“OCCASIONALLY TO EMBELLISH”

Some Writings on Sherlock Holmes

by Nicholas Utechin

 

Gasogene Books,   2012            ($18.95)

ISBN:  978-0-938501-58-9

Format:  Trade Paper

 

Review by Larry Jung

(July 2014)

 

Do you care whether Sherlock Holmes attended Oxford or Cambridge?

Do you wonder how many wives Dr. John Watson had?

Have you tried to figure out the precise shape of Hurlstone from the clues given in “The Musgrave Ritual?”

 

If the answer is yes, then Nicholas Utechin’s little book of Sherlockian essays are for you.  Utechin is a long-time and well-respected Sherlockian.  For 30 years, he edited THE SHERLOCK HOLMES JOURNAL, the official publication of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London.  He is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars.  He has collected twenty-three of his previously published essays in this little volume.  The titles give an indication of the surprising variety topics to be mined in the original Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

 

     Hurlstone and The Ritual  The precise shape of Hurlstone

     The Tree That Wasn’t  The problem of where Colonel Moran had to stand to shoot the Honorable Ronald Adair

     The Colonel of the Matter  The early career of Colonel Sabastian Moran

     Copper Beech Behaviour  Holmes illogical thought processes from start to finish

     Moran and Adair:  A Park Lane Mystery  The real motive for tricking Colonel Moran to try to shoot Holmes

     Some Remarkable Wines  What wines Holmes enjoyed

     The Watson Style  Analyzing the opening sentences in the Holmes’s stories

      Petrarch, Pockets, Prostitutes and Padua  Why the intriguing choice of Petrarch for railway reading

 

There is an obvious sense of the author’s love for his subject and his extensive scholarship of things Holmes.  It is all tongue-in-cheek fun.  I heartily recommend this collection to both the budding Sherlockian and the veteran devotee of the Holmes’s adventures.

 

“You know my method.  It is founded upon the observation of trifles.”

Sherlock Holmes to Dr. Watson
“The Bascombe Valley Mystery”


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