A. Conan Doyle: His Brainchild Was Sherlock Holmes, Prototype Crime Scene Investigator

Book Illustration Depicting Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in a Train Cabindoyle

Born today A. Conan Doyle,

Created Holmes (and Watson, his foil).

Cerebral detective, unparalleled sleuth,

Observed then deduced to discover the truth.*


*From “The Quotable Sherlock Holmes” by John H. Watson, M.D. (with an introduction by John H. Watson III, assisted by Gerard Van Der Leun)

1. “Each fact is suggestive in itself. Together they have a cumulative force.” (The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans)

2.”You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles.” (The Boscombe Valley Mystery)

3.” Now, I make a point of never having any prejudices, and of following docilely wherever fact may lead me.” (The Reigate Puzzle)

4. “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” (The Boscombe Valley Mystery)

5. “What one man can invent another can discover.” (Adventure of the Dancing Men)

6. “There is no branch of detective science which is so important and so much neglected as the art of tracing footsteps.” (A Study in Scarlet)

7. “Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details.” (A Case of Identity)

8. “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” (A Case of Identity)

9. “Having sniffed the dead man’s lips, I detected a slightly sour smell and I came to the conclusion that he had had poison forced upon him.” (A Study in Scarlet)

10. “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” (The Sign of the Four)

11. “You have a very handsome stick. By the inscription I observed that you had not had it more than a year. But you have taken some pains to bore the head of it and pour melted lead into the hole so as to make it a formidable weapon. I argued that you would not take such precautions unless you had some danger to fear.” (The “Gloria Scott”)

12. “I observe from your forefinger that you make your own cigarettes. Have no hesitation in lighting one.” (The Hound of the Baskervilles)

13. “On the other hand, like all these stout, little men who do themselves well, he is a plethoric sleeper.” (The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton)

14. “This is a time for observation, not for talk.” (The Red-Headed League)

15. “The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” (The Hound of the Baskervilles)


Filed under: Crime, literature


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  • Going back to a prior theme, Craig Ferguson also picked up on Cher's and Doyle's birthdays. Of course, he went into different directions, such as that Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and "do we have a picture of Cher?"

    So, let's see if the coinciding references continue.

  • Thank you for a list of quotes which made a delightful phone quiz on the great day (and the great author). To paraphrase ACD in the recent "Dangerous Work," which I commend to your attention:
    Peace be to your molecules!

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