Harrison and Simmonds on Bedford High Street is celebrating 90 years in business with the publication of a Sherlock Holmes mystery.
Family business member, Matthew Simmonds makes his debut as an author with an authentic murder story set in Bedfordshire. Of course the fictional detective was a famous smoker, and examples of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ style pipes are among many on sale at Harrison & Simmonds which is a quality tobacconist as well as a “gentlemen’s emporium” of the sort Arthur Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) would most definitely have approved.
A fan of all the original Conan Doyle Holmes stories (and of Jeremy Brett, considered to be archetypal Sherlock), Matthew has recaptured the Victorian atmosphere in his ripping yarn which cleverly weaves in many references to pipe smoking and tobacco.
From Briar to Clay Churchwarden, Matthew mentions many of the pipes on sale today in his family’s High Street shop – which does get a brief mention in his book as a “tobacconist of national renown on the High Street.” Most of the mystery is set in the fictitious Beda’s Hurst or Bedhurst Hall to which Mr Holmes and Dr Watson take a carriage after arriving at the Victorian train station which will be remembered by Bedfordians of a pre-1960 vintage.
Copies of the book are on sale at the shop:
Harrison & Simmonds, 80 High St, Bedford MK40 1NN and on their website.
It’s also available on Amazon.
A Sherlock short story by Matthew can be found here too .