01-01-2014 Happy 160th Birthday Sherlock   Leave a comment

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on July 7, 1940 in Sussex, England, of a heart attack. Six years and one month later I was born. Approximately 12 years later I read my first Sherlock Holmes story and saw my first Hollywood movie version starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. I’ve been hooked ever since. It wasn’t until I was stationed in Korea in the 60’s that I happened upon a complete volume of Sherlock Holmes Adventures in the boudoir of a young Korean women. Since she was unable to read English I took immediate possession of the book and read it so often I wore it out.

In the intervening years I’ve read the entire Holmes collection many times. After leaving Korea I joined the Pennsylvania State Police which also helped  prepare me for my thirty years of investigative experiences. I’m not saying that Sherlock Holmes was my total inspiration for my career choice but I couldn’t begin to guess how many times when initiating an investigation I thought to myself, “Watson, the game is afoot”.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to differentiate between Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes. Holmes has always seemed much more real to me as he as does with most of his dedicated fans. The official-unofficial date of birth for Sherlock Holmes has been argued about for years but the general consensuses is January 4, 1854.  That would make him 160 years old this month.  That’s quite an accomplishment and life span for a fictional character who is widely recognized as the individual solely responsible for the worldwide development of forensics  as a tool in criminal investigations.

Just recently I bought myself a new Kindle e-reader and the very first purchase I made was the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes Mysteries. That’s four complete novels and fifty eight short stories.  It gives me a sense of security knowing that I have those stories readily available at a moments notice. This new e-reader is small and easily carried in my pocket and I can take Sherlock with me everywhere, now that we’re both retired.


P.S.  If you happen to be in Europe this month why don’t you swing by Riga, Latvia for the Sherlock Holmes birthday celebration.

Check it out at: Riga, Latvia Sherlock Holmes Birthday Festival

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