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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Elementary ...

Publisher's Reject Letter #2
Dear Dr Doyle,

We return herewith your manuscript, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Your points are certainly ingenious, but the attributes of the central character stretch credulity beyond its limits. Holmes's apparent genius in deciding facts from minute clues is illusory, created by your invention of a situation, and the prior presentation of an insignificant piece of supporting evidence which could quite well arise from any one of a dozen other causes.

For example, a few small scratches on a shoe are 'irrefutable' evidence that the wearer employs a slovenly housemaid.

Drops of candle grease on a hat 'prove' that its owner's residence lacks gas supply.

Your stories depend on such absurdities, insulting the reader's intelligence, despite your narrative ability. We strongly advise you not to give up your medical practice, and feel that you might employ your leisure more profitably by continuing to play in goal for Portsmouth Football Club.


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