A Masterpiece of Villainy (“The Norwood Builder”)

A Masterpiece of Villainy (Norwood Builder) dustjacket cover

A Masterpiece of Villainy.

A Facsimile of the Original Manuscript of
“The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”
by Arthur Conan Doyle
with Annotations and Commentary.

Edited, with an Introduction, by
Ross E. Davies, BSI.

A dramatic entrance precedes a story involving disappearance, vengeance, fingerprints, bones, and a major challenge for Sherlock Holmes.

A Masterpiece of Villainy is the latest in the prestigious BSI Manuscript Series. It begins with a high-quality full-color reproduction of the original manuscript for “The Norwood Builder” in Conan Doyle’s distinctive handwriting, and includes a transcription and annotation. Sherlockian scholars contribute interpretive articles on such diverse subjects as housekeepers, advertising, tramps, and anthropology.

The story itself is an exciting and often dizzying affair, and this book examines every aspect of the tale and the manuscript from the first written word to the unexpected and startling denouement.

256 pages, 10″ x 7″ hardcover, December 2021
With the manuscript reproduction in color
plus 20 color & 25 b/w illustrations

A Masterpiece of Villainy

$39.95 plus shipping

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Table of Contents for A Masterpiece of Villainy

General Editor’s Preface to the Series
by Andrew G. Fusco

Editor’s Introduction – The Corruptions and Coruscations of Norwood
by Ross E. Davies

Manuscript Facsimile of “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”
with Transcription and Annotations by Phillip Bergem

Finding “The Norwood Builder”: Its History and Manuscript
by Randall Stock

Smoking Out the Norwood Builder
by Phillip Bergem

The Manuscript at Home: “The Norwood Builder” and the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library
by Ira Brad Matetsky and Carolyn Vega

“London has become a singularly uninteresting city”: Sherlock Holmes as Criminal Expert
by Michael W. Homer

The Price of Practice
by Richard J. Sveum, MD

Such a Suburban Villa
by Catherine Cooke

The Housekeeper
by Susan Vizoskie

“Enter the tramp!”: The Tramp in Literature and “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”
by Anastasia Klimchynskya

Finding a Button in a Timber Stack: Identifying the Norwood Builder’s Discolored Discs in “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”
by Mary Alcaro

Swindling the Creditors and More: Was Jonas Oldacre Guilty of Any Crimes?
by Stephen R. McAllister

Rattling the Norwood Builder’s Bones
by Carlina de la Cova

Spreading the Word: How Admirers, Art, and Advertising Led Readers to The Return
by Burt Wolder

Further Reading of and About “The Norwood Builder”
by Cattleya M. Concepcion and Jayantika Ganguly


Learn More

Audio Interview about the book (podcast at I Hear of Sherlock)

Other BSI Manuscript Series books

BSI Press / Books overview page

About the Series

The Baker Street Irregulars, the literary society focused on Sherlock Holmes, in cooperation with leading libraries and private collectors, publishes The Manuscript Series to bring to the public facsimile editions of manuscripts and other documents relating to Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, with insightful commentary by talented Sherlockian and Doylean writers.

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