Seeing an interview with a guy who wrote a Sherlock Holmes story today, still on my way home from a convention full of people, most of whom write Sherlock Holmes stories, and then thinking about a recent collection or two where people who hadn't written Sherlock Holmes stories were encouraged to write Sherlock Holmes stories . . . well, I started realizing that Mr. Sherlock Holmes has solved a whole lot of mysteries at this point.
Sherlock Holmes has solved more mysteries than any other detective in history, I'd think it is safe to say. Novels, short stories, comic books, TV shows, movies, cartoons, advertisements . . . even 140 character tweets . . . Sherlock Holmes has solved mysteries in every single one of those formats, and not the same sixty mysteries every time, either. Little mysteries, big mysteries, minor mysteries that are a part of major mysteries. Kid mysteries, adult mysteries, famous people mysteries, animal mysteries . . . he is the guy who solves mysteries. The veritable god of mystery solving.
At this point, given the internet's wealth of tales, I think we've crossed the line past which it's even possible to count how many mysteries that Sherlock Holmes has solved. Just counting actors who have played Holmes has turned into a ridiculously epic quest for Howard Ostrom. Trying to count the number of mysteries Sherlock Holmes has solved across all mediums? That would take a fully staffed think tank with all manner of research assistants, one would think.
And then to categorize them. Oh, he's probably more into murder solving across the board than he was in the original Canon, thanks to the sensationalism of that particular crime, but how many times has he solved an almost-Red-Headed-League case? How many times has he solved a not-quite-but-sorta-Hound-of-the-Baskervilles thing? And how many different solutions to the Jack the Ripper business has he come up with over the years?
So many mysteries solved! But he's Sherlock Holmes, of course. He's not stopping now. Like McDonald's and hamburgers, his ongoing march to "one billion served" seems to have become an inevitability.