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A canonical tour of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and their colourful contexts. More an enthusiast’s journey than an expert’s quest, episodes aim to blend research and literary analysis with banterful conversation and review.

A canonical tour of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and their colourful contexts. More an enthusiast’s journey than an expert’s quest, episodes aim to blend research and literary analysis with banterful conversation and review.
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A canonical tour of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and their colourful contexts. More an enthusiast’s journey than an expert’s quest, episodes aim to blend research and literary analysis with banterful conversation and review.




The End of It: Finalising the Pipes!

The Finale! After nearly two years of happy hiking and in-depth analysis through the pages of Arthur Conan Doyle's canon, Scott and Josh descend from their adventures in this final episode with some well-deserved takes on the series. In addition to ranking some fun and key features of the canon, Bowman and the BFG take on the big challenge of selecting 25 stories from the canon to preserve and recommend in their own 5-volume "editions". Lighting the Pipes comes to an end here with the final...


The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927) - Part 3

Ta-Da! Episode 21 sees Josh and Scott bring their 20-month canonical tour to an end with a final hurdle over the remaining stories of "The Case-Book" and reach the summit of Mt. Sherlockia. This final reading episode has got it all (for better or worse): jealous wives, monkey-men, dastardly jellyfish, suspicious dogs, circus tragedy and vengeful decorators. The heavy-lifting now done, "Lighting the Pipes" will return with its finale in Epsidoe 22, Bowman & the BFG's "Guide to the Canon".


The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927) - Part 2

Episode 20 sees Josh and Scott tackle four further stories from The Case-Book and creep closer to the conclusion of their exhaustive labour of love. First up is "The Mazarin Stone", whose dramatic, adapted features are more than evident than its supposed creativity (ooh, burn!). "The Three Gables" sees Holmes and Watson investigating a strange property proposal and a foreign "lady of favour", whose appetite for love leaves something to be desired. Next up, cover your neck and grab your...


The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927) - Part I

Recorded on holiday in Canada, Episode 19 sees Bowman and the BFG reunited in person after 3 years and lighting their pipes over the first two installments of ACD's final Holmes story collection. The adventure begins with the "Illustrious Client" where we meet one of the better villains seen for a while in the canon. Scott and Josh then chew the fat over the "Blanched Soldier" and its variety of problem features. Plans for an exciting "Drinks from the Holmes Universe" side-car discussion...


His Last Bow (1917) - Part 2

In Episode 18, Scott and Josh punch their first-class tickets and complete "His Last Bow", the penultimate Holmes collection, with an analysis of three remaining stories. After chasing Lady Frances Carfax (somewhat pointlessly) to Switzerland and back again, Bowman & the BFG pedicure the slopes and edges of "The Devil's Foot". They close shop by reviewing the titular story and its patriotic farewell set admidst the backdrop of world conflict. Recorded 23 June 2018.


His Last Bow (1917) - Part 1

Published as a collection in 1917, "His Last Bow" is the penultimate set of Sherlock Holmes stories by Conan Doyle. Comprised of sporadically appearing tales carried in the Strand Magazine and Colliers Weekly, its contents span the years from 1908 and 1917. These first four tales couldn't be more different from one another... or could they? Hmm... join Bowman and the BFG as they light their pipes and dig into the grotty colonial confusion that is "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge", dance...


The Valley of Fear (1914)

Shovel the coal and stoke the fires! In Episode 16, Bowman & the BFG take a trip to Vermissa Valley in and explore "The Valley of Fear", its colourful denizens and the complex virtues of Arthur Conan Doyle's fourth and final novel treament for Sherlock Holmes. Secret societies, smoking guns and revenge killings all feature on the menu in this "locked-room" mystery with a grand narrative back-story.


The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1904) - Part 4

In this episode, Bowman and the BFG wrap up discussions on the final 4 stories of "The Return" and wax rhetoric on issues of class, cigarette history, insane wives and favourite cudgels. First up are "The Golden Pince-Nez" and "The Missing Three-Quarter" where left-over lenses and a missing rugby star are features of investigation. The mysteries of "The Abbey Grange" and "The Second Stain" conclude this 3-hour behemoth and Scott and Josh find themselves in closer agreement on the tales than...


The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1903) - Part 3

In this instalment, Bowman and the BFG celebrate their nearly-1-year anniversary of Lighting the Pipes by tackling four further adventures from "The Return of Sherlock Holmes". Whaling, sailing and harpoon flailing take center stage in "Black Peter", while "Charles Augustus Milverton" sees Holmes go undercover in love to best a master criminal. Discussion of the "Six Napoleons" and its fan-favourite features comes third and Episode 14 comes to a close with "The Three Students", where Doyle...


The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1903) - Part 2

Technical difficulties resolved (we told you they were amateurs!), Bowman and the BFG get back to lighting their pipes with three more stories from "The Return of Sherlock Holmes". First up, the duo cut shapes over "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" and all of its been-here-before atmosphere. They then take a country ride with "The Solitary Cyclist" before concluding Episode 13 by visiting the "Priory School" and chewing the fat over a high-profile disappearance.


The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1903) - Part 1

With "The Hound of the Baskervilles" behind them, Bowman and the BFG sit down to discuss the great detective's resurrection; enter "The Return of Sherlock Holmes", starting with "The Adevnture of the Empty House" where readers finally get the chronological follow-up to Holmes' plummet from the Reichenbach falls. Originally intended to be a three-episode show, technical troubles forced Episode 12 to conclude prematurely, quickly after our hosts chopped kindling over "The Adventure of the...


The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)

After Sherlock Holmes took the literary plunge over the falls in "The Final Problem", public outcry for his return was strong enough (helped by equally generous offers from publishers) for Conan Doyle to resurrect the fabled detective. Cleverly, Doyle doesn't bring him back to life in linear chronology but through this stand-alone novel, an earlier case from Watson's diary. Bowman and the BFG get into the Halloween spirit with their detailed take on this popular tale, possibly Conan Doyle's...


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893) - Part 4

Only two stories remain to discuss from Conan Doyle's "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" and here Bowman and the BFG give full treatment to both. First up is "The Naval Treaty", one of Doyle's supposed personal favourites and longest story. Secondly, "The Final Problem" and the great issues of Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes' death are put under the spotlight.


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893) - Part 3

Here, four stories go under the microscope as Scott and Josh light their pipes and discuss the further Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Your hosts bow to "The Reigate Squires", straighten out the mystery of "The Crooked Man", apply some bedside manner to "The Resident Patient" and try to translate the workings of the "The Greek Interpreter".


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893) - Part 2

In Episode 8, Bowman and the BFG follow Sherlock and Watson to Birmingham in "The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk", meet his university pal and a tale of mutiny in "The Gloria Scott" and get all geometric in "The Musgrave Ritual". This conversation covers the fourth, fifth and sixth story in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes".


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893) - Part 1

Given the explosive popularity of his "Adventures", it was a no-brainer for Conan Doyle to revive his titular hero in a second collection of serialised stories for "The Strand". First out of the gate for "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" is "The Adventure of Silver Blaze", which finds Holmes and Watson on location in Dartmoor. This famous case is followed by the graphic tale of revenge, "Adventure of the Cardboard Box". Scott and Josh throw their full plot-spoiling, feature-analysing selves...


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) - Part 4

Episode 6 sees Bowman and the BFG share their thoughts on the final three stories of Doyle's "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes". Lively discussion on the growing influence of America colours "The Noble Bachelor", while a royal bank loan brings ropy collateral damage in "The Beryl Coronet". The collection (and conversation) concludes with the imposing sway of the "Copper Beeches".


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) - Part 3

In this instalment, Josh and Scott sit down to examine tales 7, 8 and 9 from Conan Doyle's "Adventures". Starting with the yuletide setting of "The Blue Carbuncle", the duo trade views on jewel theft before moving on to evaluate the highs and lows of the famous "Speckled Band".The gothic features and deceptively simple plot of "The Engineer's Thumb" round off the discussion.


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) - Part 2

Discussions on "The Boscombe Valley Mystery", "The Five Orange Pips" and "The Man With the Twisted Lip" mark Bowman and the BFG's second foray into the stories of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes".


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) - Part 1

"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" appeared two years after "The Sign of Four" and in serialised form within the pages of "The Strand Magazine". Here, in their first look at the collection, Scott and Josh discuss the first three stories: "A Scandal in Bohemia", "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League" and "A Case of Identity".