"You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles."
-- Sherlock Holmes, "The Bascombe Valley Mystery"
This famous quote sounds so, well, Sherlockian. And it's true so far as it goes. Close attention to minor details and drawing inferences from them -- not timidly -- did help Holmes solve cases as well as draw admiration from Watson and other onlookers.
But it's somewhat misleading for Holmes to speak his method in the singular. Sebastian McCabe rather breathlessly gives a laundry list of some of the Master's other methods in this excerpt from No Police Like Holmes:
“That,” said Mac, “begs the issue. The real question is, what are the methods of Sherlock Holmes? Holmes always observed the trifles, of course, and deduced – or induced – from them. He also employed street urchins, special knowledge, instinct, logic, legwork, disguise, burglary, subterfuge, process of elimination, science, dogs, advertising, analogy to similar cases and – oh , yes – prodigious amounts of tobacco.”
He pulled out a cigar. “Personally, I intend to rely heavily upon the latter.”
If you happen to have the book, you can find the passage on pages 43-44.
What's your favorite quote from the world of Sherlock Holmes?