Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"fondness for photography" [REDH] 



During the earliest days of the Sherlock Holmes stories, photography was still in its infancy. And yet, we are greeted with a number of instances in which photography plays a central or partial role in the plot.

Who were the Canonical photographers and why did they pursue this hobby? And how did photographs play into Sherlock Holmes's ability to solve crimes?

We also have a follow-up item from Episode 37, thanks to some listener feedback.

Download | 8.1 MB, 17:45 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"I have no idea what he intends to go in for" [STUD] 


It's our Back to School Blowout Sale! Okay, not really. But since it's September and class is in session, we thought it would be the perfect time to talk about Sherlock Holmes's school days.

In his student days, Holmes said that he considered his habit of observation and deduction to be "the merest hobby." What subjects was he studying at college? What profession did he propose to follow before detective work lured him away? Wouldn't he have considered his skills at observation to be an asset in his main course of study, rather than a hobby unto itself? Or was he studying something where observation and deduction were not particularly useful to him?

And listen closely — particularly if you're Nick Utechin — there is a listener challenge.


Download | 6.6 MB, 14:22 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"I was already in debt to my tradesmen" [COPP] 


With Labor Day just behind us, what do we find in the Sherlock Holmes stories in the ways of the working class? Holmes said that the public could hardly tell "a weaver by his tooth or a compositor by his left thumb," [COPP] as two examples of the working class.

Certainly, Sherlock Holmes himself took on the guise of workers, such as "a drunken-looking groom" [SCAN] and "a plumber with a rising business." [MILV] And the Molly Maguires played a role in VALL. What other Canonical tradesmen were we exposed to?


Download | 8.6 MB, 18:43 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"a Greek by extraction" [GREE] 


"The Greek Interpreter" gives us our first glimpse of Mycroft Holmes, through the meeting with him at the Diogenes Club. But it's the introduction of the peculiar Mr. Melas, the Greek interpreter, that sets things in motion.

When you think about all of the activity in this case, couldn't we argue that Melas was really the hero of this story? Or was it Holmes, with his deductions and bravery? Or was it Paul Kratides, who endured torture in order to protect his sister?

We address the premise of the Greek hero in this episode of Trifles. 

Download | 8.8 MB, 19:21 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"the matter is more mysterious" [CARD] 


"The Cardboard Box" opens with an iconic diversion on a hot August day on Baker Street. And while the story was published in The Strand Magazine just following "Silver Blaze" and just prior to "The Yellow Face." And yet when the second collection of short stories was published in book form as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes in 1894, "The Cardboard Box" did not appear (at least in British editions) until it was included the collection of short stories titled His Last Bow in 1917.

What's more, the famous "mind reading scene" originally included in "The Cardboard Box" was then inserted into "The Resident Patient" when The Memoirs were published. Just what is going on here?

Download | 5.8 MB, 12:45 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Very well thumbed, I assure you" [HOUN] 


"The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb" marks the only time that Watson has been responsible for bringing a case to Sherlock Holmes. Go ahead and look it up. We'll wait.

Meanwhile, the few engineers we meet in the Canon are of varied types. But Bliss Austin, BSI, in his masterful magnum opus "Thumbing His Way to Fame," from the Baker Street Journal Vol. 1, No. 4 (Old Series) draws out one or two scientific details that seemed to have escaped Holmes but that may have been more apparent to a trained engineer.

Download | 6.9 MB, 15:08 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"you will find your time very fully occupied" [NORW] 


In the opening of "The Norwood Builder," we find Watson back in Baker Street—he sold his practice and has moved back in with Sherlock Holmes. And we discover that it was Sherlock Holmes who made the financial arrangements that made it possible for Dr. Verner to purchase Watson's practice.

What's going on here? Did Holmes tacitly indicate that he missed Watson and wanted his flatmate back? Was there a practical side to the partnership as well? Was this Holmes's way of saying that Watson was his ideal colleague and assistant? There are many questions to be answered regarding this particular trifle.

Download | 7.2 MB, 15:41 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

"worthy of our steel" [HOUN] 


Sidney Paget was the illustrator who first brought widespread visual recognition of Sherlock Holmes to the public. His American counterpart Frederic Dorr Steele got a later start, but made a lasting impact as well.

We discuss Steele's inspiration and the ultimate gift that he left us: an indelible impression of Sherlock Holmes through various publications for the better part of his career.


Download | 8 MB, 17:29 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

"The chain of events is certainly one of extraordinary interest." [NAVA] 


Nepotism, bullying, carelessness and a locked room mystery — "The Naval Treaty" has it all. A young government employee is given a top secret assignment that keeps him at his desk late at night, but the document he was working on goes missing. And it's up to Sherlock Holmes to find the culprit.

Clocking in at 12,701 words, this story is the longest of the 56 short stories in the Sherlock Holmes canon. But should it really have taken Holmes that long to figure out the mystery? We discuss some of the finer points of the story, including glaring plot point that you may have missed before.


Download | 7.1 MB, 15:35 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"there can be no question as to the authorship" [SIGN] 


"The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone" took place in July 1903 and it shares a distinction with one other Sherlock Holmes story: like "His Last Bow," this is the only other story that is told by a third person.

We review some theories, summed up by Leslie Klinger, BSI ("The Abbey Grange") in his Daypark Press publication of a Baker Street Irregulars dinner memento in 2001. From Christopher Morley to O.F. Grazebrook, Gavin Brend, Martin Dakin and more, there are clever and preposterous suggestions as to whose pen was behind this story.

Not to mention the question of the layout of 221B Baker Street, the mysterious bay window, the condition of the wax bust, and more.

See which theory you side with in this episode of Trifles...


Download | 7.4 MB, 16:12 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"among the harpooners my research was nearing its end" [BLAC] 


We have one of the most iconic openings in the Sherlock Holmes stories in "The Adventure of Black Peter" - the year '95, Holmes in disguise, returning from the butcher's with his weapon of choice: a harpoon.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle pulled on his own knowledge of whaling vessels and voyages (as referenced in an earlier IHOSE episode), but how likely was the occurrence which we learned of in this story? The era of hand-held harpooning was over by that time. How does one go about practice-harpooning a pig in polite London society? And what of the physics of the demonstration?

These questions and more await in this episode of Trifles...


Download | 8.1 MB, 17:41 




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Jeff Decker, BSI in The Baker Street Journal. Vol. 41, No. 1 (1991)

Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"there really was a plot" [GLOR] 


Independence Day is celebrated in the United States on July 4. It marks the date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a document that preceeded the American Revolution. This, as well as numerous other acts of rebellion in the years leading up to the war, represented a principled stand against British authority.

And we have rebellion against British authority aptly represented in "The Gloria Scott," which William Baring-Gould placed in July of 1874. Trevor Sr. was sentenced to transportation for "breaking my country's laws" while he was a banker - namely, embezzlement. And perhaps the rebellious streak continued with Trevor, Jr. as he brought his dog on campus, to which we offer a toast penned by John Baesch, BSI, ASH.


Download | 9.7 MB, 21:11 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"Saw through my game, I suppose" [3GAR] 



Once again, we have a con man at work, eager to enrich himself. He finds his mark, manages to get him away from the scene where his work needs to happen, and is eventually caught red-handed by Sherlock Holmes. Does this plot device sound familar? It should. Or at least it did, once we got the names of the minor characters straight...

This tale has been recognized as sharing the plot of "The Red-Headed League" and "The Stock-Broker's Clerk". If indeed the plot is strong enough to be employed three times, which story makes the best use of it, and why?

Download | 7.7 MB, 16:47 




Please leave us a rating and review on the podcast player of your choice, and consider supporting our efforts through Patreon or PayPal.


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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra 
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"she will not believe me" [IDEN] 



In the early stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson was admittedly new to the bio-docu-drama genre that he was creating. And while we've gotten comfortable with putting "The Adventure of..." in front of nearly every short story about Sherlock Holmes, a handful of these early stories were not titled that way. "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "A Case of Identity" were the first and third stories to be published in The Strand and did not carry that title.

But aside from that difference, "A Case of Identity" stands out. Not because it was devoid of a crime, but because its premise seemed inherently unbelievable. A young lady not recognizing her own stepfather? How is it that Watson (and Arthur Conan Doyle) managed to pull this off?

Download | 7.1 MB, 15:35 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"He had described his household" [WIST] 




We're acutely aware of some of the fathers in the Sherlock Holmes stories, and the dastardly deeds associated with them. Individuals such as Jephro Rucastle and Grimesby Roylott spring to mind.

But what about figures who occupied a position as head of the household who weren't necessarily fathers themselves? With Fathers Day coming up this weekend, we thought this was an excellent time to take a moment and reflect on who these individuals are and what their role in the Canon was.


Download | 7.2 MB, 15:50 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"not long after my marriage" [ENGR] 



In this episode, we look at how married life was treating Dr. Watson in "The Adventure of the Boscombe Valley Mystery." William S. Baring-Gould placed this at June 6 or June 8, 1889. It was published as the fourth short story in the collection known as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.


In the opening scene, Holmes sends for the recently married Watson to accompany him on a case, and Mary Watson, far from nagging her husband about his penchant for dashing off with his friend, actually urges Watson to go. Watson gives her a charming compliment in return by alluding to their romantic meeting in The Sign of Four. The affectionate circle is completed when Holmes gives Watson very gracious thanks for agreeing to come along on the trip.

What are we to make of Watson's home life? Is he simply using a literary technique by making his marriage seem able to weather the storm of Holmes? Or was Mary genuinely understanding of the push-pull relationship between the doctor and the detective?

A tribute to the late Peter Sallis, an appearance by Felix Unger and Oscar Madison, and more surprises await.

Download | 6.8 MB, 14:49 




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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"back to the same establishment" [GOLD] 


The last time we met, we were in the middle of a pub quiz. How were you doing? We're going to pick up where we left off, talking about various public houses, bars, taverns and inns that were mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes stories. Each played an important role in the story in which it was set.

And as a bonus, we'll get you inside some of the real-life establishments* that you might stroll past the next time you're in London.

*We're pleased to report that the Criterion is open, but under the name Savini at Criterion.

Download | 6.6 MB, 14:25 




Please leave us a rating and review on iTunes or Google Play, and consider supporting our efforts through Patreon or PayPal.


Links


Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"gone to the nearest public-house" [SOLI] 


We owe the entire Canon to Watson's drinking habits. Because he found himself at the Criterion Bar, he eventually found his way to Holmes. And just as importantly, public houses, taverns and bars play a role throughout the Sherlock Holmes stories.

These locations are where they gathered intelligence, and met clients, or simply refreshed themselves. In the spirit of British pubs, we'll treat you to a bit of a pub quiz. Let's see how you do.

Download | 6.3 MB, 13:27 




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Links


Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"His Grace is surprised, Dr. Huxtable" [PRIO] 


The opening of "The Adventure of the Priory School" is one of the best in the entirety of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Dr. Huxtable lands on the bearskin rug and from Watson's brandy administration to Holmes helping himself to the contents of Huxtable's pockets, it's vintage Sherlock Holmes.

What do we know of Dr. Huxtable, and more importantly, what did he know about the Duke of Holdernesse? His days-long delay in seeking help meant that the trail was slightly cold for Holmes — a strange priority, even if His Grace was concerned about publicity. Just when did Dr. Huxtable first get to know the Duke and what did his station require?

From tennis to tails, and Monty Python to Morgan Freeman reading the Canon, we've got it all.

Download | 10.2 MB 22:14




Please leave us a rating and review on iTunes or Google Play, and consider supporting our efforts through Patreon or PayPal.


Links


Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"by the honour of your mother" [SIGN] 


There's no question that fathers play a significant role in many of the Sherlock Holmes stories. But what about mothers? As Mothers Day will be celebrated on May 14 in the United States, we thought it was an appropriate time to look at mothers and motherly figures in the Canon.

From independent women to those who tragically lost their mothers, we see a common thread of strength. Where did Conan Doyle draw his examples from? And what did Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson make of such women? Its all here in Trifles.

Download | 6.6 MB 14:30




Please leave us a rating and review on iTunes or Google Play, and consider supporting our efforts through Patreon or PayPal.


Links




Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

"have a look at the horse" [SILV]


One of the best regarded stories in the Sherlock Holmes canon is "Silver Blaze." The story has so many elements to it that lend themselves to the lore of Sherlock Holmes: the Baker Street opening, the image of Holmes and Watson in the railway carriage, a number of famous quotes. We'll be revisiting this story again in Trifles.

But for this time, our focus is on the horse. With the Kentucky Derby approaching on May 6, it's an apt time to consider the heritage of Silver Blaze and the associated activities that were happening during that time. Noted sports columnist Red Smith had some thoughts about Holmes's actions and the racetrack bookie, and S. Tupper Bigelow took an opposite tack. Who was right? You'll have to tune in to hear.

Download | 7.7 MB 16:54





Please leave us a rating and review on iTunes or Google Play, and consider supporting our efforts through Patreon or PayPal.


Links



Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band.

Our Team

Scott Monty and Burt Wolder are both members of the Baker Street Irregulars, the literary society dedicated to Sherlock Holmes. They have co-hosted the popular show I Hear of Everywhere since June 2007.

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