Tales From the Deed Box by Hugh Ashton, JHWS “Clancy”

2817638.jpgTales From the Deed Box

by Hugh Ashton, JHWS “Clancy”

Published by Inknbeans Press

Available at Amazon $9.00

Three previously unknown accounts in the case files of Sherlock Holmes, discovered and transcribed by Hugh Ashton: The Odessa Business, the Case of the Missing Matchbox and The Case of the Cormorant.

The Odessa Business. Holmes’ wits are put to the test in a battle for diplomatic secrets; a previously unknown member of the Holmes family is introduced.

The Case of the Missing Matchbox describes a bizarre crime of passion, and chronicles “Isadora Persano, the well-known journalist and duellist, who was found stark staring mad with a match box in front of him which contained a remarkable worm said to be unknown to science” (Thor Bridge).

The Case of the Cormorant, where the the whole story concerning the politician, the lighthouse, and the trained cormorant will be given to the public for the first time, as threatened by Dr Watson in The Veiled Lodger 

Three other titles in the “Deed Box” series by Hugh Ashton are also available on Amazon. These adventures of Sherlock Holmes are approved by The Conan Doyle Estate Ltd.

“The Book of Tobit” by Carla Coupe, JHWS “Lily”

“The Book of Tobit”

by Carla Coupe, JHWS “Lily”

Published by Wildside Press

Available from Amazon     $9.00

The sixth issue of Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine features another stellar lineup of Holmes-themed non-fiction and Holmes-inspired mystery fiction. Included are: NON-FICTION: “The Rare Mexican Sherlock Holmes Series,” by Gary Lovisi; Remembering Edward D. Hoch and His Sherlock Holmes Stories,” by Len Moffatt; “Screen of the Crime: Baker Street on a Budget,” by Lenny Picker; and “The Autumn of Terror: Sherlock Holmes Investigates Jack the Ripper,” by M. J. Elliott. FICTION: “A Memo from Inspector Lestrade,” “The Curse of Bridges Falls,” by William E. Chambers; “Let Them Eat Cake,” by Jean Paiva; “The Little Blue Dog,” by Marc Bilgrey; “The Bank Job,” by Steve Hagood; “Silent Victim” (novel excerpt), by C.E. Lawrence; and “The Book of Tobit,” by Carla Coupe. CLASSIC REPRINT: “The Reigate Squires,” by Arthur Conan Doyle. POETRY: “The Shadow Train,” by Mike Allen.

Two Books by Kieran McMullen, JHWS “Raleigh”

5256352.jpgThe Many Watsons

by Kieran McMullen, JHWS “Raleigh”

Published by MX Publishing

Available from Amazon     $11.00

There is always a healthy interest in the actors who have played the role of the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also created the world’s best known sidekick, Dr. John H. Watson. The men and women who played the role of stalwart ally is quite an eclectic gathering. Here is compiled a listing and discussion of some of the best known people who have played the part of Watson from the earliest days of silent film to the action heroes of the 21st century. All royalties from this book go towards the Undershaw Preservation Trust.

3695551.jpgHolmes and Watson: The War Years

by Kiernan McMullen, JHWS “Raleigh”

Published by MX Publishing

Available from Amazon     $31.50

It was the time of Queen Victoria’s “Little Wars” and the “War to End All Wars”. It was also the time of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson. Watson, the man, would be formed by his experiences in the British “Second Afghan War”, before he ever met Sherlock Holmes in an adventure, he would record this experience as Watson’s Afghan Adventure, a tale of war and mystery. Later, Holmes and Watson would go on to not only share the problems of crime solving, Watson’s three marriages, a purported tragedy at Reichenbach, and Holmes’s return from the dead; they would also share two more wartime experiences.

In Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Boer Wagon, they are called on by Mycroft Holmes and the British government to go to the battleground of South Africa. Their mission is to stop the flow of army secrets to the Boers and try to recover a King’s ransom in gold. By the time of their third great wrtime adventure the two friends are retired, but Mycroft, and the government, need them once more as they are called on in Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels.

Holmes and Watson had already foiled the plans of a German espionage ring at the start of the Great War in the tale Watson called “His Last Bow.” But it was not, in reality, Holmes’s last bow. Holmes and Watson are sent now to the little war within a war, the killing fields of Dublin in 1916 and the Irish Rebellion. Can they stop it? And can they stop the plans of a renegade member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police?  A special hardback edition including all three bestselling Sherlock Holmes novels from Kieran McMullen.


I just love Kieran McMullen’s books. I have read them all. Everything is so detailed oriented. I can’t believe the wealth of historical background he interjects in all his books. Mr. McMullen is truly an up & coming writer. Can’t wait for his next book.”
-Anne M

I have read all of Kieran’s books and can not wait to get the hardbound edition of
my 3 favorites! This is a MUST HAVE for my library!

Dangerous Work: A Diary of an Arctic Adventure by A. Conan Doyle and Jon Lellenberg, JHWS “Towser”

9395313.jpgDangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure

by A. Conan Doyle and John Lellenberg, JHWS “Towser”

Published by University of Chicago Press   $23.50

Available from Amazon

In 1880 a young medical student named Arthur Conan Doyle embarked upon the “first real outstanding adventure” of his life, taking a berth as ship’s surgeon on an Arctic whaler, the Hope. The voyage took him to unknown regions, showered him with dramatic and unexpected experiences, and plunged him into dangerous work on the ice floes of the Arctic seas. He tested himself, overcame the hardships, and, as he wrote later, “came of age at 80 degrees north latitude.”

Conan Doyle’s time in the Arctic provided powerful fuel for his growing ambitions as a writer. With a ghost story set in the Arctic wastes that he wrote shortly after his return, he established himself as a promising young writer. A subsequent magazine article laying out possible routes to the North Pole won him the respect of Arctic explorers. And he would call upon his shipboard experiences many times in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, who was introduced in 1887’s A Study in Scarlet.


A twenty year old medical student hired as a ship’s surgeon would become the author of the inimitable super-sleuth probably because in small part of this high adventure discourse.

The glamour of the Arctic as expounded by Conan Doyle is a dazzling account. He writes, “amid all the excitement-and no one who has not held an oar in such a scene can tell how exciting it is-one’s sympathies lie with the poor hunted creature.” One should remember the time when Arthur Conan Doyle set sail on this adventure. The raison d’etre of the six month voyage being the culling of whales foremost (as it turned out only two were made redundant) in other words it was a disaster in commercial terms. Also, unfortunately seals, polar bears, narwhals and seabirds were killed too! Terrible for the environment (thinking today) but, accepted then.

A magazine article suggesting routes to the North Pole gave him the respect of Arctic explorers.

This current publication is unbelievably fine!

-Dag Stomberg, St. Andrews, Scotland

I bought this as a Christmas gift for a smart, engaging 15 year old whose ambition is to become an Arctic scientist and whose favorite author is Conan Doyle. But I cheated and read it through before I wrapped it. It’s a beautiful edition at a more than reasonable price, and it’s a rollicking read, as well, as you would expect from even the youthful Conan Doyle–even then a close observer of the world around him and the people who populate it. The recipient was suitably wowed, just as I was.

-Pat in Colorado

As a devout Sherlockian and a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle in general, I was thrilled with this book. FIrst, it shows printed graphics of Doyle’s sea diaries so you can see the wonderful originals. But the total text is also in 21st century print. The editors include comentary very pertinent to understanding how a 20 year old medical student became the man the world knew. I have been fortunate to have seen Dan Stashower give a presentation on the book. A must present for any Arthur Conan Doyle fan.

-Holmesnut, (and JHWS member)

Having been a fan of Conan Doyle most of my life, I thought I had seen all of his writings. What a surprise to see something completely new and completely riveting! I was absolutely delighted.

-Elizabeth (and JHWS member)

Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: Sherlock Holmes by Nicholas Utechin, JHWS “Rex”

8303670.jpgAmazing & Extraordinary Facts: Sherlock Holmes

by Nicholas Utechin, JHWS “Rex”

Published by David & Charles, 2012. Available from Amazon   $11.00

Amazing & Extraordinary Facts – Sherlock Holmes brings to life the most celebrated fictional character in history, through all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s 60 stories, to his transition onto stage, radio, television and the big screen that continues today, along with the actors who have played him. Every aspect of the pipe-smoking, deer stalked character is explored, including his relationships with Dr. Watson, his long-suffering landlady Mrs. Hudson, Scotland Yard detectives, and his nemesis Professor Moriarty, as well as Holmes’ literary and musical tastes, bad habits, and his preferred disguises.Whether you enjoy the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle or the television shows and films that they have inspired, this latest title in the Amazing & Extraordinary Facts series celebrates the timeless detective who continues to be a firm part of popular culture for generations to come.


At about the same time as Jean Upton and I were commissioned to write The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany, Nick Utechin was signing a contract for this volume in the Amazing & Extraordinary Facts series. Inevitably the two books cover much of the same ground, but the treatment and the emphasis in each case are individual. Nick’s approach is broadly chronological, beginning with “The Doyle Family” and concluding with “Holmes in the 21st Century”, and no passage (they aren’t called chapters) is longer than three pages — but nothing is rushed and nothing is too condensed. Among the passages are illuminating snippets about, for instance, the Langham Hotel, portrayals of Mycroft Holmes, and Basil Rathbone’s frustration at being typecast. The very brief observations on each of the sixty stories are pithy, pertinent and sometimes debatable — was the theft of part of the Beryl Coronet not a real crime? And how about the forced marriage of Violet Smith? The writing throughout is, of course, exemplary. I’d never really thought deeply about the effect that the first short story must have had on its readers when it appeared in The Strand Magazine, but Nick Utechin has, and his assessment is masterly. (Watson tells us, though, that Irene Adler was a contralto, not a  soprano. And, on a different matter, I’d love to know Nick’s authority for giving Lestrade the first name George.) The illustrations, sadly, don’t match the quality of the text. Otherwise this is as attractive a pocket volume as you could wish — an excellent introduction for the novice with plenty to engage and inform the experienced aficionado.

Roger Johnson, JHWS “Count”

What a beautiful and very useful book! I had a lot of fun reading it and it is indeed a very useful reference work, both for Sherlockians and newcomers to the universe of Conan Doyle.

I enjoyed all of it, I must say. Although I knew most of the facts (I must confess that I’ve learned some important facts reading this book, which was truly illuminating), it’s great to read a book from beginning to end, like a story in itself, that tell us so much about the Sherlock Holmes Holmes universe and its creator. I particularly enjoyed the references to Conan Doyle’s life and experiences, Utechin’s highly enjoyable one-sentence resumes on the Canon stories and the Sherlock Holmes audio and video Media information.

There are a lot of Sherlock Holmes reference books. Some good, some not so good. This one is great! I’ll keep it close by. I strongly recommend it. Nick Utechin is a truly great sherlockian and his knowledge is an inspiration.

Nuno Robles, JHWS “Oakley” (Portugal)

Murder in the Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Ann Margaret Lewis, JHWS “Cameo.”


Murder in the Vatican: The
Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes

by Ann Margaret Lewis

Published by Wessex Press

Follow the great detective as he investigates three baffling cases at the “express desire of his Holiness, the Pope.” Stories include “The Death of Cardinal Tosca,” “The Vatican Cameos,” and “The Second Coptic Patriarch.” You’ll encounter baffling crimes, rich, historical settings, and a fateful encounter with Father Brown! These thrilling tales of murder and intrigue vividly bring to life three of Watson’s “untold tales!”  152 pp., illustrated,  soft-cover, $18.95

Ann Margaret Lewis is a member of The John H Watson Society, The Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis, and the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes.


“A lot of fun. The best book I read in 2010”
– Mark Brumley, CEO of Ignatius Press

“Even the casual reader of the Canon comes away noting that several of Holmes’s unpublished cases have to do with the Catholic Church. Lewis runs with this ecclesiastical hook, giving us a decent dose of Baker Street and three good mysteries, and even throws in a meeting with G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown. In addition, Rikki Niehaus illustrates the book with delightful period-style pen-and-inks.”
– The Baker Street Journal

“From page one I was instantly immersed in the stories and, even better, I was never thrown out of the story because of some inconsistency. I felt these were truly Sherlock Holmes stories and I got the same enjoyable feeling from these as I did originally from the stories.”
– Jeff Miller, The Curt Jester

“Sherlock Holmes: The Church Mysteries would be perfect for reading aloud at night by a roaring fire. I recommend it for all ages, especially for those who can never get enough of the one and only Sherlock Holmes.”
– Elena Marie Vidal, Tea at Trianon

“A collection of three stories, it is a delightful, enjoyable read from start to finish, beautifully written with characters who are familiar yet unique in the setting of this book. Lewis captures well the essence of the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books.”
– Ellen Hrkach, CatholicFiction.net

“What I enjoyed about it were the stories themselves – three new mysteries, lots of comraderie and excitement and an interesting peek at international politics and religion of that age. Ann Lewis has a wonderful feel for the characters; you can tell she’s a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Holmes pastiches – and to the casual mystery reader who enjoys Holmes’& Watson’s adventures.”
– Karina Fabian, Fabianspace

“Rich in detail but not bogging down the action, Murder in the Vatican has its reader on their toes from the get-go. We set off on an adventure of three mysteries, all in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but from the hand of Ann Lewis. Authentically-styled illustrations also take the reader back to the times of Victorian England, the setting for Sherlockian literature. This is a very enjoyable set of mysteries.”
–  Litland.com

All three of the stories are amazing. I have to say I have never really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes stories that were not written by Conan Doyle. But this set of stories has changed my mind. The cases are interesting, engaging, and exciting. Any Sherlockian fan will enjoy these. This book is awesome, and is definitely a treat that any true Sherlock Holmes fan will enjoy over and over again.”
– The Detective Eye

The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany


Prominent Sherlockians and Watsonians, Roger Johnson and Jean Upton, both members of our Society, have collected all of the facts, trivia, and quotes that remind readers why Sherlock Holmes is such an important literary creation. An essential reference work.

Exploring the fascinating and enigmatic world of Sherlock Holmes, this miscellany examines his place in literary history, his popularity, and how he has become the iconic, timeless character who is loved by millions. Along with facts, trivia, and quotes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary stories and the subsequent film and television adaptations, it also explores the often weird and wonderful characters who graced Conan Doyle’s pages, and explains the terms used in the original stories that might cause musing confusion to the modern reader. For example, “knocked up” had a considerably different meaning in the 19th century, and if you think a “life preserver” is a flotation device, how does Wilson Kemp fit one into the sleeve of his jacket? And, would you try to warm your hands with a Gasogene? All of these mysteries and more are included in this lighthearted and highly informative miscellany, offering something to both the dedicated Sherlockian and Watsonian and those new to the world of 221b Baker Street. Available from Amazon.


As a Sherlockian since the age of 7, and as a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, I enthusiastically recommend The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany by Roger Johnson and Jean Upton. Although small in size, this volume packs an encyclopedia of handy and fascinating knowledge. It will appeal equally to
veteran Sherlockians and those new to the genre.

The authors cover Sherlockian movies, books, radio shows, TV shows, plays, societies and more. They lay out the history of the whole Sherlockian fandom phenomenon. The book is replete with websites that provide more source material and contact with Sherlock Holmes “scions” (clubs). The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany is written with a light touch which makes for an easy and joyful read. It is just the kind of book to curl up with on a cold and dark night while fortifying oneself with a favorite libation. It is equally a book that the reader will turn to time and again to check on some obscure point of Sherlockian lore.

No self-respecting Sherlockian book collection should be without this invaluable volume.
-Alexian Gregory, JHWS “Byron,” BSI

This a great reference book. This volume brings together vast amounts of Sherlockian information that took me years to gather. It is presented in a easy to read user friendly style that kept me reading long after I was going to stop. I highly recommend this work.
-The Game is Afoot

This book is a real prize. It’s unusually informative, very well written, and amusing. No Holmes aficionado can afford not to read it and to keep it handy for reference. Also, it simplifies Christmas shopping and makes it more meaningful.
-Fred Edmiston.

A Tribute to Jeremy Brett on the Anniversary of His Passing by Charter Member Kumar Bhatia, JHWS “Bobbie”

Our esteemed member from Dubai, Kumar Bhatia, JHWS “Bobbie” has written this kind and moving tribute to the great actor Jeremy Brett who portrayed Sherlock Holmes for many years in the Granada Film series.

A Great Actor, a Greater Human Being, And the Greatest Sherlock Holmes  There Will Ever Be: Jeremy Brett—Rest in PeaceBy Kumar Bhatia

Dear Friends and Fellow Sherlockians

Eighteen years ago, on this day, 12 September 1995, the Sherlockian world lost one of its most radiant jewels. Jeremy Brett, at the height of his career and only sixty-one years old, died of heart failure and other medical complications.

In a career that spanned forty years, Jeremy who trained in Shakespeare,  portrayed a formidable array of roles, from Hamlet to Freddie Eynsford-Hill. But his magnum opus was, of course, his brilliant portrayal of Sherlock  Holmes in the Granada TV series of 1984. I have restricted this tribute to his portrayal of Holmes in the Granada production.

When Granada first asked him, in February 1982, to play Sherlock Holmes, Jeremy was not very enthusiastic; “I really don’t want to do it. I think it has been done so many times – I can’t see any point in trying to do it anymore.” Fortunately for us Jeremy Brett re-read the entire Canon and revised his opinion: “I discovered all sorts of things I could do if I had the opportunity to do it! So I said ‘Yes!’”

And the rest is history. Jeremy went on to deliver thirty-six one hour episodes and five full-length movies in the Granada TV series that started in 1984 and spanned nearly ten years. Sadly, the last few episodes were made when he was rather ill, in spite of which, with his boundless energy and dedication to his craft, Jeremy gave his best.

Jeremy said he saw Holmes as “a man of isolation . . . a very private man.” So he strove in his performance to bring out the inner workings of the character. “Holmes is the hardest part I have ever played—harder than Hamlet or Macbeth,” he said.

There have been many fine actors who have tackled this difficult role. So what is it that has made Jeremy Brett’s rendition stand tall over every other actor who had played Holmes? Jeremy made up his mind that he would portray the character exactly as per Doyle. “So I had to go on an extraordinary journey of discovery, and it’s all there . . . in Doyle, and what is so extraordinary is that no one has done Doyle before.”

As an actor Jeremy was a becomer. In his own words “You ‘become’ the creature, the person you are playing. I’m a romantic-hero actor, so I had to hide an awful lot of me, and in doing so, I look quite often brusque, even slightly rude.”

During the course of the production Jeremy constantly referred to the ‘Canon,’ the original stories as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which he believed “. . . should be the touch stone for every actor playing Holmes.” He even carried to the set of the films his own seventy-seven page “Baker Street File” detailing everything about Holmes, from the mannerisms down to his eating and drinking habits. When he gave us Holmes, Jeremy was not playing to the gallery with the cliché deer-stalker and magnifying glass; He gave us the complete Holmes, the gestures, dress, nuances of body language, bouts of melancholy (“The Devils Foot”), bursts of energy (the leap over the couch in “The Red Headed League”), tapping the pipe in impatience, that smirk of arrogance, the amused snigger (“The Musgrave Ritual”): just playing You-Know-Who to perfection! (That’s how Jeremy referred to Sherlock Holmes—“You-Know-Who”). Sheer poetry! Just watch every frame closely.

He even captured with incredible accuracy the sketches of Sidney Paget. To mention a few: watch him holding a rose (“The Naval Treaty”); as the Clergyman (from “A Scandal in Bohemia”); seated, surrounded by pillows and smoking a pipe (“The Man with the Twisted Lip”); the fist fight (“The Solitary Cyclist”); even his ‘casual’ hairstyle in the later episodes has a precedent in Paget’s sketches (“The Red Headed League”): Pure Paget as only Jeremy could.

For a boy who had a speech impediment (he was born with “rhotacism” and could not pronounce his R’s properly, a defect corrected when he was a teenager by surgery), Jeremy’s diction was superb. He did a great job of “You are the stormy petrel of crime – Watson,” with 4 R’s in it (from the “Naval Treaty”).

Nearly thirty years after the first episode, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” telecast on 24 April 1984, the accolades show no signs of fatigue:

“I have had nothing but praise. I have received twelve plaques from twelve societies for being the best Holmes ever.”

“I have this lovely blessing over my head: Dame Jean Conan Doyle says I am the Sherlock Holmes of her childhood.”

“Jeremy Brett, the man who mastered the Master!”

“Jeremy Brett’s Holmes is fundamentally faithful to Doyle’s original. The magnetism of his bravura performance attracts a new generation of admirers to the stories. In the years to come it will be his face they see when they read the books, and it will be his voice they hear when the great detective speaks. A part of the monument that is the legend of Sherlock Holmes now has Brett’s name indelibly carved on  it.”

Khumar Bhatia, JHWS “Bobbie” resides in Dubai, UAE and is a member of The Sherlock Holmes Society of India, his native country. He is a successful industrialist and a life-long devotee of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.

Warm Welcome to New Charter Members from France and La Société Sherlock Holmes de France 

The Society welcomes two distinguished Sherlockians of France to Membership:

Thierry Saint-Joanis, JHWS “Tristan”

The Society extends a warm welcome to M. Saint-Joanis, who is the president of La Société Sherlock Holmes de France.   He is a member of the French Society team that won the Open International Competition of the First Annual John H. Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt.

M. Saint-Joanis’s biography:

SSHF co-founder and president since 1993.  Manager of the Mycroft’s Brother editions company. Born 1960 in Thiers (near Clermont-Ferrand), France. Has been Sherlock Holmes addict since his university days studying History.

Journalist for several French newspapers and teacher at the French School of Journalism in Paris (Specialist of Investigation).

In 1988, he met  Jean-Pierre Cagnat who opened to him the gates of the Holmesian World. In 1992, Thierry and Jean-Pierre Cagnat met Alexis Barquin and Yves-Charles Fercoq and decided to create a new Holmesian society which will keep green the memory of the great detective. In 1993, The Société Sherlock Holmes de France (SSHF)  was born.

In February 1997, with Alexis Barquin and Pierre Bannier, author of Sherlock Holmes, a Practical Guide of the Holmesian World (in French).

In September 1997, founder of the Sherlock Holmes Worldwide Congress of the Holmesian societies In January 1998, invested irregular at the Baker Street Irregulars of New York as “Monsieur Bertillon.”

In January 2001, as editor, published It Is Always A Joy… by Jean-Pierre Cagnat.

Personal website: http://www.mycrofts.net

Member of the following societies:

» La Société Sherlock Holmes de France (Mycroft Holmes)
» The  Sherlock Holmes Society of London
» Uno Studio in Holmes
» The Jeremy Brett Society of France
» The Amateur Mendicant Society (Huret)
» The  Baker Street Irregulars (M. Bertillon)
» Société d’études holmésiennes de la Suisse romande
» Deutsche Sherlock Holmes Gesellschaft
» H.O.L.M.E.S.
» The Elusive Bicyclists (L. Armstrong)
» Le Club des Hydropathes holmésiens (Founder)
» The Beacon Society
» La Lega dei Presidenti (France)
» SSHF For Holmes (Admin)
» The Master’s Masons
» The Sign of Fort d’Agra (Deerstalker 1)
» La  seconde tache
» Les Amis du Musée SSHF
» Le peloton des cyclistes solitaires
» The Pissing Three Quarter

Thierry also has an astounding, full scale reproduction of the sitting rooms at 221B Baker Street created within his home. The website displaying photos of the rooms is: http://www.sherlock-holmes.fr/murder-party/2-a-visit.htm. A visit to this website is a must!

Please join in a warm welcome to Thierry Saint-Joanis and extend our Society’s traditional greeting:  “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Alexis Barquin, JHWS “Olivier”

The Society welcomes warmly M. Alexis Barquin, the co-member in the Treasure Hunt for Team France of La Société Sherlock Holmes de France. M. Barquin is also co-founder and Secretary of La Société Sherlock Holmes de France and is instrumental in the management of the priceless Sherlockian resource, Sherlockian Who’s Who.

Alexis Barquin’s biography is:

SSHF co-founder and secretary since 1993. SSHF Webmaster since 1996.

Born  1968 in Paris, France. Has been holmesian since his university days studying chemistry.

He joined the  Société des Amis d’Henri Fournaye  in 1991, and was an active member of  La Lettre de Baker Street  managed by Jean-Marc Faure. In 1992,  La Société des Amis d’Henri Fournaye  closed. One year later,  La Lettre de Baker Street  was closed too.

Alexis met Thierry Saint-Joanis and decided to create a new Holmesian society which will keep green the memory of the great detective. In 1993,  La Société Sherlock Holmes de  France  (SSHF) was born.

Since, Alexis Barquin has created the SSHF website which is the best Holmesian ressource in french on the web; and http://www.sh-whoswho.com.

Personal website: http://www.sshf.com

Member  of the following societies

» La Société Sherlock Holmes de France (John M. Watson)
» The Hounds of the Internet
» The Beacon Society
» H.O.L.M.E.S.
» SSHF For Holmes (Admin)
» La seconde tache
» Sherlock Holmes Club of Latin America
» Le peloton des cyclistes solitaires
» The Pissing Three Quarter

Please welcome M. Alexis Barquin and extend the warm greeting of the Society:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

The Disappearance of Mr James Phillimore by Dan Andriacco, JHWS “Dutch”


Andriacco’s writing, as always, is witty and assured. Jeff, Lynda and Sebastian are people you’d truly want to meet.
The District Messenger, newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London

The pacing is formidable, the dialogue sparkling with one liners abounding and wisecracks that Philip Marlowe would have admired. This is a very entertaining book indeed and throws into the mix a vast array of Holmesian insights and trivia. This series of novels by Dan Andriacco is becoming a byword for action-packed thrillers laced with a love of all things Sherlockian. The bottom line is….search them out…..and enjoy them.
Author David Ruffle

2554275.jpgNo Police Like Holmes

By Dan Andriacco, JHWS “Dutch”

Published by MX Publishing $16.00

Available from Amazon.

The Investigating Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes Colloquium and donation of the third largest private collection of Sherlockiana in the world were supposed to produce a weekend of great publicity for tiny St. Benignus college in Erin, Ohio. But when theft and murder come to campus, college public relations director Jeff Cody finds himself knee-deep in Sherlockian suspects, besieged by an aggressive reporter he loves but no longer dates, and competing with his eccentric brother-in-law, Sebastian McCabe, to solve the crimes first. The mess worsens when Jeff and his ex-girlfriend, Lynda Teal, themselves fall under suspicion of murder – and with good reason, for they have something to hide. This satirical romp takes Sherlock Holmes seriously, but not Holmesians. A witty and engaging spoof sure to delight not only the deerstalker set but mystery fans in general.


Roger Johnson, the reviewer for The District Messenger, newsletter of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, calls No Police Like Holmes “an exciting and witty romp – not about Holmes but about his fans” and concludes “I like it!”

A review by Sue Magee of The Bookbag, a British online review service says in part: “It’s a satirical look at Holmes and the industry he’s spawned, but it’s affectionate and neatly constructed . . . There are plenty of twists, a good few red herrings and an ending which surprised me as I had someone entirely different chalked in as the murderer.”

“No Police Like Holmes is a chocolate bar of a novel—delicious, addictive, and leaves a craving for more,” says the blog Girl Meets Sherlock.

“Holmesians of all tastes and ages will recognize themselves in Andriacco’s characters and enjoy his fast-paced plot. Thankfully, the series continues, and fans can satiate their desire for more with Andriacco’s next novel, Holmes Sweet Holmes.”

No Police Like Holmes is a fun, literary read. In the hands of Andriacco, the above statement is not an oxymoron. Get this book, dive into a comfy chair, pour yourself a couple of fingers of scotch and enjoy this, sweetheart.” So says Felicia Carparelli’s Sherlock Holmes Murder Blog. But read the whole review! Felicia is no slouch at mystery writing herself, by the way.

British video reviewer Ross K calls No Police Like Holmes “very, very funny.”

To Publisher’s Weekly, the book is an “entertaining whodunit” and “Cody is engaging enough to make further books in the series welcome.”

“Andriacco’s characters and their lives are so very normal and untormented, his writing style so light, and his observations so witty that No Police Like Holmes is an enjoyable, palate-cleansing romp of a mystery with a little Sherlockian education thrown in,” advises The Well-Read Sherlockian. “Take it with you to the park or the beach and see if you can catch the culprit first.”

The Open International Competition of the Treasure Hunt Won by the Team from France!

The Society is pleased to announce the winners of the Open International Competition of the First Annual John H. Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt:

Team France of La Société Sherlock Holmes de France.

Their team consisted of M. Thierry Saint-Joanis and M. Alexis Barquin, who are both leaders of La Société Sherlock Holmes de France and maintain the very valuable website Sherlockian Who’s Who found at the following web address:

This skilled and knowledgeable team answered an amazing number of the 100 difficult questions, and did so without the use of the edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes specified in the Treasure Hunt and to which all page number references were keyed.  Essentially, they were working from memory. Formidable!

Congratulations to the first International Team winners!

The Answer Key to the First Canonical Treasure Hunt has now been posted on the Treasure Hunt Page.

Exciting New Quiz Approach

Here at the Doctor’s Consulting Room, we have an idea to keep our valued patients entertained while they await the good doctor’s ministrations.

Up until now, we have set out single question quiz conundrums for almost daily consumption. Not everyone stops by the practice daily, so we are going to tack up on the notice board a Weekly Quiz consisting of 10 to 20 individual questions. These will be set based on a theme. One week it may be poisons in the Canon; another it may be professions; other weekly themes may concern counties, or trains, or hotels, or manor houses, or dates … or even figs for that matter … the possibilities are almost endless.

You will be invited to work out the answers and send an email with your solutions to  buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com by the final day when the Weekly Quiz closes. Buttons will review your answers with the good doctor (who, after all, is the only one who knows precisely what he meant when he wrote the Canon) and the two of them will announce a Weekly Quiz Master. The successful Quiz Master will be the person who emails first with the highest number of correct answers.

The Weekly Quiz Masters will have an opportunity to participate in a Quarterly Quiz every three months (the 12 Weekly Quiz Masters competing for the Quarterly Quiz Master).

And, as you have already deduced, the four Quarterly Quiz Masters will participate for the Annual Quiz Master designation. Somewhere along the way, there will be appropriate, nice mementos for those members who excel. Sounds a lot like that American quiz program “Jeopardy,” doesn’t it?

Now for the details…

The Weekly Quiz will be posted on the Quiz Page of the Society website by 12:00 Noon (Pacific) each Monday.

Answers (preferably Word documents sent as an attachment) will be emailed to buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com by 12:00 Noon (Pacific) on the Saturday following (you will have five days to complete the Quiz). To be the Weekly Quiz Master, you will have to email first and have the highest number of correct answers.

The Weekly Quiz Master will be posted on the Quiz Page on the next Monday when the new Weekly Quiz is posted.

We believe this will be great fun… plus there is another reason for developing our skills. The Annual John H. Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt has recently identified a team of Quiz Mavens (the Seattle-based SOB’s) who have proven to be among the best in the world. Soon, we are going to expand upon that unique competition…. a very exciting development to be announced in a few months . . . and we are hoping to identify even more Quiz Masters and Quiz Mavens within the Society for what promises to be a whole new level of Canonical scholarship and quiz expertise.  Stay tuned!  But, until, please participate in the Weekly Quiz events!

The first Weekly Quiz begins 16 September 2013 by 12 Noon (Pacific).  Watch for it!  Try it!  Have some fun!

Warm Welcome to Mr Roger Johnson, JHWS “Count” and Ms Jean Upton, JHWS “Countess,” Distinguished British Sherlockians and Authors

Jean Upton and Roger Johnson of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London pose on the set of BBC television’s “Sherlock” during the filming of “The Reichenbach Fall” in 2011. At the recent Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Place conference in Minneapolis, they reported on their experiences as a guest of the show’s producers, showed video, and made it clear that anything they may have seen that hints at an explanation of “The Empty Hearse” is not for the world to know. “Sherlock” co-creator Mark Gatiss took the photo. With thanks to www.sherlockiannet.com and Mr Chris Redmond for the photo and caption appearing on his wonderful Sherlockian.Net

New Charter Members

The Society is honoured to extend Charter Membership to Roger Johnson, JHWS “Count” and Jean Upton, JHWS “Countess” both distinguished Sherlockians, scholars and authors.

Mr Johnson writes:

“It’s good to know that appreciation of Dr Watson is growing. I’m a long-time member of the Friends of Dr Watson here in England, though I’m rarely able to attend meetings, and I’m in frequent contact with the Watsonians.”

Roger Johnson, BSI (“The Pall Mall Gazette”), ASH (“Shinwell Johnson”), PSI (“Geoffrey Thompson”) is a retired librarian. His introduction to the world of Sherlock Holmes was through an American, the late Luther L Norris. Like Holmes himself, he maintains that it is always a joy to meet an American. He joined the Sherlock Holmes Society of London in 1968. For thirteen years he presented the Society’s annual film evening, and since 1982 he has written and distributed its
newsletter, The District Messenger. In 2007 he succeeded Nicholas Utechin
as joint-editor of The Sherlock Holmes Journal.

Jean Upton, ASH (“Mrs Farintosh”), BSI (“Elsie Cubitt”) attended her first meeting of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London in 1987 – at Granada Studios, where Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke were filming Wisteria Lodge. Jean has contributed essays, reviews and illustrations to books and periodicals on both sides of the Atlantic, and her portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle hangs in the restaurant of the Sherlock Holmes pub in London. Jean Upton and Roger Johnson met through the Society, and were married in 1992. Since 1993 they have acted as curators/housekeepers of the 221B study at the Sherlock Holmes pub. Their book The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany was published in 2012. Reviews of their book are universally favourable, as here:

“This is the best introduction to Sherlock Holmes that I know and it also serves as a valuable work of reference. Written by two experts, presented with wit and published as an attractive hardback at a very modest price – there’s no better bargain for the beginner or the regular reader.” -Amazon reader review.

Please join in extending a warm welcome to both Roger Johnson and Jean Upton as they now begin what we hope will be a long and valuable membership in The John H Watson Society.

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

A Brain Teaser

Can you work out names of Canonical characters from the names of other Canonical characters? Example:

Victor Savage contains the name Vigor (The “Hammersmith Wonder”)

How many can you find? This will keep you up a good part of the night….

Welcome to New Charter Members!

The Society is delighted to welcome four additional new Charter Members. Please join in our traditional greeting as we bring these new Watsonians among our fold:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Kenneth Siarkiewicz, JHWS “Cooper”

Mr Siarkiewicz joins us from Tucson, Arizona. He has been a Sherlockian since the early 1900’s and reads deeply in the Canon and the Baker Street Journal. We look forward to his participation and contribution to the Society.

Eric Swope, JHWS “Punch”

Mr Swope joins us from Mishawaka, Indiana.  He is a member of the following:

» The  Society of the Solitary Cyclists
» The Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis
» The Sherlock Holmes Society of London
» The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota
» The  Red Circle of Washington, D.C.
» The Bootmakers of Toronto
»  The Mycroft Holmes Society of Syracuse
» The Younger Stamfords
» The Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem
» The John H Watson Society

He writes:

“I am a third generation Californian with a life long affection for both John H. Watson and the Great Detective himself. I specialize in rare Sherlockiana and enjoy my involvement with numerous societies. I am the secretary for the Society of the Solitary Cyclists and just recently attended my first Sherlockian conference in Minneapolis. I enjoy reaching out to the younger generation about Sherlockian

We welcome “Punch” and look forward to his participation in “things Watsonian.”

Margaret Nelson, JHWS “Annie”

Mrs Nelson lives in Seattle and is a member of The Sound of the Baskervilles (SOB’s). Margaret was a member of the Open Team Competition that won First Place in the First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt with a perfect score of 100 points. She enjoys growing old garden roses. Recently she wrote a mini-monograph, Moss Roses in Two Classic Victorian Mysteries. Of course it includes the rose in The Naval  Treaty. 

Allen Nelson, JHWS “Trix”

Mr Nelson resides in Seattle with his bride Margaret and was also a member of the winning Open Team Competition in the JHWS Treasure Hunt.

He is also a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and the Sound of the Baskervilles. In 2009 he went to a meeting of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London to hear a lecture on the battle of Maiwand. The next year, we both traveled to Salisbury where he again met the lecturer, Colonel (Retired) M.J. Cornwell, who is the Curator of the Rifles, Berkshire (Watson’s regiment) and Wiltshire Museum.They have a large copper beech tree on the grounds. They also had displays about the first battle of Maiwand and the modern war in Afghanistan. Ironically, the Nelson’s new son-in-law is in the infantry and has been to Afghanistan twice. He was several times asked “I perceive you have been in Afghanistan…” when he came to a SOB meeting.

Treasure Hunt Winners!

The 2013 First Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt was a success!

Many of our members (and many non-members) have reported that it was “fiendishly difficult,” “maddeningly hard,” and “just plain tough.” There were 100 questions, linked, requiring the solver to work from question 1 through to question 100 in order to arrive at the identification of the Ultimate Treasure. The devisers of the Treasure Hunt believe that it may be the most difficult quiz ever set in Watsonian and Sherlockian history.

Participants were given one month to complete the Treasure Hunt and the winners were determined by the number of correct answers, the date and time of submission of the answers, and the correct solution to the final Ultimate Treasure.

Were are delighted to announce that we have winners! There are members and non-members who persevered and found their way to the solution.

The 2013 winners of the First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt  are:

Open Team Competition:

The team consisting of Society Members from Seattle’s Sound of the Baskervilles (SOB’s) who scored a perfect 100 on the very difficult questions. Their team consists of:

Stephen Adkins, JHWS “Alfie”
Margie Deck, JHWS “Gwen”
David Haugen
Sheila Holtgrieve, JHWS “Daisy”
Allen Nelson, JHWS “tbn”
Margaret Nelson,  JHWS “tbn”

Congratulations to Team SOB’s on their scholarship, teamwork and their perseverance. They report having logged hundreds of hours during the month-long Treasure Hunt. They also competed entirely for the fun and joy and specifically requested that they be awarded no prize. Instead, the Society has awarded two-year Charter Memberships to the team non-members as a token of its respect and admiration and to joyfully obtain four new members who are dynamite quizzers. The team will defend in the 2014 Second Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt scheduled for June 2014.

Open Individual Competition:

Working entirely alone and finally completing the Treasure Hunt just as his wife was preparing to pack his bags for him after twenty-three days of Treasure Hunt obsession, and as his grandchildren were constantly questioning “What in the world is wrong with Pop?” our intrepid Society member Denny Dobry, JHWS “Kirby,” who resides in Reading, Pennsylvania and is the  Current Gasogene of the White Rose Irregulars of York, took Open Individual honours with a score of  98 correct answers. Denny even managed to find numerous alternative, accurate answers to questions that Buttons overlooked. Congratulations to “Kirby” on a job well done. He wins the Treasure Hunt Prize, a British First Edition of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes donated by an anonymous member.

The Open Student Competition attracted no entries. We would encourage all Society members to “adopt a student for the Canon” and encourage participation in next year’s Treasure Hunt.

The Open Team International Competition has been extended to 9 September 2013 and a winner will be announced if the correct entry is received.

The answers to the 2013 Treasure Hunt will be added to the Treasure Hunt page on 9 September 2013 when the competition is officially closed.

Congratulations to all who participated, those who tried, those who persevered, and those who achieved success. Next year, the Treasure Hunt will be revised and a focus on teams as well as inter-Canonical organization competition will be strengthened. And . . . It will be even more difficult!

Please watch for announcements of the 2014 Second Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt over the months ahead. Also, please watch in the next month for an announcement of a major new event being sponsored by our Society that will involve the entire Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world!  This is going to be VERY exciting!

And now . . . after a long labour . . . perhaps Buttons shall have a steak and kidney pie and a pint of best bitter . . . or two . . . .

The 2013 Treasure Hunt is Closed. The 2014 Treasure Hunt is Announced!

The 2013 Treasure Hunt is closed. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, 4 September 2013 on this Blog page. The International category will remain open until 9 September 2013 at 12 Noon (Pacific) and the winner of the International category will be announced here shortly thereafter.

The 2014 John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt is Announced!

The 2014 Treasure Hunt will have slight changes and will shift focus towards open individual and team participation and competition from scion clubs and organisations worldwide. Society members, individuals and teams will find a detailed explanation of the 2014 Treasure Hunt on the Treasure Hunt Page of the website.

We encourage preparation and assembling of resources for the next John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt which we promise will be as difficult as the 2013 edition. We also are announcing new collectible awards in lieu of tangible prizes.


A very positive development has come to our attention. Our esteemed colleagues in France, The Sherlock Holmes Society of France, have been working on the Treasure Hunt. They had to order reference materials from the United States and these have taken significant time to receive. They are nearing completion, but have requested an extension of the deadline.Buttons has not extended the deadline, as one cannot change the rules after the fact. However, Buttons has created a new category, the International category, and has given a one week extension for that category  to 9 September 2013 at 12 Noon (Pacific).

This benefits The John H Watson Society in a number of ways:

1. It gives us international exposure and the opportunity to shift our annual Treasure Hunt into a worldwide experience beginning in 2014.

2. It gives us the privilege of building a bond with one of the largest, oldest and most respected Sherlockian societies in the world:  La Société Sherlock Holmes de France .

3. It allows us to expand the awareness of the John H Watson Annual Treasure Hunt to many more people and clubs in order to make it an even more meaningful measure of global scholarship and Canonical knowledge.

4. It supports the evidence from this year’s inaugural John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt that the Society will benefit from shifting its Treasure Hunt focus slightly to include inter-scion and inter-club competition, as well as individuals. Everyone benefits when the base is broadened to include more people and more organisations; it’s a win-win-win.

Therefore, having made a unilateral decision for the benefit of the Society, Buttons will not post the answers to the Treasure Hunt until 9 September 2013. The winners of the Members and other categories will be announced as scheduled on Thursday, 4 September 2013. The new International category will be announced on 9 September 2013.

Buttons sincerely hopes this has the approval and support of the Members. The guiding thoughts are, as always, fairness and inclusion, all in support of the integrity, reputation, and expansion of the Society and its aims.

End of Summer . . . Resumption of Quiz Activity? 

With the last days of summer vacation dwindling, perhaps the participation in quizzes will return … let’s hope so since our members do so well. Here is one to think about:

Thugs, pugs and toughs in the Canon. Who can create the definitive catalogue of these colorful supporting characters?