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Thomas Bruce Wheeler

Thomas Bruce Wheeler kindly gave the permission to use one chapter and show his "The London of Sherlock Holmes" book. We are very grateful.

You can buy Mr. Wheeler's books here:

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About the Author

Thomas Bruce Wheeler is a retired U. S. Government Senior Service Executive, anglophile and life long fan of Sherlock Holmes. His knowledge of London and the great detective resulted in the publication of The London of Sherlock Holmes (MX Publishing; www.mxpublishing.com; £13.99/$22.95/€17.99), of which The Sherlock Holmes Society of London’s newsletter said, “As a step-by-step guide to the London of the Canon, it’s unbeatable.” This high praise partially comes from the book’s unique feature. In addition to identifying and describing over 400 Sherlock Holmes sites, first in adventure context and then grouped by their nearby Underground station, the book also identifies each site’s GPS address. Reading an e-book, on a device with Internet access, will allow the reader to see the site’s location on a Google Map, with a follow-on “Street View” photograph. This allows readers to electronically “visit” the London of Sherlock Holmes from their home computer, and when in London, with a hand-held GPS app, receive walking instructions from one site to the next. As an added bonus to his readers, Mr. Wheeler has created a London map with a few selected Sherlock Holmes sites. The map does not have the hyperlink feature, but it is useful in learning about Sherlock’s London. Click Here to view the map.

Subsequent to the publication of The London of Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Wheeler published five additional London travel books. Their titles are: The London GSP Pub Guide, The Black Book of London Secrets, The GPS and Internet Guide to Famous Londoners and their Blue Plaques, Sherlock Holmes's Private Address Book, and The Internet Guide to What's Currently Showing in London's West End Theatres. All are Kindle/Nook books, and utilize the Internet linking feature. As such, Mr. Wheeler’s books combine the convenience of traditional travel guides, with the power of a computer app.

Mr. Wheeler and his wife live in Memphis Tennessee. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri, the Darden Graduate School of Business (University of Virginia), and the Fuqua Graduate School of Business (Duke University). He is also a decorated military veteran, with a Silver Star for his Army service, and an Air Medal for 26 combat missions with the U.S. Air Force. He is a member of Phi Kappa Psi, The English-Speaking Union, The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, The Giant Rats of Sumatra (the Memphis Sherlock Holmes Society), and a founder life member of the Crescent Club.

Sherlockian Holmesian

Thomas Bruce Wheeler about Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes London

Much has been written about Sherlock Holmes. My humble knowledge can not compete with the work of these Sherlockian scholars. However there is one post-Sherlock phenomenon on which I can comment. Conan Doyle set the pattern for many subsequent crime story authors. One example is the detective having a faithful companion, whether it is Poirot’s Captain Hastings, or Nero Wolfe’s Archie Goodwin, to name but two. Also, think of the Sherlockian skills authors gave to their detectives. In other words, Conan Doyle set the table from which many have feasted.

In the United States, there is a TV series called The Mentalist. Teresa Lisbon, Patrick Jane’s faithful companion, does not understand how the Mentalist solves the crime. In one episode the Mentalist was accused of being a Psychic. He said, “There is no such thing as a Psychic, I just pay attention”. This is the essence of Sherlock Holmes, he just pays attention! And once he tells us how he reached his conclusion, we all become like Dr. Watson and say, “of course, how simple”.

Sherlockian Holmesian

Sherlock Holmes Blue Carbuncle


KILBURN—NW6: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.541211,-0.196774]. Scotland Yard’s Inspector Bradstreet suspected John Horner, a plumber, of stealing the Countess of Morcar’s blue carbuncle from her suite at the Hotel Cosmopolitan. James Ryder, upper-attendant at the hotel, said that he had shown Horner up to the Countess’s dressing room on the day of the robbery. What the police did not know was that Ryder had heard from his friend, Maudsley, how thieves could dispose of stolen property. Maudsley lived in Kilburn. Under¬ground Station: Kilburn

PENTONVILLE PRISON, Caledonian Road—N7: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.544898,-0.117803]. James Ryder’s friend Maudsley served time in Pentonville Prison. Underground Station: Caledonian Road & Barnsbury

Pentonville prison

Author’s note: Construction of this “model” prison was completed in 1842. It was designed in the pentacle plan, with a central hall, and five radiating wings. At the time, Pentonville introduced conditions that were vastly better than those at Newgate, and other older prisons.

No. 117 BRIXTON ROAD—SW9: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.477327,-0.111882]. After hearing about the blue carbuncle from Catherine Cusack, the Countess of Morcar’s maid, James Ryder stole the precious gem, and took it to his sister’s house. The sister, Maggie Oakshott, lived at No. 117 Brixton Road. Without telling her, Ryder forced the gem into the crop of the Christmas goose she was fattening for him. After John Horner’s arrest, Ryder returned to claim his goose. He took the bird to Kilburn, where he and Maudsley attempted to recover the gem. To their dismay, Ryder had selected the wrong goose. Underground Station: Oval

GOODGE STREET and TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.520108,-0.133919]. On his way home with the Christmas goose, Henry Baker was assaulted at the corner of Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road, by a “knot of roughs”. One of the roughs knocked off Henry’s hat, and when he raised his walking stick to defend himself, he smashed a shop window. At that point, Peterson, the commissionaire, who was also walking home, saw the fracas, and rushed to help. The roughs and Henry Baker saw him as an official looking person in uniform, and ran away. Peterson, “was left in possession of the field of battle, and also…the spoils of victory,” including the battered hat, and the goose. Peterson brought the hat and goose to Holmes. Because there were signs it should be eaten immediately, Holmes gave the goose back to Peterson, and kept the hat. Underground Station: Goodge Street

No. 31 “221B” BAKER STREET—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.517883,-0.155838]. Holmes examined Henry Baker’s hat as an intellectual exercise. Watson was amazed at what Holmes deduced. At that point, the door flew open and in rushed Peterson, the commissionaire. He had discovered the gem. Holmes placed an advertisement in all of the evening papers, asking for Mr. Henry Baker, whose name had been on the goose tag, to come to 221B Street, to claim his hat and (replacement) goose. When Henry Baker arrived at Baker Street, Holmes learned of the Alpha Inn’s goose club. He was convinced that Baker had no knowledge of the gem. Under¬ground Station: Marble Arch

Author’s note: Holmes and Watson left Baker Street to walk to the Alpha Inn. Watson said, “Our footfalls rang out crisply and loudly as we swung through the doctors’ quarter, Wimpole Street, Harley Street, and through Wigmore Street into Oxford Street. In a quarter of an hour, we were in Bloomsbury at the Alpha Inn”. We can follow their path on modern streets, some of which have had their names changed since 1889. Because of modern traffic and crossing rules, this 1.6-mile journey will take twice as long today.

BLANDFORD STREET—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.518455,-0.153058]. From 221B Baker Street, Blandford Street was the nearest street heading east. On their walk to the Alpha Inn, Holmes and Watson probably took Blandford Street to Marylebone Lane. Underground Station: Bond Street

MARYLEBONE LANE—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.517258,-0.150772]. From Blandford Street, Holmes and Watson followed Marylebone Lane as it headed south. Underground Station: Bond Street

WIGMORE STREET—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.516445,-0.148251]. Where Marylebone Lane met Wigmore Street, Holmes and Watson turned left and headed east on Wigmore Street. Underground Station: Bond Street

WIMPOLE STREET—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.51663,-0.147554]. As Holmes and Watson continued east on Wigmore Street, they crossed Wimpole Street. Underground Station: Bond Street

HARLEY STREET—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.516853,-0.145999]. As Holmes and Watson continued east on Wigmore Street, they crossed Harley Street. Cavendish Square was on their right as the street’s name changed to Cavendish Place. Underground Station: Oxford Circus

CAVENDISH PLACE—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.51736,-0.143684]. As Holmes and Watson continued east on Wigmore Street, they crossed Harley Street as Wigmore Street changed to Cavendish Place. Underground Station: Oxford Circus

MORTIMER STREET—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.518056,-0.139215]. Holmes and Watson continued east on Cavendish Place as the street’s name changed to Mortimer Street. Underground Station: Oxford Circus

WELLS STREET—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.516276,-0.137088]. Holmes and Watson continued east on Mortimer Street until they reached Wells Street. There they turned south toward Oxford Street. Underground Station: Oxford Circus

OXFORD STREET—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.516029,-0.135067]. Then, as today, Oxford Street is very busy. Holmes and Watson continued east on Oxford Street. Underground Station: Oxford Circus

SOHO STREET—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.516284,-0.132909]. When Holmes and Watson passed Soho Street, they could see Soho Square in the distance. Underground Station: Tottenham Court Road

HANWAY PLACE—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.516523,-0.132598]. As they continued on their journey to the Alpha Inn, Holmes and Watson crossed Soho Street before turning north on the narrow Hanway Place. Underground Station: Tottenham Court Road

HANWAY STREET—W1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.517064,-0.130915]. From Hanway Place, Holmes and Watson bore right on Hanway Street toward Tottenham Court Road. Across the road lay Great Russell Street. Underground Station: Tottenham Court Road

GREAT RUSSELL STREET—WC1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.517863,-0.127376]. As Holmes and Watson walked east on Great Russell Street, up ahead, the British Museum was on the left, and the Alpha Inn was on the right. Underground Station: Tottenham Court Road

MUSEUM TAVERN, “ALPHA INN”, 49 Great Russell Street—WC1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.518237,-0.125976]. The “Alpha Inn” was near the British Museum, “At the corner of one of the streets which run down into Holborn”. Some of the inn’s regulars, including Henry Baker, formed a goose club. By contributing a few pence each week, they each received a Christmas, goose. It was Henry Baker’s luck to receive the goose with the blue carbuncle. Underground Station: Holborn

THE PLOUGH, “ALPHA INN”, Little Russell Street—WC1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.51776,-0.125689].The Plough, at the corner of Little Russell and Museum Streets is the pub favored by Bernard Davies as being the “Alpha Inn”. Like the Museum Tavern, it is “at the corner of one of the streets which run down into Holborn”. Underground Sta-tion: Holborn

Holmes and Watson found that Windigate, the Alpha Inn’s proprietor, had bought two dozen geese from Breckinridge’s stand in Covent Garden. In spite of the bitter cold, Holmes realized that their trek was not over, as he said, “Faces to the south then, and quick march”. This would add .6 of a mile to their walk from Baker Street.

MUSEUM STREET—WC1: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.516509,-0.124615]. Holmes and Watson started their walk from the Alpha Inn to Covent Garden by heading south on Museum Street. ”. They crossed New Oxford Street and High Holborn, as they continued on to Drury Lane. Underground Station: Holborn

DRURY LANE—WC2: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.515753,-0.123722]. As Museum Street ends at High Holborn, Holmes and Watson continued south on Dury Lane until they reached Shorts Gardens. Underground Station: Holborn

SHORTS GARDENS—WC2: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.515295,-0.124252]. From Drury Lane, Holmes and Watson turned southwest on Shorts Gardens, or as Watson put it, “through a zigzag of slums”. Underground Station: Covent Garden

ENDELL STREET—WC2: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.514091,-0.123931]. From Shorts Garden, Holmes and Watson turned south on Endell Street. When they reached Long Acre, they could see the end of Bow Street to their left. Underground Station: Covent Garden

LONG ACRE—WC2: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.513617,-0.123621]. Holmes and Watson zigzagged southwest on Long Acre until they reached James Street, the path to Covent Garden. Underground Station: Covent Garden

JAMES STREET—WC2: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.513009,-0.123983]. Holmes and Watson were almost to Covent Garden as they walked down James Street from Long Acre. Underground Station: Covent Garden

COVENT GARDEN—WC2: [Latitude / Longitude: 51.51148,-0.12287]. Breckinridge had a goose stand in Covent Garden. The goose with the blue carbuncle was among the two dozen sold to the Alpha Inn. Holmes used trickery to get Breckinridge to tell where he had purchased the geese. As they left, Holmes and Watson saw James Ryder, who was also pestering Breckinridge for information. Underground Station: Covent Garden

They took Ryder back to Baker Street, where Holmes said he knew all. The pitiful Ryder collapsed, and begged for mercy. Holmes let him flee the country, and without his testimony, the case against John Horner collapsed.

The London of Sherlock Holmes

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Thomas Bruce Wheeler kindly gave the permission to use this chapter and show his "The London of Sherlock Holmes" book. We are very grateful.

You can buy Mr. Wheeler's books here:

Sherlockian Holmesian

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