Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective

Sherlock Holmes was the world's most famous consulting detective. Of course, the fact that he was the one and only consulting detective made it a bit easier to capture that title.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes Biographical Information

Occupation: Consulting Detective

Began his career: 1880

Years in Practice: 23

Partner: Dr. John H. Watson (his wife called him James, Sherlock simply called him "Watson"

Marital Status: Single (He remained a bachelor in spite of his partner's earlier attempts at matchmaking which were abandoned due to lack of success.)

Address: 221B Baker Street, London

Ethnicity: Bohemian

Known Relatives:
Hobbies: Violinist, Boxing, Swordsman, Wrestling, Chemistry

Personality: Believed himself to be a very logical and non-emotional person. In reality, he was quite emotional but preferred to deny it.

He was a Type A person, a strict work-a-holic with very few friends or desire for a social life apart from solving mysteries.

Social Life: Minimal social contacts. While he was famous and well-liked, he made few friends and discouraged visitors.

Religion: Unknown, Refers to God and Providence several times in terms of justice, but appears to have no affiliation with an organized religious group

Vices: Included tobacco and, in his younger years, cocaine. He either out grew the cocaine or his partner's words of warning were eventually heeded.

Watson's Description About Holmes

From The Red Headed League

"My friend was an enthusiastic musician, being himself not only a very capable performer but a composer of no ordinary merit."

What Is A Consulting Detective?

Magnifying Glass

So just what is a "consulting detective?" Holmes himself explains it to his new roommate, Watson.

Holmes Description of his career shortly after meeting Watson

From The Study In Scarlet
"Well, I have a trade of my own. I suppose I am the only one in the world. I'm a consulting detective, if you can understand what that is. Here in London we have lots of government detectives and lots of private ones. When these fellows are at fault, they come to me and I manage to put them on the right scent. They lay all the evidence before me, and I am generally able, by the help of my knowledge of the history of crime, to set them straight...

They are all people who are in trouble about something and want a little enlightening. I listen to their story, they listen to my comments, and then I pocket my fee."

"But do you mean to say," I said, "that without leaving your room you can unravel some knot whcih other men can make nothing of, although they have seen every detail for themselves?"

"Quite so. I have a kind of intuition that way. Now and again a case turns up which is a little more complex. Then I have to bustle about and see things with my own eyes."

It is fortunate for the readers that Watson chose only to write about those "more complex" cases which required Holmes to leave his sitting room and do the sleuthing on his own. Not only did his willingness to leave his arm chair distiinguish him from his older brother (who did not), but it also produced far more interesting stories for five generations of fans.

Watson Describes Holmes

From The Resident Patient
"Neither the country nor the sea presented the slightest attraction to him. He loved to lie in the very center of five million people, with his filaments stretching out and running through them, responsive to every litte rumor or suspicion of unsolved crime. Appreciation of nature found no place among his many gifts, and his only change was when he turned his mind from the evil-doer of the town to track down his brother of the country."

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Sherlock Holmes Pages

A catalog of our pages on Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes: The Unit Study Sherlock Holmes Unit Study
Our 183 Page Unit Study
of 8 popular stories - great for Middle & High School
Adventure of the Speckled Band Speckled Band
Analyze the compelling mystery of the dangerous whistle in the night in this famous who-dunn-it.
Silver Blaze
Uncover the who, the where, and the why of a murdered man and missing horse.
The Red Headed League Red Headed League
Evaluate how Doyle turned a silly-looking prank into a serious international crime.
Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb Engineers Thumb
Assess if this strange tale is one of Doyle's best - or worst - stories.
Crooked Man
Crooked Man
Analyze who the truly crooked man is in this twisted tale of love and betrayal.
in Bohemia
Scandal in Bohemia
Multiple scandals in this international drama of love gone wrong
Adventure of the Dancing Men Dancing Men
Investigate the form and outcome of one of Sherlock's saddest cases.
The Final
Final Problem
An evaluation of Doyle's daring decision and the outcry that followed.
More About Sherlock Consulting Detective
Interesting tidbits about the world's only consulting detective.
More About Dr. Watson Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes
There was more to Dr. Watson's life than the readers understood at first.
Super Hero Prototypes Holmes and Watson: Superheroes prototypes
Were Holmes and Watson the original prototypes for modern superheroes?
List of All Short Stories List of Sherlock Holmes Short Stories
A list of the the Sherlock Holmes short stories and books they were published in.
Sherlock Holmes Quotes
Famous quotes, brilliant sayings, and intriguing insights from Sherlock and company.
Action Plot Summary Summary of Sherlock Action Plot
See how Doyle's unique action plot made Sherlock stories a permanent feature in the halls of classic lit.
Kids and

Sherlock stories for kids
What are the most appropriate Sherlock stories for kids? Check out our recommendations.

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