Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Man Who Would Be Sherlock Holmes

The plot trope of someone who believes he’s Sherlock Holmes has been employed with greater or lesser success dozens of times over the decades. One of the best such forays was They Might be Giants, reportedly the great John Bennett Shaw’s favorite movie.

My new favorite exploration of this theme is “A Study in Sherlock,” episode 4 of Season 6 of “The Murdoch Mysteries” from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. It was first broadcast on Jan. 28, 2013.

Several strengths make the episode memorable, starting with the fact that the script writer actually created a good plot, not just a gimmick. The individual who thinks he’s Holmes has a psychological reason for his delusion that fits perfectly into the mystery, which involves a hidden treasure with a Holmes connection.

The story takes place around 1900, during the period when Sherlock Holmes was believed dead at the hands of Moriarty. When David Kingsley, AKA Holmes, explains that away in the presence of a visiting Arthur Conan Doyle (not very convincingly portrayed with shaggy hair and an unDoylean beard), the British author sees away to bring Holmes back from the dead. He even steals the name of a very real Col. Sebastian Moran, who is a character in the show.

Murdoch finally breaks through the madman’s delusion by playing to it. He appeals to that old Sherlockian maxim: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” The improbable truth that Kingsley is forced to believe is that he’s not Sherlock Holmes!

It’s a great episode in a first-rate series. Season 7 brings “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” – but I’m not there yet!


  1. On Acorn "A Study in Sherlock" shows up as episode 4 of season 6.

  2. I've made the correction. Thanks!

  3. A well written story for this character and the performance by Andrew Gower is impeccable. His return in the later episode is most welcome.