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.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

221B Baker Street in Pennsylvania

Holmes has just left the chair at Denny Dobry's 221B
My work as a mystery writer has been hugely influenced by Mel Brooks’s comment to Ed McBain that every successful TV show is about a family and a house. Neither of those elements has to be literal. In the various permutations of Star Trek, for example, the house is a spaceship ad the family is the crew.

But in the Canon, the family of Holmes, Watson, and Mrs. Hudson (with occasional evening visits from Inspector Lestrade) hold forth in a real house at one of the most famous addresses in the world – 221B Baker Street.

Last weekend, Ann and I had the joy of visiting two recreations of the famous sitting room at that address. My friends Denny Dobry and Gary Miller, both residents of Pennsylvania, are among a small group of passionate Sherlockians who have recreated 221B in their own homes. To be precise, they are two of 28 reconstructionists in the Baker Street Builders scion society.

I’ve known about Denny’s 221B in Reading for years, and I learned a lot about it last year from the “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere” podcast. But in the room, with all its authenticity and detail, was something else again. I had the feeling that I was only moments too late, that Holmes and Watson had just run out the door on another adventure.

Gary’s reconstruction at his home in York is perhaps less well known to the general public, but no less impressive.

Whatever most says “221” to you – the Persian slipper, the tantalus and gasogene, the photograph of “Chinese” Gordon, the violin case, the chemical table, Dr. Watsons’s bookshelf, the bust of Napoleon, or whatever – you will find it in these rooms. I stand in awe at the creators’ passion, persistence, and attention to detail.

Well done, gentlemen!

Tantalus, gasogene, and violin case at Gary Miller's 221B


  1. Denny's reconstruction is great to visit. I loved the walk down the steps with images of the actors who have played Sherlock accompanying me, and hearing life on Baker Street when I walk by the windows.

  2. On the occasions when I and my friend Holmes have visited, he told me that everything was in its proper place. Fortunately, I was able to locate -- and hide -- a certain neat morocco case before he could get at it.