One of the ten digits of the engineer

August 7, 2022 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: books, fiction, journalism.

Quick, Sherlock Holmes experts: what was the only case that Dr. Watson brought to the famous detective’s attention?

Got it yet?

The answer, of course, is “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb.“

If you like Holmesian trivia such as this, you will probably enjoy it Olivia Rutigliano’s series on where she does it close reading each week of one of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

About “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb,” she writes:

But it is also particularly unusual for occupational reasons. In “The Engineer’s Thumb,” people are doing the wrong jobs, at the wrong hours, in the wrong places. Watson learns about a giant hydraulic press inside a country farmhouse that can only be operated at night?

The story features just as much, if not more, of an emphasis on Watson’s medical work—cleaning and bandaging Mr. Hatherley’s hand wound early in the morning in his home—than it does of Holmes’s deductive work, which is relatively meager. 

Enjoy the series.

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