by Christopher Redmond
If you have ever read “A Scandal in Bohemia” and wondered what Watson’s allusion to “Mr. John Hare” means… if you aren’t sure who was in charge in southeast Asia when Mycroft Holmes mentions “the present state of Siam”… if you’re wondering about Watson’s portrait of General Gordon or Holmes’s Vernet relatives or what Scottish expert on poisons Scotland Yard consulted when the Baker Street duo weren’t available… this is your book. It provides one-paragraph biographies of 800 real-life Victorians and Edwardians who strolled down Oxford Street near Holmes and Watson or figured in the newspapers they read. That mention of Blondin on the roof at Pondicherry Lodge? Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary friends? The King of Scandinavia? The British commander at Maiwand?