Posted by: relativitygirl | May 2, 2014


One of the finest stories by Arthur Conan Doyle and most masterful Holmes episodes in the Jeremy Brett Granada series is “The Norwood Builder” , where Holmes comes to the aid of John Hector McFarland, who is accused of murdering a wealthy builder named Jonas Oldacre. Through the course of his investigation, Holmes is relentlessly taunted by LeStrade, roadblocked by Oldacre’s housekeeper, and stunted by his own lack of mental clarity on the subject of Oldacre’s fate. Did he die in the fire, was he really murdered by McFarland, or did he disappear through some other means and if so, why?

Brett, thinking there’s a connection between Oladacre’s story and a homeless man, uses his disguise genius to masquerade as a tramp to gain usable information.

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But his investigation yields a dead end and leaves Holmes despondent. “I fear, my dear fellow,” he admits to Watson, “that our case will end ingloriously by LeStrade hanging our client. That shall certainly be a triumph for Scotland Yard.”

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But the real magic appears when, in dire fear of losing the case and watching an innocent man hanged, Holmes kicks into gear and asks LeStrade for one final visit to Oldacre’s house. Amid protestations by everyone involved, he gains access one last time.

“Have you any objection if I…take a stroll upstairs?” he says to LeStrade.

“No, not at all. There’s nothing up there though.”

And under the sinister eye of Oldacre’s housekeeper, Holmes begins to survey the size of the rooms and, from there, discovers the untoward truth of Jonas Oldacre.


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If you haven’t yet seen this episode, I don’t want to give it ALL away. But suffice it to say that Holmes’ inexorable talent and intellect prevails once again.

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Appetite sufficiently whet? Watch the full episode here:




  1. Always liked Jeremy Brett as Sherlock! I will definitely follow your blog. Hope you can check out my own whimsical post, in which Sherlock Holmes keeps bees in contemporary NYC:
    Cheers! Annabelle

  2. with this blog, you are the thoughtful curator of a wonderful Holmes legacy!

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