Issue 1 : A Scandal in Bohemia   

To Sherlock Holmes, she is always the woman.
Perfectly logical though he may seem, Holmes is not above making the occasional misogynistic remark. In this story, he learns the cost of underestimating the intelligence and resourcefulness of women. Opera singer Irene Adler is one of the very few women ever to win Holmes's interest or respect. No matter how much Conan Doyle's female readers might have desired it, however, Holmes never falls in love, not even with Irene. Irene's character has inspired a modern series of novels by Carole Nelson Douglas, as well as various short stories.

My marriage had drifted us away from each other.
At the end of Conan Doyle's second novel featuring Holmes, The Sign of Four, Watson married Mary Morstan, whose father's mysterious past in India is central to the plot. Although Watson never mentions having married more than once, Sherlockians have found persuasive evidence that he did. "A Scandal in Bohemia" begins on March 20, 1888, and The Sign of Four either takes place in July, 1888, (gleaned from a postmark mentioned in the story) or in September of that year (based on a remark by Watson). Did Watson have a wife before Mary Morstan? Or can we chalk the puzzle up to Conan Doyle's habitual carelessness with dates?

╔while Holmes, who loathed every form of society with his whole Bohemian soul╔
Holmes is not a "Bohemian" in the same sense as the King. Because Gypsies were erroneously thought to have originated in Bohemia, the country's name came to mean "unconventional." The King, a Bohemian by birth, is extremely conventional, and judges people by their rank rather than their qualities, thus earning Holmes's scorn.

╔and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug, and the fierce energy of his own keen nature.
Holmes rejects middle-class stability in favor of his vocation. When he has no cases to investigate, he takes cocaineĐat the time, a legal drugĐas an artificial substitute for the thrill of the chase. In this conversation from The Sign of Four, Holmes explains his behavior:

      "My mind," he said, "rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world."
      "The only unofficial detective?" I said, raising my eyebrows.
      "The only unofficial consulting detective," he answered.

From time to time I heard some vague account of his doings: of his summons to Odessa in the case of the Trepoff murder, of his clearing up of the singular tragedy of the Atkinson brothers at Trincomalee, and finally of the mission which he had accomplished so delicately and successfully for the reigning family of Holland.
Conan Doyle often has Watson list Holmes's various cases. Unfortunately, Conan Doyle (or Watson) neglected to write most of them into stories. Several (not these) have been used by modern writers as the inspiration for new Holmes and Watson tales. One of the most suggestive—but, alas, unwritten by Conan Doyle—titles, mentioned by Holmes in "The Sussex Vampire," is the strange case of "the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared."

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