Zac O’Yeah on Indian Culture in the Sherlock Holmes Stories @the_hindu

Writer Zac O’Yeah (Tropical Detective, A Hero For Hire) discusses Indian cultural elements in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories for The Hindu. He notes that while a major pleasure of the stories is the application of Holmes’s critical thinking to the puzzles his clients present,  “It also gives me infinite pleasure to spot the Indian elements in the stories, such as the doped mutton curry in ‘The Silver Blaze’, while in ‘The Adventure of the Three Students’ one suspect is “a quiet, inscrutable fellow; as most of those Indians are,” and in ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band’ — Doyle’s own favourite plot — the murder weapon turns out to be an extremely deadly Bengali swamp-adder trained to kill. Although quite unscientific (Bengal never exported swamp-adders to be used by Western murderers simply because there are no swamp-adders in India), the corrupting influences of colonialism loomed large: the culprit, if you recall, turns out to be a Calcutta-returned brutish British self-taught snake charmer.”

More in this interesting essay here.