December 9, 2004 1:40 PM   Subscribe

The Deadly Necklace. The current issue of the New Yorker has a fascinating story about Richard Lancelyn Green, a preeminent Arthur Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes scholar who died under mysterious circumstances in March. At the time of his death, Green had been looking into the provinence of an archive of Conan Doyle’s papers [reprint of a NYTimes article], which he believed (perhaps wrongly) had been stolen, and he'd hinted that there had been threats to his life. Soon afterward, he was found garroted by a shoelace in his room. The magazine does not provide the article online, but does offer this Q&A with the author. I cannot recommend it highly enough, but to get you started while you're still at work, here's some more about Green's death from a Holmes message board; a discussion of the curse of Conan Doyle, which holds that Holmes scholars can meet an untimely end; and info on Doyle's belief in the supernatural.
posted by owenville (13 comments total)
I remember reading about that death and thinking it was really, really wierd and funny in a pretty morbid sense. Not that anyone getting strangled is, like, funny. You know what I mean.

Anyway, nice post.
posted by freebird at 1:48 PM on December 9, 2004

If I was the world's leading Doyle scholar, and I was going to commit suicide, I would totally do it in a really wierd way and leave lots of strange and subtle details.

Like, for example, having my body found in bed killed with a wooden spoon and a shoelace after sending ominous emails to various people about how "something might happen to me soon".
posted by freebird at 1:55 PM on December 9, 2004

Yes, not funny. Nonetheless, I titled the post "The Deadly Necklace" since it's the title of a Holmes story. Not funny.
posted by owenville at 1:56 PM on December 9, 2004

I bought a copy of the New Yorker for the first time in my life just to read this story the other day, and I was not disappointed. It's a fascinating story, and very well told with twists and turns and misleading clues not unlike a Holmes mystery.
posted by Voivod at 2:09 PM on December 9, 2004

[This is good]
posted by clever sheep at 2:31 PM on December 9, 2004

[this is not funny]
posted by freebird at 2:57 PM on December 9, 2004

Excellent post. When I read the piece in the magazine, I thought of posting it, but it's hard to post something that's not online. You, however, have found a brilliant way to do it. My hat is off.
posted by languagehat at 3:16 PM on December 9, 2004

Unusual name, which - because I knew of a man by the name of Llancelyn Green - I googled.

Turns out that Scirard Llancelyn Green, my old landlord in St Bernards Road, Oxford and prop. of a stage lighting business, was his brother. I know little of Conan Doyle and less of Richard, but his brother gave me a room when I was near to homelessness, 25 years ago. £12.50 a week, and the room had no window (just a leaky plastic sheet). Good times, good times.

Small world.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:27 PM on December 9, 2004

Metafilter: This is not funny
posted by PurplePorpoise at 4:24 PM on December 9, 2004

Thanks for this post - I read the article last night and wanted more.
posted by goofyfoot at 5:45 PM on December 9, 2004

previously mentioned here
posted by matteo at 2:38 AM on December 10, 2004

Damn. I swear, I thought nothing relevant came up when I searched for Holmes or Doyle.
posted by owenville at 8:57 AM on December 10, 2004

A new article on this, in case anyone's still checking this thread . . .

From the link:
"According to friends of Richard Lancelyn Green, he appears to have dressed up his suicide as murder in an attempt to get at an enemy from beyond the grave, a notion lifted from one of Holmes's adventures, the Sunday Times said."
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 1:57 PM on December 14, 2004

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