I thought it would be interesting to take a look at which stories attracted the most views during my ‘56 Stories in 56 Days’ series. This has thrown up some unexpected results, writes Charlotte Anne Walters.
What I expected to find was that the ‘big’ stories such as The Final Problem and The Empty House would score the highest (neither infact featured in the top 10) but the most popular was A Scandal in Bohemia. Scandal got 13% of the total views out of the top ten most popular stories.
The complete list of the top ten is detailed below:
Three Garidebs 12%
Boscombe Valley 11%
Twisted Lip – 11%
Devil’s Foot – 10%
Golden Pince-Nez – 9%
His Last Bow – 9%
Solitary Cyclist – 8%
Missing Three-Quarter – 8%
Dying Detective – 8%
What is it about Scandal that makes it so fascinating? Whenever I blog about this story, it always attracts a high number of hits. The words ‘Irene Adler’ are also by far and away the most searched for terms that people have used to find the blog.
It seems that readers clearly divide into two distinct camps – those who think Holmes loved Adler, and those who think it’s a load of hype over nothing. Perhaps that’s what people enjoy about it so much – the debate, the ‘what ifs’.
So why did blogs about the other stories on this list attract more traffic than some of the others?
Well, this list does contain key examples where Holmes reveals the strength of his feelings towards Watson – we get to see his heart as well as his great brain in action. How interesting that Three Garridebs should be second – the story in which Watson gets shot in the leg and Holmes frantically rushes to his aid.
Again in The Devil’s Foot we see Holmes full of remorse for testing his theory out on his loyal friend by encouraging him to inhale poison. And, of course, the Dying Detective also reveals the panic Holmes feels when Watson is in danger (Watson attempts to lift the box containing the poisoned spike).
Were people keen to read my interpretation of this interaction in my review? Is that the real truth about Holmes – somehow the criminal aspects of the stories become secondary to the workings of the central friendship and what this reveals about such a complex and fascinating man?
The relationship between the two men is very interdependent – Holmes wouldn’t be anywhere near so intriguing if not for his association with his loyal biographer. Picking apart this union and analysing what it reveals about them is a fascination at the heart of the stories for Holmes fans and scholars alike.
My novel Barefoot on Baker Street has now been published. Here are some of the ways you can purchase it.