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The Case of Sherlock HolmesSecrets and Lies in Conan Doyle's Detective Fiction$
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Andrew Glazzard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474431293

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474431293.001.0001

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Oaths and Secrets

Oaths and Secrets

(p.206) Chapter 19 Oaths and Secrets
The Case of Sherlock Holmes

Andrew Glazzard

Edinburgh University Press

Organised criminality and violence appear frequently in the Holmes stories. A Study in Scarlet imagines Brigham Young’s nascent Mormon state as a tightly knit conspiratorial organisation, exerting uncompromising control over its membership even beyond its notional borders. An ideological conspiracy of a very different kind lies behind the surreal menace of ‘The Five Orange Pips’, in which the Ku Klux Klan enforces its organisational rules through fear-inducing symbols, followed by swift and merciless punishment. The clues in this story reveal the organisation’s global reach: at their home in Horsham, the Openshaws receive letters from the Klan postmarked Pondicherry, Dundee and East London; Holmes discovers that the murderers of John Openshaw are led by the captain of the barque Lone Star, registered in Savannah, Georgia. The Sicilian Mafi a is behind the theft of the Borgia Pearl in ‘The Adventure of the Six Napoleons’ (1904), and ‘The Red Circle’ features another Italian crime syndicate.

Keywords:   Secrets, Moriarty, Crime, Gang, Carbonari, Scowrers, Freemasons, Politics

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