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How to be a detective according to Sherlock Holmes

Proving that bat costumes aren't always necessary
by Gelo Gonzales | Jan 6, 2012
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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows premieres on Sunday, 8 January. Director Guy Ritchie’s signature high-octane style modernized the pace of storytelling without sacrificing the literary detective’s more endearing qualities of the Sherlock novels you’ve loved.

Of course Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, who play Sherlock and Dr. Watson respectively, must be lauded for their remarkable chemistry. The sequel finds our two protagonists trying to outwit their fiercest nemesis, Professor Moriarty, through science, wit, and a whole lot of badass sleuthing.

We’ve put together some of the skills and things that could aid you, should you find yourself in the depths of a perilous mystery.

Look past the obvious and avoid being told, “No shit, Sherlock!” When solving a mystery, couple logic with your keen eye for observation. Holmes is known for getting from point A to point B, by drawing inferences based on what his senses have picked up on a crime scene. As red herrings may distract you from your true lead, make sure you take every bit of evidence into account before deducing the situation.


Being incognito, especially when “under cover” is a handy gimmick for sleuths. Be a master of disguise. This will help in the off chance that you must interrogate or interview someone, when your true identity must be kept secret.
Martial Arts
Detective work can get dangerous. Evil henchmen–most likely armed with pistols–are bound to catch up with you at one point or another. Having some discipline in the martial arts can save your ass from impending death. Learn how to throw a punch, how to disarm an assailant, and always have your trusty cane to knock meddling oafs in the noggin’ when need be.

Read. Read. Read. Having vast knowledge in literature, philosophy, and science will advance your detective ways. Countless information may seem irrelevant but you never know when it could serve its purpose in the future. So stick your nose in some books and bathe yourself in a sea of knowledge.

A good detective must know how to go all CSI on a case. Footprints, ballistics, and other forms of trace evidence can easily go unnoticed. As good as you are at finding evidence, you must be better at handling it. Be methodical and follow the scientific process–or botch things up and blame the wrong man.

A reliable sidekick

As Batman has Alfred and Scooby has Shaggy, you will also need a partner that won’t let you down when shit hits the fan. Dr. Watson has always proven to be the grounding force of Sherlock Holmes, because hey, a second opinion almost always never hurts.
Yes, when a hard day of detective work is finally done, you’ll need something to wean you off all the evildoer hunting. Sherlock and Dr. Watson are consummate tobacco addicts, a pipe always ready for some smoking. Catching crooks can be taxing, so sit back, relax and indulge.

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