was howling outside the old well-house, and Sir Robert was in one of his tantrums that morning. He caught it up, and I thought he would have killed it. Then he gave it to Sandy Bain, the jockey, and told him to take the dog to old Barnes at the Green Dragon, for he never wished to see it again.”

Date information provided by the volume A Day-by-Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled and edited by William S Dorn.

On April 28th…

April 28, 1895: Holmes received a note from Violet Smith saying that she was leaving her job. [SOLI]

The Thursday brought us another letter from our client. “You will not be surprised, Mr. Holmes”, said she, “to hear that I am leaving Mr. Carruthers’ employment. Even the high pay cannot reconcile me to the discomforts of my situation. On Saturday I come up to town, and I do not intend to return. Mr. Carruthers has got a trap, and so the dangers of the lonely road, if there ever were any dangers, are now over.

Some date information provided by the volume A Day-by-Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled and edited by William S Dorn.

Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot (Book Review)

Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot

edited by Michael A. Ventrella & Jonathan Maberry
Diversion Books (April 24 2018)
270 p. ISBN 978-1635763775

Publisher’s Summary

Thirteen authors, including Narrelle M. Harris, Jody Lynn Nye, and Sarah Stegall, come together in the second edition of Baker Street Irregulars to pen an original collection of short stories on the iconic and timeless character, Sherlock Holmes. 

In this new edition of Baker Street Irregulars, a cast of authors riff on the iconic figure of Sherlock Holmes in over a dozen captivating new ways. In Keith DeCandido’s “Six Red Dragons,” Sherlock is a young girl in modern New York City. In Sarah Stegall’s “Papyrus,” Sherlock is a female librarian in ancient Egypt. In Daniel M. Kimmel’s mesmerizing “A Scandal in Chelm,” Sherlock is a rabbi. Derek Beebe sends Sherlock to the moon, while Mike Strauss, in “The Adventure of the Double Sized Final Issue,” casts him as a comic book character. The backdrops run the gamut from a grade school classroom to Jupiter, from rural, post-Civil War to an alien spaceship. While preserving the timeless charm and intrigue of Sherlock Holmes, these authors pen stories of the world’s greatest detective as you’ve never seen him before.

General Review

The Baker Street Irregulars: The Game’s Afoot is the second Holmesian anthology that Michael A. Ventrella and Jonathan Maberry have edited, the first being The Baker Street Irregulars.  In both volumes, authors write stories about Holmes and Watson reimagined, whether in a different time, a different gender, a different species, etc.  It isn’t a new concept, as far as anthologies go; some may remember the anthology Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets, edited by Guy Adams and David Thomas Moore, which came out in 2014.

Anthologies are always a bit tricky, because inevitably there are a few weaker stories amongst the strong ones—presuming there are strong ones at all, which is not always a guarantee.  Happily, this anthology contains a number of stories that I felt were exceptionally strong, and a few that I desperately wish were much longer.  I wouldn’t rate any of the stories as complete duds, though there were one or two that I didn’t enjoy as much.

Before I give certain stories individual reviews, I would like to point out one flaw with this anthology that rankled as I read: the lack of diversity amongst the authors.  Although I cannot say for certain, it appeared that all the authors in this anthology were white, something I find disappointing to encounter.  Given that the anthology was made up of a wide range of authorial backgrounds (none are traditional Holmesian pastiche authors, for instance), I wouldn’t have thought it terribly difficult to ensure that authors of color were included.  I truly hope that as more Holmesian anthologies are put together, a stronger effort will be put into making sure a diverse range of identities are represented.

Now for a few thoughts on individual stories…

One of my favourites in the anthology was “The Adventure of the Diode Detective,” written by Jody Lynn Nye.  In this story, Holmes and Watson are… wait for it… apps.  Sure-Lock Homes is a security app.  What’s-On? is a social app, combining ideas like Netflix, MeetUp, and Facebook into one place.  When I read the premise to my husband, he raised an eyebrow and said “yeah, how is that going to work?” which was my thought as well- and yet it did.  Not only was the entire thing witty and clever, it was also incredibly well-plotted.  It was nicely paced, with a true arc to the story.  My husband ended up reading over my shoulder, which (as a non-Holmesian) never happens.  I LOVED this story.  I thought the author did a magnificent job in capturing the personalities of Holmes and Watson as apps (they are, in case you are wondering, very AI-driven, which helps), showing how concerned they are for their owner and how far they’ll go to protect her.  And of course, the ending is one that any Watsonian will love.

I also thoroughly enjoyed “Papyrus” by Sarah Stegell.  In this story, which takes place in ancient Egypt, Holmes is Seshet, the Royal Librarian, and Watson is Raneb, who is a First Rank physician from the Black Land, on a mission to save his home from given to a different Temple.  While I can’t comment on the accuracy of the setting (my gut says that historical details were fudged for the sake of adventure), it was an engaging story, with court politics and a nicely crafted mystery surrounding a land deed.  I would love to see an entire novel, or even series, crafted from this short story, as Seshet and Raneb made an excellent team, with phenomenal chemistry.  Raneb is instantly fascinated by Seshet, and dives into her world with only the slightest of hesitations.  I want to see their partnership grow, and more of how a Holmes and Watson would navigate Egypt in the time of pharaohs.

I appreciated Hildy Silverman’s “My Dear Wa’ats” in which Holmes and Watson are aliens; She’er is the Captain of a spaceship, after having served in law enforcement, where their spouse, Wa’ats, still works.  They meet again when Wa’ats boards She’er’s vessel, searching for the criminal Mori.  The author manages to pack in a lot of worldbuilding in a very small story, but never did I feel like I was just being given an infodump on the world; instead, it felt organic, information flowing naturally as characters reflected on it.  The conflict in this story is as much personal as it is about the crime, but the crime and, specifically, the criminal, is SO fascinating.  There were some weak moments in this story, largely regarding gender role assumptions and some occasionally sloppy editing, but I would love to see an entire series set in this world, with She’er and Wa’ats.

My final favourite of the anthology was Gordon Linzner’s “Sin-Eater and the Adventure of Ginger Mary.”  Darker in tone than many of the other stories, Linzner’s tale takes place in Appalachia, post-Civil War.  Our Watson is Salali, a Native American woman (as a note: I have no knowledge on Linzner’s background, nor if this story was looked over by someone who is Native; I cannot speak on whether or not Salali and her husband Dagatoga are decent representation) while our Holmes is Cavish, the town outcast and, secretly, sin eater.  The mystery revolves around the death of a child, originally presumed a suicide and discovered to be a murder.  It is a mournful, haunting little story, one that manages to encompass a full investigation (excellently done) while also showing us the give-and-pull of Salali and Cavish’s odd, but deep, friendship.

Though these four stories were my favourites, there were certainly other ones that were well-written and others may prefer.  Some notables include “A Very Important Nobody” by Chuck Regan (in which Holmes is named Theramin Joules!); “The Problem of Three Journals” by Narrelle M. Harris (in which Holmes and Watson are hipster baristas); and “The Affair of the Green Crayon” (in which Holmes and Watson teach elementary school).

Overall, I did not regret reading this anthology, something I cannot always say.  There were certainly a few weaker stories, but I didn’t feel like any of them were bad, and none of them made me throw my Nook across the room in irritation.  And some of these stories were so excellent that I secretly hope the authors fell in love with their premises so that they can expand the story into a full length novel.  Until then, I suppose I’ll just have to get my own copy of this book (mine is an ARC, provided by NetGalley) and keep reading the short versions.

What About Our Watson?

There are thirteen stories in this anthology and, as such, thirteen different takes on Watson.  I had one earlier caveat, about the lack of racial diversity amongst the authors, and here is my second caveat for this anthology: if you want to read about new and fascinating Watsons, you may be a bit stymied.  While there were many, many intriguing Watsons, much of the world building really took place around the Holmes, with Watson being a bit of an afterthought.  There were some exceptions.  Two of my favourite stories, “My Dear Wa’ats” and “Sin-Eater and the Adventure of Ginger Mary” each had a Watson with their own internal life, their own hopes and dreams, their own ambitions.  Another Watson that came across as having a life of their own was our Watson in “A Study in Space”.  But because the authors were all having to create and explain a whole new Holmesian setting, our Watsons were largely relegated to being narrators, with occasional personal snippets thrown in.

I don’t necessarily think this is true failure; certainly, Watson in canon tells us all of three paragraphs about himself before he starts delving into how cool his new roommate is.  But when one has a canon knowledge of Watson, it can be a bit of a shock to go back to STUD again and again and again in terms of characterization.

This is another reason I’d like to see some of these authors expand their stories.  I think several of them have a really good grasp on what a Watson can be, but were restricted by page/word limits.  It would be lovely to see their characters return, perhaps in a future anthology.  My understanding is that one author, Keith R.A. DeCandido, actually did this in the anthology; his characters Jack Watson and Shirley Holmes are actually continued over from his story “Identity”, which appeared in the first anthology by Maberry and Ventrella.  It would be great to see some of these authors do the same, whether by writing more short stories for this anthology series, or striking out on their own.

You Might Like This Book If You Like:

Short stories; science fiction; intriguing world building; something new

Is there a book you want Lucy to review? Let her know!  Contact the Society and they’ll pass your request along.

TH6: Every Link Rings True 3rd Warm Up Game Results and Answers

Hello Watsonians,

The 3rd TH6 warm-up game proved to be quite challenging.  Two of our intrepid quiz masters managed to correctly answer all five questions after a few strategy discussions. Congratulations to Sheila ‘Daisy’ Holtgrieve and Ron ‘Chips’ Lies for a job well done.

I want to thank all of you who took the time to participate in the three warm up games.  Each game helped me to better understand which puzzle types work best; my goal is to write a hunt that is challenging and fun. If time permits, we might have one more warm up game closer to the August hunt.

As always, I appreciate your participation and enthusiasm.

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

‘It is so long a chain, and yet every link rings true.’

  1. According to Holmes, these prevent the world from being dull. What?

Answer: lunatics

‘I was wondering whether he could have buried something. Of course, when people bury treasure nowadays they do it in the Post Office bank. But there are always some lunatics about. It would be a dull world without them.’ (3GAB)

2.Probably a (answer to number one) broke it to atoms. What?

Answer: bust of Napoleon

‘’In Kennington Road, and within a few hundred yards of Morse Hudson’s shop, there lives a well-known medical practitioner, named Dr Barnicot,..Some little time ago he purchased from Morse Hudson two duplicate plaster casts of the famous head of Napoleon by the French sculptor Devine. One of these he placed in his hall in the house at Kennington Road, and the other on the mantelpiece of the surgery at Lower Brixton.…Dr Barnicot was due at his surgery at twelve o’clock, and you can imagine his amazement when, on arriving there, he found that the window had been opened in the night, and that the broken pieces of his second bust were strewn all over the room.  It had been smashed to atoms where it stood.  In neither case were there any signs which could give us a clue as to the criminal or lunatic who had done the mischief.’ (SIXN)

  1. With the (answer to number two) in mind, count the pieces in the container. How many?

Answer: two thousand

‘We had occasion some months ago to strengthen our resources, and borrowed, for that purpose, thirty thousand Napoleons from the Bank of France.  It has become known that we have never had occasion to unpack the money, and that it is still lying in our cellar.  The crate upon which I sit contains two thousand Napoleons packed between layers of lead foil. Our reserve of bullion is much larger at present than is usually kept in a single branch office, and the directors have had misgivings upon the subject.’ (REDH)

  1. Value (the answer to number three) times a hundred to determine who proposed a bribe which Holmes found amusing. Who?

Answer:  Killer Evans

‘Yes, sir,’ said our prisoner, staggering slowly to his feet and then sinking into the chair.  ‘The greatest counterfeiter London ever saw. That’s Prescott’s machine, and those bundles on the table are two thousand of Prescott’s notes worth a hundred each and fit to pass anywhere. Help yourselves, gentlemen. Call it a deal and let me beat it. ‘Holmes laughed. ‘We don’t do things like that, Mr Evans.’…So those are the facts about Killer Evans and his remarkable invention of the three Garridebs. (3GAR)

  1. Someone with the same surname as (answer to number four) and someone else sailed together on at least two different vessels. The life of the someone else was defined by two sets of initials. Who? What initials?

Answer: Old Trevor, J.P., J.A.

‘Old Trevor was evidently a man of some wealth and consideration, a J.P. and a landed proprietor… ‘”And you have been most intimately associated with someone whose initials were J.A., and whom you afterwards were eager to entirely forget.’

‘My name, dear lad, is not Trevor. I was James Armitage in my younger days, and you can understand now the shock that it was to me a few weeks ago when your college friend addressed me in words which seemed to imply that he had surmised my secret…’

‘I did so, and found my other neighbour to be a young fellow in much the same position as myself, whose crime had been forgery. His name was Evans but he afterwards changed it, like myself, and he is now a rich and prosperous man in the South of England.’

‘Next day we were picked up by the brig Hotspur, bound for Australia, whose captain found no difficulty in believing that we were the survivors of a passenger ship which had foundered.  The transport ship, Gloria Scott, was set down by the Admiralty as being lost at sea, and no word has ever leaked out as to her true fate. After an excellent voyage the Hotspur landed us at Sydney, where Evans and I changed our names and made our way to the diggings, where among the crowds who were gathered from all nations, we had no difficulty in losing our former identities.  (GLOR)

Helpful Hint— Sherlock Holmes said, “Education never ends, Watson.”  See where it leads the party.

‘Our boat lay, rising and falling, upon the long, smooth rollers, and Evans and I, who were the most educated of the party, were sitting in the sheets working out our position and planning what coast we should make for…’ (GLOR)

On April 13th…

… or thereabouts; the canonical date is “the early spring”.

Friedrich illustration of Violet sitting in front of the window.
Illustration by Josef Friedrich

April 13, 1890: Violet Hunter sat in the window seat for the second time [COPP]

“Two days later this same performance was gone through under exactly similar circumstances. Again I changed my dress, again I sat in the window, and again I laughed very heartily at the funny stories of which my employer had an immense repertoire, and which he told inimitably. Then he handed me a yellow-backed novel, and, moving my chair a little sideways, that my own shadow might not fall upon the page, he begged me to read aloud to him. I read for about ten minutes, beginning in the heart of a chapter, and then suddenly, in the middle of a sentence, he ordered me to cease and change my dress.”

Source
A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes according to Ziesler and Christ by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI.

On April 11th…

… or thereabouts, the canonical date is in “the early spring”.

April 11, 1890: Violet Hunter in window seat for the first time. [COPP]

Friedrich illustration of Violet Hunter sitting in front of the window.
Illustration by Josef Friedrich

“A chair had been placed close to the central window, with its back turned towards it. In this I was asked to sit, and then Mr. Rucastle, walking up and down on the other side of the room, began to tell me a series of the funniest stories that I have ever listened to. You cannot imagine how comical he was, and I laughed until I was quite weary. Mrs. Rucastle, however, who has evidently no sense of humor, never so much as smiled, but sat with her hands in her lap, and a sad, anxious look upon her face. After an hour or so, Mr. Rucastle suddenly remarked that it was time to commence the duties of the day, and that I might change my dress, and go to little Edward in the nursery.”

Source
A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes according to Ziesler and Christ by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI.

On April 8th…

April 8, 1897: Holmes and Watson arrived in Poldu Bay, Cornwall. [DEVI]

“Cove and Point” © Copyright Jonathan Billinger and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

It was, then, in the spring of the year 1897 that Holmes’s iron constitution showed some symptoms of giving way in the face of constant hard work of a most exacting kind, aggravated, perhaps, by occasional indiscretions of his own. In March of that year Dr. Moore Agar, of Harley Street, whose dramatic introduction to Holmes I may some day recount, gave positive injunctions that the famous private agent would lay aside all his cases and surrender himself to complete rest if he wished to avert an absolute breakdown. The state of his health was not a matter in which he himself took the faintest interest, for his mental detachment was absolute, but he was induced at last, on the threat of being permanently disqualified from work, to give himself a complete change of scene and air. Thus it was that in the early spring of that year we found ourselves together in a small cottage near Poldhu Bay, at the farther extremity of the Cornish peninsula.

Date information provided by the volume A Day-by-Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled and edited by William S Dorn.