Sherlockian Shorts – The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle

First published 1892 in The Strand magazine, The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle is the seventh story in the first collection, The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes.

The_Adventure_of_the_Blue_Carbuncle_07What’s It About?

Holmes is interrupted during his deductions of the identity of the owner of a lost hat when the stolen Blue Carbuncle is found in the crop (i.e. the throat) of the goose that was also misplaced by the hat-owner…

Is It A Mystery?

Not in the play-along sense. There’s no way on earth that you can work out what’s going on.

Is It Any Good?

If you can get passed Holmes utterly showing off how much cleverer he is than Watson in the hat bit – a sequence mirrored in a scene in The Empty Hearse in Sherlock, although with Cumber-Holmes ridiculing one of actual Holmes’ theories – this is a rather charming tale with a nice bit of Christmas spirit. There’s a nice little sequence concerning the history of the jewel which I rather liked.

Anything Else?

This is the opening tale in the British Library Crime Classics Christmas collection Silent Nights. As I’m reviewing that very soon, I thought I’d get a head-start with this one.

NB For the full index of my Sherlockian Shorts, please follow this link.



  1. I just read this story recently in Silent Nights and it was my first Holmes story ever. I enjoyed it but have nothing to compare against. I look forward to reading more Sherlock Holmes, stories and novels.


  2. Christopher Morley called this a ‘Christmas story without slush’ and I intend to reread this (and probably watch a TV adaption) this Christmas.


  3. I have the Silent Nights compilation but I am saving it until I can legitimately say it’s the Christmas season. (Mind you, I have several ‘Christmas’ compilations on the ol’ Kindle so I’m going to be busy…) How nice to see the inclusion of this tale. One of my favourite Holmes stories and definitely one to savour this December. I shall make an effort also to watch the excellent Granada TV adaptation, with Jeremy Brett in full-on Holmes mode, shouting “I am NOT the police!” when Watson seemingly disapproves of his conduct. A great Christmassy little number to get us all in the mood.


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