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I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere

Jan 30, 2017

" dancing across the paper" [DANC] 

The opportunity to see an original Conan Doyle manuscript up close and to transcribe it word for word is a rare one. Which is why Ray Betzner, BSI ("The Agony Column") jumped at the opportunity and buttonholed David Morrill, BSI ("Count Von Kramm") to assist with the editing Dancing to Death, the latest volume in the Baker Street Irregulars Manuscript Series, which covers "The Adventure of the Dancing Men."

Ray tells us about his budding interest in Sherlock Holmes and how it began with his discovery of Vincent Starrett — and a twice-failed driving test. And he continues with the origin story of this long-unseen manuscript, the choice of authors and topics — from an authority in ciphers to the first BSI to see the manuscript, to the role of sound, to the "manuscript police" — and an admiration for the ingenuity, creativity and expertise for their work.

But it goes deeper than that: Ray shares his misgivings about this story, which is one that it is actually a failure for Sherlock Holmes. He broke the code, but he also let his client down, ultimately resulting in the Hilton Cubitt's death. Even the story itself is one that focused on the puzzle rather than on the people.

Plus, a new Sherlock Holmes brand ad and a very special visit from a longtime favorite of ours.


This episode includes our two longtime sponsors. Please support our sponsors by visiting their sites:

Wessex Press, with Unmitigated Bleat by Paul Herbert, BSI.
The Baker Street Journal, where you'll find many volumes of the BSI Manuscript Series and the BSI International Series.

1:33 Recovering from the recovery from the New Year
3:17 Teasing a new feature: Elementary comic strip, courtesy of Steve and Rusty Mason
4:05 Wessex Press
5:19 For peat's sake!
5:55 Welcoming Ray Betzner, BSI ("The Agony Column")
7:10 A little bit about Vincent Starrett
10:53 The selection of the editors of Dancing to Death
13:43 The backstory on the discovery of the manuscript
18:30 John Jones / Hilton Jones / Hilton Cubitt and a Mary Morstan Watsonism
21:24 Ten essays cover a wide range of topics about the story
25:33 Misgivings about "The Dancing Men"
29:02 A story designed around the puzzle
30:40 Conan Doyle's pin cipher in WWI and the attraction of ciphers to literary types
37:17 Chicago just can't shake its reputation
46:05 Baker Street Journal
47:35 Sherlock Holmes Brand Codemaster 3000
48:34 Wrapping up and an important announcement
51:42 The game's afoot!
52:29 An extra

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