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 "therefore as free as air [STUD]"

Image credit: Paul Elgood

Free Sherlock has a goal: to get more people reading, watching, and writing about Sherlock Holmes.

To support that goal, the group gives away free Sherlock Holmes books to young people in the UK — but even if you're no longer under 18 — or not even in the UK — you can read one of the short stories they've made available online.  

Written by M.K. Wiseman, there are now four: 

  • "The Case of Vittoria the Circus Belle," in which Holmes and Watson pretend to be each other to a client, a circus performer seeking a missing colleague
  • "The Adventure of the Haunted Man" takes the two friends to Edinburgh to solve some holiday murders, combined with a ghost story for Christmas
  • "The Case of the Inconstant Burglar," brought by a landlady with a suspicious tenant and some missing jewelry
  • "The Adventure of the Thimblerigged Ship" sees Holmes undercover on a boat when a young woman is found to be missing, believed to have gone overboard

Wiseman's uncommon structure is to feature Holmes as the narrator; her two Sherlock Holmes novels take the same approach. The first, Sherlock Holmes & the Ripper of Whitechapel, requires that technique, as Holmes suspects his dear friend, Dr. John Watson, of the crimes. (It also has the unique perspective of removing fascination with the villain by giving him less focus than in many other stories of Jack the Ripper; instead, the victims are treated as more important than their killer, a welcome rebalancing.) 

Sherlock Holmes & the Singular Affair, released last year, tackles the canon-mentioned case of the Aluminium Crutch, with assistance from Langdale Pike. Holmes assists a young woman who insists that someone is impersonating her fianc√© in a story from before he'd met Watson. 

Free Sherlock also gives small grants to schools, libraries and book clubs to buy books or to support other associated activities. They support new Sherlockian writing and theater, with over 1,000 people benefitting since their launch.

Enjoy these stories knowing that they're in support of the mission of Free Sherlock.