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The Three Locks: Book 4 (A Sherlock Holmes Adventure)

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The history of flash photography is rife with contradictions and competing inventors, but let's make it simple. The river is prone to flooding; here is a picture of from a flood in February 2001 showing the water is flowing over the floodgates. The story is filled with colorful, memorable characters. The atmosphere of the year, with the oppressive heat, is excellent as well. The writing is reminiscent of Doyle's work, as I mentioned before. My only concern would be that I didn't realize that this is the fourth in a series. There are details that obviously come from earlier books that influence choices, such as Watson's mother drowning, and that Watson had a twin sister, Rose, who...also drowned. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it was unexpected. If Lamb — who was barely described other than a few gay digs — hadn’t stumbled into the deacon’s room during that very narrow window that one night, everything would’ve worked out fine. So what did Holmes & Watson do? Aside from solve a murder of opportunity and passion that was mostly unrelated to the story, not much. All that preamble? Meant absolutely nothing towards the conclusion. In the end, all of this equated to a big let-down in terms of Holmes doing Holmsey things to get his man.

Below is a ring which wraps around the finger, culminating in two stones—a "toi et moi" ring from 1885, close to the time of this tale.

When Holmes examines Dillie’s dressing table, he notes that personal grooming items are missing. Both men and women regularly used pomade to keep stray hairs neatly in place. Victorian ladies used it to tame and shape small curls around the face. Many people made their own (or presumably had servants to do so.) Some pomades were lard-based, others vaseline-based, but some used beeswax. Most were scented delicately with rosewater, citrus, or lavender. It is another regret of mine to not see more of the good doctor reflecting upon his childhood life to re-examine the causes of his family tragedies, knowing that such tragedies are supposed to feature heavily in the book (though, understandably, with how fast things develop it is hard for Watson to spare much time on this). And lastly the biggest thing is that I would also have really loved to see more of the Holmes!torture stuff that, frankly, was my very favourite when reading the previous books (yes I'm a monster :)). The first efforts to use artificial light for photography employed phenomenally dangerous oxy-hydrogen light. This was a lump of calcium carbonate, ignited by an oxygen flame. The technique was also used in stage lighting, where it was called "limelight." If you remember, limelight is featured in the "Chat Noir" chapter of Art in the Blood. It was very bright, was difficult to regulate, and tended to overexpose the faces nearest the camera. By the time of our adventure, still photographers used various combinations of magnesium and other elements to create "flash powders", which were ignited using a continuously developing series of mechanisms, some of which were connected to triggers. Even these were dangerous, and could ignite accidentally, possibly killing the photographer. A man named Traill Taylor is credited with first using magnesium flash powder as the sole light source for still photographs. E.A. Kenyon followed this in 1883 with another, similar formula, but the amount of smoke it created made it a challenge in indoor settings. The precise restaurant located on Dorset Street (presumably the Dorset Street nearest Baker Street) is unknown, but a wonderful small Italian restaurant can be found there today, namely Anacapri, one of the author's favourites, pictured below with tables set out al fresco in the warm weather.

This 18th century illustration of “gamesters” around a table in Bath hints at the activities that went on behind closed doors. Bath was, until Victoria’s reign, a popular gambling centre. However Victorian regulations stifled public gaming, and by the time of this story, in 1887, the only legal gambling was done in private gentlemen’s clubs, such as The Bath and County Club in Queen Square, which is where Watson most likely stayed during the visit described in this story. Long before the advent of air conditioning or electric fans, the men and women of Holmes’s time suffered mightily during a heat wave. Denizens of the tropics employed elaborate fanning systems, such as these large hanging contraptions called punkahs. This picture shows a British couple at dinner in India in 1880. Punkahs were operated by servants, but not at 221B Baker Street, of course. The milder spells of weather during the winter months can provide double figure bags of Roach, as well as good Bream and Perch, whilst The carp angler will find that the carp are active at any time of the season.

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