Holmes & Watson: On Your Case

Just around the corner from the Tor offices, a Victorian Era flat with the address 221B Baker Street has miraculously materialized. The crack in space/time through which this miracle has occurred is a little unstable, so we were only able to enter for about a half an hour and speak to its inhabitants; Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. It turns out that in addition to solving a variety of mysteries, these two have now launched an interdimensional advice column! Immediately, the Tor.com staff jumped at the chance to get some advice on dating, pet care, shopping tips, and more from these esteemed intellects. Read more below to see what we asked them and submit your own questions to Holmes and Watson.

Emily: So, I really want to have pet in my apartment. But at this point I’ve gone through like six goldfish, all of which have died within a week. What can I do Mr. Holmes?

Holmes: It is apparent to me by the state of your dress that you are someone who lives with not one, but two or more roommates. These people are your friends, but occasionally keep you up too late for your tastes. The details which inform me of this is are trivial, but suffice to say that someone who lives alone, does not come into their place of work with a stamp on their hand that indicates they were in a pub not but 6 hours prior to this morning’s sun rising. Ultimately, these people are distracting you from your duties and if you continue to live with them, the fish will continue to die. I hear cactuses are quite resilient to this sort of neglect. Perhaps you should consider one of those for your next houseguest.

Watson: Are you saying she is simply forgetting to feed the beast, Holmes?


Holmes: Precisely Watson. Her roommates are distracting her from her number one responsibility: the health of her goldfish.



Chris: Okay, I’m heading back out into the dating scene for the first time in a few years, but my wardrobe is terribly outdated. My question to you is: How did the vicar get poisoned if he hadn’t ingested anything that day?

Holmes: What makes you assume it was poison? I don’t have time to deal with paranoid ignoramuses who see conspiracies where there are none. If you were to give me data; details of his regular eating habits, who he’d come into contact with, how you come to know that he “hadn’t ingested anything that day,” etc. But instead, you offer a blithe assertion with no facts. It will not do! If I were given to wild flights of fancy, I would postulate that you yourself poisoned the vicar. But as it stands, I think it is fairly apparent that “the vicar” is a fiction.

Watson: Are you saying this Chris fellow invented the vicar out of some kind dementia, Holmes?


Holmes: Quite. Also, he should purchase a new blazer for his forays into the dating scene.

Watson: Indeed! I would recommend Uniqlo.

Holmes: Elementary.



Ryan: Hey guys. So I’ve currently re-grown my beard, and I’m wondering what you think of it? People seem to think it’s sexy, but with summer coming, I’m worried it might be too annoying and itchy.

Holmes: The bearded are attempting to cover their face in order to conceal their age—either forward in time or backward in time. An older man grows a beard to hide his wrinkles or distract from baldness. A younger man grows one to hide the fact that he appears “too young,” as is the case with you. I can also infer from the uneven creases in your trousers and your well-worn shoes that, while generally clean, you are not the sort of man who is good at maintaining things. Hence, you likely allow this beard to immediately become unkempt, and then instead of trimming it back to a civilized length, you simply shave it off entirely. This is reminiscent of an extreme personality not dissimilar from our old friend, Dr. Jekyll.

Watson: By Jove, Holmes. Do you think we’ve found him? Is this man some sort of time-travelling Mr. Hyde?


Holmes: The evidence appears undeniable. Watson, kindly hand me you revolver….


(Watson hands Holmes a revolver, which Holmes proceeds to point at Ryan.)

Ryan (Hands in the air): I guess I’ll shave my beard…



What questions do you have for Holmes and Watson? Is your love life a mystery? Are you involved in a bizarre caper to find a good apartment? Need a fashion makeover? Don’t fret: Holmes and Watson are on your case!

Write to Holmes and Watson for the answers: [email protected].

Want more? Click here for the entire Holmes & Watson: On Your Case advice column.

Got more Sherlock to talk? Visit our partner mystery site Criminal Element and their growing index of Sherlockiana, including TV rewatches, book discussions, and more!


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