Calabash Press
P.O. Box 1360, Ashcroft
British Columbia, Canada V0K 1A0
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 VIOLETS & VITRIOL: Essays about Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle
 'I AM INCLINED TO THINK . . .': Musings on Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle

The Case Files of Sherlock Holmes
Commentaries by John Hall
Contributions to CANADIAN HOLMES
Fine Commentary by John Warwick Montgomery
Fun Quizzes


VIOLETS & VITRIOL: Essays about Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle
Edited by S. E. Dahlinger

ISBN: 1-55310-061-1; xviii + 256pp.
PRICE: Cdn$30.00 / US$23.00 / £15.00 (Postage Code B)

VIOLETS & VITRIOL is unique. Far from being just another volume of essays on Sherlock Holmes, this collection is the first to be penned entirely by women and its appearance, timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the 'birthday' of Sherlock Holmes, is refreshingly welcome.

Since the word 'Sherlockian' was first coined in 1903, women have enthusiastically taken the Sherlockian movement to their hearts. They have served with distinction as the heads of such major societies as The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, The Bootmakers of Toronto, and The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes. They have founded or joined smaller societies worldwide, served on executive committees, curated Special Collections, taught Conan Doyle-related courses, planned Sherlockian weekends, addressed conferences, edited and written for journals, served up the refreshment at many a Sherlockian gathering, and made it all look effortless. For more than seventy years, they have also answered with grace and charm the question: 'Just what is it you women see in Sherlock Holmes?'

Sherlockiana without women would be like the canon without its notable female characters: nowhere near as lively or entertaining. So join the ladies as they discuss matters relating to Sherlock Holmes and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and enjoy their musings on such diverse topics as Irene Adler, The Long Island Cave Mystery, Brigadier Gerard, Dinosaurs and The Lost World, Mrs Beeton, Madame Blavatsky, Vincent Starrett, Holmes's 'bedside manner', P. G. Wodehouse, and much, much more.

Contributors to this volume: Paula Cohen, S. E. Dahlinger, Barbara Roden, Nancy Beiman, Mia Stampe, Julia Carlson Rosenblatt, Deborah Clark, Naomi Hayashi, Yukimo Shigaki, Hiromi Sasabe, Judith Freeman, Catherine Cooke, Dayna McCausland, Beth Austin, Lynn E. Walker, Rosemary Michaud, Diana Barsham, Karen Anderson, Barbara Rusch, Roberta Davies, Susan Rice, Marina Stajic, Julie McKuras, Marilyn McGregor, and Sarah Montague.


Musings on Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle
by Barbara Roden

ISBN: 1-55310-063-8; 60pp.
PRICE: Cdn$13.00 / US$10.00 / £7.50 (Postage Code A)

Did Jack the Ripper inspire a gruesome touch in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories? Was Inspector Lestrade an idiot (and is Dr Watson really as intelligent as some Sherlockians like to make him out to be? Did Holmes really dislike and distrust women? Are the similarities between 'The Red-Headed League' and 'The Three Garridebs' more than mere coincidence? And are Sherlockians in danger of not seeing the forest for the trees in their tireless analysis of the minutiae of the canon? These questions and more are posed (and answered) in this collection of nine articles about Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, and that wondrous world where it is always 1895.

Barbara Roden's first Sherlockian article was published in 1988, and since then she has contributed dozens of articles to such publications as Canadian Holmes, The Baker Street Journal, The Ritual, The Musgrave Papers, ACD: The Journal of The Arthur Conan Doyle Society, the New Strand Magazine, and Sherlock Holmes Detective Magazine. In 1988 she helped to found the westernmost Holmes Society in Canada, The Stormy Petrels of British Columbia, and in 1990 was named a Master Bootmaker by the Bootmakers of Toronto. She is one-half of the Sherlockian publisher Calabash Press, and writes a regular column for Canadian Holmes, for which she was awarded the Derrick Murdoch Memorial Award in 2002.


Calabash Press's highly acclaimed series intends to cover the complete Sherlockian canon. Each volume considers aspects of the various Holmes adventures through original essays by leading Sherlockian and Doylean writers, offering both a conventional and unconventional approach to the subject. Four volumes have been published so far (the first, which considers 'The Musgrave Ritual' is now, regrettably, out of print). A much delayed fifth volume, Shoscombe Old Place, will be available soon. The series general editors are Christopher Roden and Barbara Roden.


'It is not cold which makes me shiver,' said the woman in a low voice, changing her seat as requested.
'What then?'
'It is fear, Mr Holmes. It is terror.'

With those three short sentences, Conan Doyle succeeds in sending tingles down the spines of his readers, raising the hairs on the backs of their necks, and setting the scene for what is perhaps the most popular of all the Sherlock Holmes short stories.

Conan Doyle also creates mysteries within the mystery, which have fuelled Sherlockian debate for decades: do snakes drink milk? could a snake be trained to climb a bell-rope?

In addition to examining previous scholarship relating to the case, this latest addition to The Case Files examines Conan Doyle's possible sources and his stage dramatisation, and offers modern interpretations of the story's features.

Join us on this latest journey to Stoke Moran, home of the fearsome Dr Grimesby Roylott. Once more, the game is afoot!

ISBN: 1-899562-24-9 (Hardback); 188pp
PRICE: Cdn$40.00 / US$30.00 / £18.50 (Postage Code A)

ISBN 1-899562-25-7 (Paperback); 188pp
PRICE: Cnd$28.50 / US$21.00 / £12.50 (Postage Code A)



'He's dying, Dr Watson,' said she. 'For three days he has been sinking and I doubt he will last the day.'

When Mrs Hudson visits Dr Watson, it is to bring grave news: her favourite lodger—Watson's closest friend, Sherlock Holmes—is on the brink of death, victim of an unknown illness contracted while working on a case near the river. However, even though Watson rushes to his aid, Holmes will allow the help of only one man—Culverton Smith, a planter from Sumatra—and Watson is despatched in search of him.

This, the third volume in The Case Files series, examines the methods employed by Sherlock Holmes, and the apparent lack of concern he showed towards his best friend, and his 'long-suffering' landlady.

Did the ends justify the means? Did Conan Doyle originally conceive this story as a play? Just what was the part played by Conan Doyle's secretary in the composition of the adventure? What were the circumstances which led to this story being illustrated by the man who was the model for Sherlock Holmes? These are some of the many topics discussed by the team of experienced Sherlockian writers contributing to The Dying Detective. The outcome? Well, it can perhaps be summarised by saying that old detectives never die: they just become delirious!

ISBN: 1-899562-53-2 (Hardback); 153pp (Postage Code A)
PRICE: Cdn$40.00 / US$30.00 / £18.50

ISBN: 1-899562-54-0 (Paperback); 153pp (Postage Code A)
PRICE: Cdn$28.50 / US$21.00 / £12.50



Beside the couch was a wooden chair, and on the angle of the back hung a very seedy and disreputable hard felt hat, much the worse for wear, and cracked in several places.

It is the second morning after Christmas, and Dr Watson has called upon his friend Sherlock Holmes with the intention of wishing him the compliments of the season. However, Watson soon becomes side-tracked into the study of the battered felt hat, which has been the subject of Holmes's close attention. Its owner has also lost something more: his Christmas goose—a goose which lays a sparkling egg: the Countess of Morcar's blue carbuncle.

This, the fourth of the Case Files  series, traces the methods employed by Holmes as he seeks to trace the owner of the hat, and, more importantly, the whereabouts of the lost jewel.

'The Blue Carbuncle' entertains us with a fine range of characters: Peterson, the Commissionaire; the landlord of The Alpha Inn; Breckinridge, the poulterer who enjoys a flutter on the horses; and James Ryder, a snivelling, small-time crook, who grovels his way through one of the most popular of all the Sherlock Holmes adventures. The Case File's writing team considers the problems of the case, and, in addition, discusses topics relevant to the Victorian Christmas in general. Join us for a journey back in time to the Christmas London of Sherlock Holmes.

ISBN: 1-899562-64-8 (Hardback); 202pp
PRICE: Cdn$42.50 / US$31.50 / £19.50 (Postage Code B)

ISBN: 1-899562-65-6 (Paperback); 202pp
PRICE: Cdn$30.00 / US$21.50 / £13.50 (Postage Code A)


John Hall is well known to Sherlockians, not least for his regular contributions to The Sherlock Holmes Journal, various special booklets produced by The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, and his work with the Northern Musgraves. In these commentaries, Hall brings his own particular brand of wit and erudition to the Sherlockian canon.

by John Hall

ISBN: 1-899562-42-7 (Paperback only); 190pp
PRICE: Cdn$29.00 / US$21.00 / £13.50 (Postage Code A)

The Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have been a source for much comment and speculation at the hands of Sherlockian enthusiasts since they first appeared regularly in The Strand Magazine in the 1890s. Besides the enthusiasm generated by the stories—through their brilliance, and through their nostalgic appeal—a whole new pastime developed from the study of their main character: the Sherlockian Game.

Note British Sherlockian John Hall has written extensively on the problems of the Sherlockian canon and now, in Sidelights on Holmes, sets down his interpretation on matters which have provided endless hours of discussion. Sidelights on Holmes, however, is much more than a re-working of previous discussions. Hall's insights into the canon enable him to raise many new points over which Sherlockians can ponder well into the next century.

Sidelights on Holmes will both fascinate and stimulate all who have an interest in Sherlock Holmes.

John Hall lives in Yorkshire, England. His previous work includes I Remember the Date Very Well, a major study of Sherlockian chronology.


by John Hall

ISBN: 1-899562-61-3 (Papeback only); 114pp
Cdn$23.50 / US$19.50 / £12.50 (Postage Code A)

Dr Watson had a somewhat irritating habit of including, in his accounts of Sherlock Holmes's many cases, tantalising references to other investigations with which the Great Detective occupied his time—'The Tarleton Murders', 'The Case of the Old Russian Woman', 'The Case of the Aluminium Crutch', to name but a few.

We continue to be intrigued by the part Holmes played in the case of 'The Vatican Cameos', and then, of course, there was 'The Dundas separation case', and 'The Case of Ricoletti of the Club Foot and his Abominable Wife', which latter person, unknowingly, has lent her name to the title of this volume.

In his continuing series of studies of the Sherlockian canon, John Hall turns his attention to all of those unrecorded cases. In fascinating style, he considers the problems that may have confronted Sherlock Holmes in his investigations, and speculates on the possible outcome, the reasons for Holmes becoming involved in the first place, and the likely place which these cases occupy in the minor science of Sherlockian chronology.

An essential addition to the Sherlockian's library.


edited by Christopher Redmond

ISBN: 1-899562-27-3 (Hardback); 305pp
PRICE: Cdn$49.50 / US$36.50 / £22.50 (Postage Code B)

Whenever a Sherlock Holmes Society is formed, someone, sooner or later, will suggest that the Society should have a newsletter or a journal. The Bootmakers of Toronto were no exception to this rule, and the first issue of the society's magazine, Canadian Holmes, appeared in the summer of 1973.

From small beginnings, and an irregular publishing schedule, Canadian Holmes is now one of the foremost Sherlockian society publications.

Over the years, the content of Canadian Holmes has been varied, scholarly, entertaining, and—above all—always interesting; from time to time it has also managed to be controversial: at the cutting edge of criticism of the Sherlockian world, so to speak.

Canadian Holmes has also always managed to maintain a national identity. While its various editors have published material from around the world, the magazine remains intrinsically Canadian (with ALL that is good about being Canadian!)—and is all the better for that. Thus, each issue of the magazine offers a detailed 'Bootmaker's Diary', a record of almost everything that happens in the day to day life of a Sherlockian society; and articles viewing Holmes and Conan Doyle from a Canadian perspective are a regular feature.

Discover the world of the Bootmakers of Toronto—the entertainment and diversity of the articles which its members have penned over the years—in this volume, which was published to celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary.



edited by Barbara Roden

Fun-packed pages of quizzes, crosswords, and word-searches are interspersed with fascinating snippets of Bootmaker history. Not to be missed at this special price.

ISBN: 1-899562-28-1 (Paperback only)
SPECIAL PRICE: Cdn$6.50 / US$5.00 / £3.50 (Postage Code A)



by John Warwick Montgomery

ISBN: 1-55310-013-1 (Paperback only); 150pp
PRICE: Cdn$26.50 / US$19.50 / £12.50 (Postage Code A)

In a series of sparkling and intelligently presented essays, Dr Montgomery takes a fresh look at the world 'where it is always eighteen ninety-five'—the world of Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes.

Besides examining long debated problems, such as the true location of 221B; which was Holmes's University; how many times Watson was married; and where Watson was wounded, Dr Montgomery also considers Holmes's activities in Tibet, his writings, his brother Mycroft, and his liking for fine wines.

In a stunning climax to the volume, the reader is presented with a discussion between Holmes and Watson which will almost certainly cause him/her to pause, think, and deeply consider the depth of the message conveyed.

'He appears to have read everything, considered it, assimilated it, and found new ways to present it to his readers. . . . a book for every Sherlockian who worries about the future of our scholarship.' — The Baker Street Journal

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