Is It Always About Holmes?

Not always, but a lot. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, but I am interested in the different Holmes portrayals. The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes books published by Titan Books presents many perspectives on Holmes.

Most of them stay very close to the high-functioning sociopath portrait of Conan Doyle’s Holmes, but people experiment around the edges, examining Holmes’ attitude toward women, justice, England, the poor, selflessness and more. One thing that is always there is Holmes’ ability to deduce a wealth of information from the physical appearance of his clients and strangers.

What a talent that would be. A speck of mud, some pollen and a stain tells Holmes what happened to the person that day before the person speaks. I wonder if anyone has searched for contradictory interpretations of similar or identical physical appearance in the Holmes Canon.  If Doyle can forget what Watson’s war wound was, anything is possible or can be explained away. It doesn’t matter I gladly suspend my disbelief.

My point is that any of us writing as John Watson would have Holmes deduce different things from the same physical descriptions. I thought I would explore that proposition by writing a physical description and having anyone interested write their deduction of what it means in the comment section. As Holmes, of course. It would be amazing if there were my commonalities in deductions.

Client description:  The top of his bowler was wet. There was grass stain on the knee of his left wool suit pants leg. Otherwise he would be considered well turned out. He held small white gloves in his right hand and a gold-topped walking stick in his left. There was gold band on his left ring-finger. The young man blinked his red-rimmed eyes and let out a sigh. “You must help me, Mister Holmes or my life is over.”

Ready? Take a crack at it. I’ll post my take Saturday.


  1. “Please be seated,” Holmes said. “When you’re ready, tell us all you can remember about the men who abducted your wife.”

    “Surely, you presume too much, Holmes,” I protested.

    “No, Mister Holmes is right. My wife was abducted and I’ve come right here, being so close to Baker Street.

    “But how Holmes?” I asked.

    “He proclaims his life is over, his wedding band is brand new and holds women’s gloves, his wife’s, His wife is not here. The gloves were left behind when his wife was taken. He is stunned by her disappearance.

    They were surprised while on a walk. He was punched hard in his stomach and lost his breath, fell to a knee and his hat fell into a puddle. By the the time he regained his breath, the two men were gone.”

    “Exactly, Mister Holmes,” the man said.



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