01 December 2010

1 December - Sherlock Holmes; Mystery Cake

The Master sitting in the wicker chair

" "Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes," said Stamford, introducing us. "

And indeed, so were we all introduced to the 'consulting detective' and his Boswell.

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, MD, made their debut in the story "A Study in Scarlet", published in Beeton's Christmas Annual of 1887.  Their popularity took off with the publication of short stories in the Strand Magazine in 1891; Sidney Paget's drawings for the stories, like the one above, are the best known, if not the definitive illustrations of the detective.

For a good overview, see the Sherlockian.net Holmepage, which has extensive information and links for everything Sherlockian. 

From the same website, you can find the individual stories to read on-line; of course, children, physical books still exist in physical libraries, if (like me) you prefer curling up in the easy-chair with a book rather than a lap-top.  If you have never read the Canon, start with the short stories - "The Adventure of the Speckled Band", "The Adventure of the Dancing Men", "A Scandal in Bohemia", "The Adventure of The Red-Headed League", and the like.

(The Dancing Men was the first story I read as a child - very good for a budding cryptologist.  The Speckled Band was the second story - not so good for an ophidiophobe.  Oh well.)

What else could we make today in celebration but MYSTERY CAKE, which you can find here with photos of the steps and amusing commentary from King Arthur Flour (go here for the ingredients and directions).

"Come, Watson, come!  The game is afoot."