Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dear Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes, 
221B Baker Street, 
C/o Arthur Conan Doyle

Dear Sherlock Holmes,

The image of your hawk nose, sharp features and deerstalker hat and pipe in silhouette on the cover was enough. I couldn’t wait to be a part of your adventures.

The impression created by the silhouette was deepened by the physical description that Doyle provided of you. It marked you as a man of alertness and determination. A man worth watching out for.

I’ve always been in awe of you, from the moment I first met you in The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. You deduced a wealth of information from the condition of a hat. “A man with so large a brain must have something in it.” Subsequently, your deductions were justified, and I learned to look out for your unique blend of observation and intuition.

Your one big failing, though, was your fragile ego. I’m very uncomfortable with people who insist on blowing their own trumpets. I guess Dr Watson gives you your daily ego boost by following your exploits and writing them down for posterity. But must you mock the good doctor when he tries to follow your methods and fails to arrive at any verifiable conclusions? Or when he can’t seem to follow your train of thought using the clues which you insist are obvious?

You seem to live only to solve crimes, eschewing any semblance of a social life and dipping into a morbid depression when there isn’t a good mystery to tease your mind. Idleness exhausts you completely. You said, “My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants.”

But when there is nothing to occupy your mind, you resort to cocaine and tobacco, a failing of yours that I cannot reconcile with your greatness. I wish you’d ditch the stimulants. True genius doesn’t need sick props to hold it up.

Your acknowledgement that you hated people couldn’t disappoint me for long. I understand your feelings. Maybe you couldn’t relate to the stupidity of some people or their small mindedness, and had to rely on your old books for comfort. I hope that you may always be inundated with work.

I admired your dedication to that which concerned you, and your ignorance of everything that didn’t. You said, “What the deuce is it to me? You say that we go around the sun. If we went around the moon, it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or my work.”

The disguises you used added to your appeal, as did your tendency to forget everything else when you were chasing a scent.

Doyle wasn’t too happy with your popularity and longed to receive recognition for his serious writing. So he had you killed in one story. Fortunately, he had you come alive too and saved me from slipping into melancholy.

For your sake, and mine, I wish that the game may always be afoot.


  1. Sherlock Holmes is always that one book(s) I've wanted to read but have never found the time. After watching the BBC version of it, it's piked my interested to actually get the books. I'm hoping to read at least one, soon. Why isn't there enough time for reading?

  2. Two years ago my goal was to read all of Sherlock's stories. So glad I did. I must say that I see a lot of Sherlock in Hercule Poirot - minus the drugs, but definitely the ego.

  3. yeah, couldn't get past the ego thing ;) irritated me each time, though I loved Sherlock Holmes mysteries! :)

  4. Enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes books. My favourite is the Speckled Band.



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