At the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, Green was introduced to "the great game," which Sherlockians had played for decades [...] The challenge of the game was that Conan Doyle had often written the four Holmes novels and fifty-six short stories [...] in haste, and they were plagued with inconsistencies [...] How, for instance, is it possible that in one story Watson is described as having been wounded in Afghanistan in the shoulder by a Jezail bullet, though in another story he complains that the wound was in his leg? The goal was thus to resolve these paradoxes, using the same airtight logic that Holmes exhibits. Similar textual inquiries had already given birth to a related field, known as Sherlockiana--mock scholarship in which fans tried to deduce everything from how many wives Watson has (one to five) to which university Holmes attended (surely Cambridge or Oxford). As Green once conceded, quoting the founder of the Baker Street Irregulars,
"Never had so much been written by so many for so few."
David Grann, The New Yorker, Dec 13
Full Text: Mysterious Circumstances © 2004