Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (March 9 - March 15, 2013)

The Telegraph's Damian Thompson, Editor of Telegraph Blogs and a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, waxes quasi-bemused while describing the obsessive depths to which Sherlockian sapien plunges when possessed of that “glorious example of Anglo-Saxon eccentricity”. Actually, if he’s not careful Mr Thompson might just be mistaken for one of the hardcore himself with his casual citings of D. Martin Dakin's A Sherlock Holmes Commentary - one of the finest volumes of Sherlockian studies ever published - as well as Mgr Ronald Knox and Dorothy L Sayers, as well as various Canonical mainstays such as the Oxford/Cambridge question, Holmes’ notoriously bad luck with colonels (eg. Colonels: Moran who needs no introduction, Walters of BRUC, Ross of SILV) and chronological conundrums along with acceptable Sherlockian evidence (cf. Zeisler). The truly impressive aspect of this piece isn’t Thompson’s knowledge or interest, but the fact that all of the above and more are discussed in just a few short yet succinct paragraphs as part of a random Telegraph column. 

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[Dakin’s A Sherlock Holmes Commentary - might we presume a volume which can be found on the library shelves of The Telegraph?]

Dan Andriacco - in a valiant attempt at deriving a modicum of levity from the court case - suggests a creative, alternative use for Exhibit A, “Sherlock Holmes Story Elements” from the Klinger vs Conan Doyle Estate suit: “Klinger lists those characters and characteristics along with the names of stories in which they appear. The result winds up being a wonderful little cheat sheet for those of us (like me) with poor memories. Holmes’s erratic eating habits? Look in “The Norwood Builder.” Bohemian nature? “The Musgrave Ritual.” Fees? Klinger lists four stories. Aptitude for disguise? Five stories. This is a great resource. Check it out online!” And the Persian slipper in the sky keeps on turning….

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[Click on the above clip from Exhibit A for all of Klinger’s “Sherlock Holmes Story Elements”.]

Doyleockian reviewed Tim Symonds’ recently released Holmes pastiche on MX Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Bulgarian Codex. I agree with Mr Duncan that the “pace of the book is good and Symonds comes close…to the Watson style.” In my opinion, this an example of the best kind of Sherlockian pastiche: self-contained and not over burdened with Moriarty tropes and canonical stereotypes, The Bulgarian Codex employs just the right mix of historical detail - in this case a Bulgarian prince - while inserting Holmes and Watson into an imaginative adventure colored by turn-of-the-century European balance of power diplomacy that both entertains and educates.

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[Holmes and Watson travel to Bulgaria in search of a missing national treasure where nothing is as it seems.]

The Boscombe Valley Mystery is the story where Watson reveals Holmes’ research into the famed ‘140 different varieties of tobacco ash’.

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[A clip from BOSC highlighting Holmes’ explorations of tobacco ash in the pursuit of crime and criminals.]

AL.com reports on The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library's plan to pay “homage to the great detective during Community Read 2013. Throughout the month of April, we’ll celebrate The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes through book club discussions, arts and crafts programs for all ages, and more. We’ll also screen Holmes movies and hear contemporary authors talk about his legacy.” It’s comforting to know that even in the midst of an all out, intercontinental Sherlockian Civil War, the Canon is still a cause for celebration and inspiration while simultaneously being (re-) discovered (one hopes) by the next generation of young readers. 

Jon Lellenberg in his March 2013 Editor’s Gas-Bag gives us “Three Surprises from Christopher Morley”. The first two consist of interesting Sherlockian tidbits from Morley’s columns in the (original) Saturday Review of Literature ‘Trade Winds’ and ‘Bowling Green’, the first dealing with Holmes’ birthday and the second regarding the in all likelihood very first instance of “B.S.I.” used to denote a member of the (then nascent) Baker Street Irregulars: Harry Kriewitz, B.S.I. The third piece of Morleyana is about “Schlogl’s, the Teutonic Chicago restaurant on Wells Street that was the local Mermaid Tavern for its literary and journalistic circles, and for Vincent Starrett and The Hounds of the Baskerville (sic) what Christ Cella’s was to Morley’s Three Hours for Lunch Club and the early BSI.” For more information about Schlogl’s, check out “Gastronomica Literati: Schlogl’s" in The Chicago History Journal blog. Mr Lellenberg’s piece features a picture from 1933 but the photo below from the Chicago History Journal article was taken in 1924 and also features Vincent Starrett:

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[Can you spot VS? Click the photo for a much larger version.]

NowGamer reports on the possibility of a Lego Sherlock Holmes game based on in-game evidence uncovered in Lego City: Undercover. Holmes “first appears with sidekick Watson in an early mission clipscene - but this appears to be a normal run-of-the-mill pop culture reference. But a billboard discovered by NowGamer which is hidden in plain sight in the game’s open world also has a Lego Sherlock figure on it, alongside several symbols and what looks like a Warner logo.” Here’s a thread from gaming forum NeoGAF further speculating on this intriguing possibility. 

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[“The Detective is a Collectable Minifigure set released in 2011 as one of the sixteen minifigures from 8805 Minifigures Series 5.” Note that this little Lego guy is just called “The Detective” and not Sherlock.]

McMurdo’s Camp reflects on St Patrick’s Day: “The 17th is practically upon us. If you harbor feelings about the Irish, check out “Hibernian Holmes” in the Trifling Monographs section to find about any Irish participation or influence on the great detective. There’s plenty. Special recognition to any reader of McMurdo’s Camp who can find one we have not noted.”

Barefoot on Baker Street ponders on “what sort of a woman would suit a man like Sherlock Holmes” - for example, would/should Holmes go for a Molly Hopper-type or an Irene Adler-type?  

Small Pond is the personal blog of a “middle-aged mom, absent-minded professor, inveterate reader” and “BSI virgin” - this was her first BSI Weekend though she mentions having attended some meetings of Watson’s Tin Box (of Baltimore) - who published an epic seven part review of BSI Weekend 2013, chocked full of pictures (I see myself in at least three of them!), event reviews, personal musings and the like. I strongly suggest reading through these extremely insightful and fascinating observations for a self-described “Sherlockian outsider’s” take - though regularly attending local scion meetings and knowing enough about the Sherlockian world to even attend BSI Weekend. Conclusion: “So, am I glad I went? Yes! I had a great time, proved to myself in the process that I’m still fairly intrepid(-ish), and, as a bonus, collected a few anecdotes that may help me find my niche in my local scion a little more quickly than I might otherwise have done. All good things.” Let’s hope ‘Small Pond’ decides to attend in 2014.

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[If you look closely, there’s me in the reflective shoes in the background and Mr Andy Solberg in the foreground at the Sunday ASH Luncheon, which was the final event of BSI Weekend 2013.]

Tea at 221B uncovered this little gem: “Sherlock Holmes Writing Set  Created by the Stuart Hall Company in 1946. The set included “Sherlock Holmes” invisible and ‘special writing’ ink as well as paper and a ‘code book’. The ‘code book’ used a code based upon that in “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”. (Sold in the US in 1946 and the UK in 1947. Production stopped in 1948)”. As one re-poster remarked “I need this in my life!

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[Image of Sherlock Holmes Writing Set from the mid-1940s.]

Sherlock Peoria in “The Gentleman Sherlockian’s Elementary Watch” formally takes one for the team (at least the part of the team that considers Elementary to be below serious consideration): “…And that ends tonight’s Elementary watch, for those of you who would rather not watch Elementary. Remember the gentleman Sherlockian’s Elementary watch guarantee: Leave the watching to me, and you won’t miss a thing! Truly. Not a thing.” Please read Mr Brad Keefauver's entire article for an explanation of why, even by Keefauver's standards, “Deja Vu All Over Again” was one of the worst of the worst of the Elementary-verse.

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[Joan and Sherlock doing whatever they do in Elementary.]

Radio Times announced the heart-stopping news (for some) that Sherlock series 4 will happen : “In arguably the biggest (Sherlock) news of the century, Benedict Cumberbatch has announced that he and co-star Martin Freeman have signed up to make a fourth season of the BBC1 detective drama. “We’ve agreed to two more [series] but I could get into trouble for saying that,” revealed Cumberbatch.” Equally exciting is the news that “Filming of Sherlock season three begins on Monday (18 March) with the series expected to air in late 2013.”

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[Looks like these guys will be hanging around Baker Street for at least a few more years.]

Daily Dot inspired perhaps by Cumberbatch’s sort-of-official announcement that there will be a Season 4 of BBC Sherlock re-posted and reviewed a collection of totally adorable and humorous ‘Sherlock #NotDead’ animated GIFs by Tumblr fan artist Shocking Blankets. “Shockingblankets’ hilarious artwork offers up various possibilities, all involving John involved in routine domestic affairs at 221B, when suddenly Sherlock pops up like an over-sized jack-in-the-box. Whether it’s the cute simplistic drawing style, the fandom in-jokes (John’s been washing his famous red pants!), or the hilarious jawdrop that John does every time, this is an addictive art series even if you aren’t a fan of the show.”

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[My personal favorite #NotDead GIF features the good Doctor doing his laundry, only to discover Holmes alive and well posing not as an old bookseller but as clean linen.]

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