Paul Doiron here—
Sherlock Holmes is back in vogue. Robert Downey, Jr., has struck gold starring in a movie series that re-imagines Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective as a Victorian version of James Bond. Meanwhile, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have brilliantly brought Holmes and Watson into the twenty-first century on the BBC. Now, we have Johnny Lee Miller partnering with Lucy Liu on CBS’s Elementary: the highest rated new show on network television.
As a lifelong Sherlock fan, I’m glad to see my favorite detective enjoying a pop cultural renaissance. My hope is that all these films and TV shows are driving readers to pick up Doyle’s books. Anyone who hasn’t experienced “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League” or “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” has missed out on some of the most delightful short stories ever written.
Maine Crime Writers is a mystery blog for mystery readers, so I assume there are a fair number of Sherlockians reading this. Some of you could probably describe the furnishings of 221B Baker Street, right down to the bullet holes in the wall. For my fellow fans, I’ve put together a short quiz to test your knowledge. Scroll down for the answers.
1. True or false: Sherlock Holmes wears a deerstalker hat in The Hound of the Baskervilles?
2. In how many stories and novels does Professor Moriarty appear?
3. What is the first name of Dr. Watson’s wife?
4. In which story do she and Watson meet?
5. Where did Doyle meet the man widely considered to be the inspiration for his master of ratiocination? (Extra credit if you know his name.)
6. When not working at his mysterious position in the British government, where does Sherlock’s brother Mycroft prefer to spend his time?
7. And what is the usual topic of conversation at Mycroft’s favorite haunt?
8. Two Scotland Yard detectives feature prominently in the Holmes stories. Lestrade is one. Name the other.
9. In which regiment did Watson serve in Afghanistan and in what part of his body was he wounded?
10. What nationality is Sir Henry Baskerville?
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1. False. Doyle describes Holmes as wearing an eared cap, but the deerstalker was the invention of Strand Magazine illustrator Sidney Paget.
2. Only three! “The Final Problem,” “The Empty House,” and The Valley of Fear.
3. Mary (nee Morstan).
4. The Sign of Four
5. Edinburgh University (and his name was Dr. Joseph Bell)
6. The Diogenes Club
7. Trick question: the members of the Diogenes Club have a rule against talking
8. Tobias Gregson
9. The Fifth Northumberland Fusilliers. He was wounded in the shoulder by a “Jezail bullet”
I have to admit, I am watching ALL of these–Robert Downey, Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller.
There was this absolutely marvelous board game called Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective. All the players were Baker Street Irregulars and worked together, moving around London gathering clues to solve the mystery. We used to vacation with another couple and played it nightly after the toddlers were tucked in. (The toddlers now in their late twenties and early thirties.) Such happy memories. Did anyone else play this?
I got more than half your questions, but ran the category on a recent episode of Jeopardy! I started reading Holmes in sixth grade. Jeremy Brett has my vote as most true to Conan Doyle’s vision, but I’m always entertained by new ,manifestations of the character.
By the way, congratulations on “Bad Little Falls”–a great read, though I did want to say “C’mon, Mike. Really?” at several points when he was being such a man.