Sunday, 18 November 2012

"Sherlock Holmes" Volunteers

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's letter to the War Office, 1914

I have been told that there may be some difficulty in finding offficers for the New Army. I think I may say that my name is well-known to the younger men of this country and that if I were to take a commission at my age it might be of help. I can drill a company - I do so every evening. I have seen something of campaigning, having served as a surgeoon in South Africa. I am fifty-five but I am very strong and hardy, and can make my voice audible at great distances which is useful at drill. Should you entertain my appplication, I should prefer a regiment which was drawn from the South of England - Sussex for choice.  

Taken from Voices by Peter Vansittart, who in the list of contributors says of Doyle that he was "An Anglo-Irish doctor, spiritualist, legal reformer, quixotic in his approach to many social wrongs and miscarriages of justice, writer of historical and scientific romances and detective fiction." A chronicler of the Boer and Great Wars.

Friday, 16 November 2012


An old edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary has the spring season beginning on March 21  and ending three months later on June 21. This would mean, in 'A Scandal in Bohemia', Watson calling on his friend Holmes on the last day of winter 1888; and that Sherlock  would spring  into action in a number of different  cases, including (to use the Christ codes) BOSC, TWIS, STOC, DANC and 3GAR. In Sherlock in the Spring Time, however, spring means the period from the beginning of March till the end of May. Whichever way you look at it, a comforting book to read in the present miserable weather to remind us (hopefully) of better things to come!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Something for the Christmas Stocking

Sherlock in the Spring doesn't sound like something from Santa Claus, but it will brighten everyone up in this wintry weather with the thought of what might be in store. As the man said: "If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" My new book is short, reasonably priced and, hopefully, slim enough to fit into anyone's Christmas stocking.