Sherlock Holmes never said that!

“Elementary, my dear Watson!”

The most famous detective of all time and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation, Sherlock Holmes comes to mind.

However, nowhere in any of Conan Doyle’s books does Holmes ever utter the often quoted words.

The closest Holmes comes to saying it is in the story The Crooked Man, published in the Strand Magazine in 1893 and later included in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, published in 1894.

In the story, Dr. Watson, Holmes’ former assistant, has got married and no longer lives at Holmes’ flat at 221B Baker Street, London. When Holmes calls on Watson to ask for his help in solving a mystery, he makes a few deductions about his old friend. He observes, for example, that Watson still smokes the same pipe tobacco-from the ash on his coat-and that he is very busy.

Watson asks how he knows this. Holmes replies that Watson usually takes a Hanson cab when he is busy and walks when he is not. Watson’s boots are dusty enough to have been outdoors, but not enough to have been walking; therefore Holmes says, he must have taken a Hansom. Therefore, he must be busy

“Excellent!” Watson exclaims.

“Elementary,” says Holmes

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