"In reviewing my notes of the many singular adventures shared with my friend Sherlock Holmes, I have often been struck by the remarkable number that concerned themselves with the doings of Americans.
"Many such cases I have already presented to a long-suffering public. The Lauriston Gardens mystery and the tragedy of Birlstone, to name but two, were present-day crimes whose seeds were sown long ago in the fertile soil of the American continent."
So begins my pastiche, "The Peculiar Persecution of John Vincent Harden."
Today is Independence Day in the United States. This is a fitting time to reflect that Sherlock Holmes, who proclaimed himself "always happy to meet an an American," met a lot of them.
Fully half of the first novel, A Study in Scarlet, and the last, The Valley of Fear, take place in the United States. I count another six stories with U.S. roots -- "The Five Orange Pips," "The Yellow Face," "The Adventure of the Dancing Men, "The Adventure of the Red Circle," "The Problem of Thor Bridge"and "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor."
It was the latter story in which Holmes famously said, "I am one of those who believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a minister in far-gone years will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the United Jack with the Stars and Stripes."
What do you think -- would that be a good idea?