Oct. 22nd: Stormy Petrel dinner with Peter Blau, BSI

“Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol” by John Longenbaugh.

“After being presumed dead for three years, a hardened Sherlock Holmes resurfaces, turning his back on the people who need him  most.  Three unexpected callers arrive on Christmas Eve, uncovering clues from the detective’s past, present and future.  The Canadian premier of an instant classic filled with mystery, intrigue and song for the entire family.” (Meredith Pechta,

“The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes”

Nov 21 – 23, 2014, tickets online from Nov. 1st, or at the door.
The Venue, 5708 Glover Road, Langley

Sherlock Seattle Convention: at the Broadway Convention Centre, Jan. 9-11, 2015

“…where we celebrate all things Sherlock, from the original ACD canon to the latest incarnations of the world’s most infamous detective…”

Registration fees increase Oct.21st.!membership/c18zw

Book Review

“Sherlock Holmes and The Devil’s Promise” by David Stuart Davies

I was very pleased to pick up a copy of David Stuart Davies’ recent book at the Gillette to Brett conference in Indiana last September. A well-know author and playwright, Mr. Davies is very familiar with Sherlock Holmes, having researched and written about him for many years.

This adventure sees Holmes and Watson taking a much-needed vacation on the Devonshire Coast. Being a supporter of all things Watson, I was pleased to see the good Doctor portrayed in such a positive light. He is caring, clever, observant and often frustrated by his companion’s decision to constantly keep him in the dark. He is not without his faults, however we can easily forgive him.

The small, secluded village is not without its odd inhabitants. Who are they? Why are they there? What do they want with our heroes? What game are they playing?

Holmes and Watson become entangled in what Mr. Davies calls “…an enigmatic tapestry” and it is only a matter of time until Holmes begins to unravel it, despite the many riddles that are woven into its fabric.

As we travel back to London, the adventure grows dark, dare I say sinister?

David Stuart Davies adds a whole new dimension to Watson, and allows us to get inside his head. And, with each step of the puzzle, endears him all the more to us. Watson displays loyalty and bravery throughout as he tries to understand the changes that have overcome his companion.

Each page kept me yearning for the next. What has happened to our beloved Holmes?

This thrilling adventure, whose forward is written by Mark Gatis, will be released in November.

Fran Martin


“Petrels Can Walk on the Waves of the Ocean”-an article from the Vancouver Province, July 10, 1927

“He is a little bit of a fellow, only about six inches long, but with very long wings and long legs, which make him appear much larger than he really is. The back and wings are sooty black, shading to greyish brown underneath, while the base of the tail is pure white.

His legs, feet and bill are as black as ink, but the web that joins the toes is bright yellow. He not only makes his home on the restless bosom of the ocean, but he insists on staying far from any land – usually hundreds of miles far out at sea.

The passengers of ocean vessels would find it very lonesome if flocks of petrels did not keep them company, silently flitting here and there over the waves like wind-tossed butterflies, or like the seagulls we know so well off our coast of British Columbia. Numbers of them follow the vessel day after day in her voyage across the ocean, and feed greedily on the scraps thrown overboard from the ship’s galley.

Though the big steamer may be ploughing through the waves at full speed, the petrels do not only keep up without any seeming exertion, but dart far ahead and then come swinging back, and actually seem to be playing hind-and-seek from one side of the ship to the other.

Even when there is no wind, they can walk or stand on the water, just by moving their wings a little faster. By the time dusk comes, and the sun has taken its nightly dip in the west, the petrels that have been playing around the rapidly moving ship all day, seem to be a little tired, and settle down on the water for their night’s rest, and with heads tucked under wings are soon fast asleep, literally rocked to rest in the cradle of the deep.

Sailors call the petrels Mother Carey’s chickens, and they have a superstition that if any one on board injures or kills one of them that some disaster is sure to happen to the vessel, so they are never harmed, if the sailors can prevent it. *

When unusual numbers of petrels are seen, it is thought to be a sign that the weather is going to be stormy. But the rougher the weather, and the higher the waves, and the more water swirls and foams, the happier the petrels seem.”

* Apparently Arthur Conan Doyle was unaware of this superstition, or simply chose to ignore it, because he wrote in “Dangerous Work: An Arctic Adventure”: “Amused myself in the afternoon by catching petrels by flinging a lead over the heads of them, and warping the string round their wings,
something like the South American ‘bolas’.”

Perhaps not too colourful, petrels are fun, full of energy, love food and can do amazing things!

submitted by
Fran Martin


“The Crooked Man”

Unfortunate Colonel Barclay
Lay dead upon the floor.
Providence had killed him -
Bad conscience – nothing more!

Decades back in India,
Surrounded and left dry,
He’d sent a man to certain death
And did not bat an eye!

He took the ‘belle of Bhurtee’
And moved up in the ranks.
Ambition knew no boundaries.
To Wood he owed much thanks.

Although ’twas Wood, all stooped and bent,
Imagine, if you can,
Vindictive Colonel Barclay
Who was the ‘crooked man’!

Fran M.

What were the events that led up to Henry Wood’s deformity?
Why did Mrs. Barclay accuse her husband of being a coward?
Why did Mrs. Barclay refer to her husband as ‘David’ although his name was James?
What was the importance of the missing key?
Who was Teddy?

Many more questions will be answered at the next meeting of The Stormy Petrels of BC as we discuss “The Crooked Man”

When: Tuesday, Oct. 7, 7:00 PM
Where: Hampton Place

For more info, please contact Fran


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