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, April 17, 2019

Missing Sherlock Holmes in Cairo

The Sherlock Holmes Pub, Cairo
Baker Street Beat was on a Great Hiatus last week because its author was out of town - in Egypt.

Nowhere does the Canon record that Sherlock Holmes ever visited that country, although he did stop by nearby Khartoum, Sudan, during his own Great Hiatus. Holmes also handled the case of the two Coptic Patriarchs (mentioned in "The Adventure of the Retired Colourman"), and Copts are Egyptian.

More to the point, there is a Sherlock Holmes Pub at the Ramses Hilton in downtown Cairo. So where do you think we went almost immediately after reaching Cairo on Sunday, April 7?

No, guess again. We visited the Hanging Church, once seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope, and the nearby Church of the Holy Virgin.

No one has the time to do everything. The Sherlock Holmes Pub, with few Sherlockian connections beyond the name and a stained glass window, didn't seem as worthy of our time as two deeply historic churches in an ancient country. Looking back, I think we chose wisely (to echo a line in an Indiana Jones movie).

Speaking of Holmes and Egypt, I noticed recently that books in the long-running series of Amelia Peabody historical mysteries by the late Egyptologist  Barbara Mertz (AKA Elizabeth Peters) contain numerous references drawn from the world of Holmes.

In The Curse of the Pharaohs, for example, names of characters include Sir Henry Baskerville (but not the one in The Hound), Karl von Bork, and Charles Milverton.

Later, in The Lion in the Valley, a man identifies himself as Tobias Gregson, "well-known private investigator," and says he was involved in the matter of the Amateur Mendicant Society and the Camberwell poisoning case.

Perhaps there is a stronger connection yet to be uncovered. After all, Arthur Conan Doyle visited Egypt. Why not Sherlock Holmes?

1 comment: