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We all have a favorite Sherlock Holmes story. Whether it's the first one we read, or one that has characters, scenes or a plot that particularly resonates with us, we develop an emotional attachment to it.

We're reminded of Michael Dirda's description of the scene of himself as a fifth-grader reading The Hound of the Baskervilles for the first time, thunderstorm raging outside while he was curled up underneath the covers with an Orange Crush. [Incidentally, Mr. Dirda just won an Edgar® Award for Best Critical/Biographical Work for On Conan Doyle: Or, the Whole Art of Storytelling.] When that classic phrase is shared, it sends chills up our spine:
“A man’s or a woman’s?”
Dr. Mortimer looked strangely at us for an instant, and his voice sank almost to a whisper as he answered:
“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!”
As we're certain that you must have your favorite story or scene, Steve Mason, a listener of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, is certain that you must have a favorite thing in the Canon. To wit, he has organized a survey that he would like your assistance with. Please use the form below to participate (and if you can't see this form due to reading this update on email or a feed reader, please click through to see the form).

You are given the chance to receive and keep one (1) memento from any of the stories of the Canon. For example, you could ask for and receive: a pipe used by Holmes, the Persian slipper, magnifying glass, or any token of appreciation given to Holmes; any item used by Watson, such as the tin box or his notebook; or you can receive any other item in the Canon -- a Napoleon bust, the orange pips, even the beryl coronet. You must decide which item would be the most endearing to you and why.

Only two rules apply:

  1. The item must be from the Canon itself, and not from a pastiche, movie, or other media.
  2. You must agree to keep the item for the rest of your life, so you cannot immediately re-sale it (takes away the monetary value for greed purposes).

Be creative!

Thank you in advance. Once the results are in, we'll share them.