Hidden Threads in Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1
By Ted Stetson & Gail Stetson
A Review by Dennis J Duggan (BR, HONS)
This is an intriguing take on the Sherlock Holmes canon.
The authors began to see hidden threads running through the stories, concerning all sorts of aspects, and the preface includes the examples of arsenic, coffin ships and the painter JMW Turner.
Twenty four stories are individually analysed, and various’ threads’ identified and discussed. I do not feel qualified to comment on whether the threads were knowingly inserted by Conan Doyle, or sub-consciously, or whether the authors have found something that isn’t really there!
Some of the evidence is quite compelling, though I have to say that some seems extremely tenuous!
Working my way through the book I began to realise it contains a large amount of fascinating information about all sorts of topics. Soon my interest was diverted from the main subject – threads – to the snippets of knowledge provided.
These include Lily Langtry, immigration and emigration, drugs and drug dens, breach of promise suits, boxing, slave ships, slums, sewers, melodramas, free trade, American heiresses marrying hard-up British toffs, precious stones, anagrams (Jephro Rucastle is an anagram of Joseph Cruel Rat)
The final section has an Afterword; Appendix A (Threads) Appendix B (ACD’s nineteen favourite adventures) Appendix C (Chronology) Selected bibliography.
The book is well-written and entertaining, a worthy acquisition for Holmes enthusiasts.