Twelfth Night Giveaway: Day 12

There are many myths perpetuated about Sherlock Holmes. People believe that he was in love with Irene Adler. They think he spent the entire Canon chasing Professor Moriarty, or that he never made a mistake.  Some people even believe that he has died.

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This is what we think about that.

But one of the most egregious myths about our hero is perpetuated by Sherlockians, in virtually every film set of 221B Baker Street ever constructed. See if you can guess what it is….


1951 Festival of Britain



Basil Rathbone-1939









William Gillette-1916








RDJ 221

Robert Downey, Jr–2009


Benedict Cumberbatch–2010







Martin Freeman’s pillow-thumping, and RDJ’s meltdown notwithstanding, these versions of Holmes’ and Watson’s rooms all have one thing in common–one incorrect thing:  They are too neat. Sherlock Holmes, his flatmate informs us, was, in reality, an utter slob.

An anomaly which often struck me in the character of my friend Sherlock Holmes was that, although in his methods of thought he was the neatest and most methodical of mankind, and although also he affected a certain quiet primness of dress, he was none the less in his personal habits one of the most untidy men that ever drove a fellow-lodger to distraction.

He then goes on to mention the tobacco in the Persian slipper, the cigars in the coal scuttle, the jackknifed correspondence…but we know what he really means is this:



One thing, however, he was always careful to keep in order: information. Whether it was kept hidden away in his brain attic, his indexes, his scrapbooks or his common-place books, he always knew where to lay his hand on that obscure fact about jellyfish, and could brag about his fine collection of “M’s.”

Order comes naturally to some people.


This gentleman, for example

For others of us, it is more challenging. But there is no reason not to have important information at your fingertips, where it belongs. Today’s prize is an excellent start in that direction.

the sherlock holmes book


Leslie Klinger’s Annotated Sherlock Holmes and The Sherlock Holmes Reference Library are wonderful sources for every Sherlockian bookshelf.  But they’re large, expensive, multi-volume works. This year, Mr. Klinger has put together a one-volume work for DK that has received excellent reviews. To get your chance to win a copy, just answer the question below:

Not every case Sherlock Holmes pursues turns out to be an actual crime. Name two Canon mysteries in which no laws were broken.

And, as always, submit your answers to me via blog comment, Facebook PM, or Twitter DM. Winners will be announced tomorrow!


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