Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota - Sherlock Holmes The Norwegian Explorers
of Minnesota


  Monthly Events
  Annual Dinner

  -Christmas Annual

Study Group

Friends of the
Sherlock Holmes
Collections at the
University of Minnesota



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ATTENTA: Current members, please renew your membership for 2022 on our Membership page.

Want to see yourself in print?
Call for papers: The Norwegian Explorers Christmas Annual for 2022

  Entries must be received by Friday, October 7, 2022.

The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota is a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars of New York, dedicated to keeping green the memory of the Master, Sherlock Holmes, and honoring his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In keeping with the heritage of our group, which unlike some other early scions that have excluded females from membership, the Explorers remain open to all! We welcome anyone who has an interest in Sherlock Holmes, regardless of age, sex or level of knowledge.

The group meets informally -- and irregularly -- to discuss latest happenings in the world of Holmes four to six times a year in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area, usually at the Elmer L. Andersen Library on the West Bank campus of the University of Minnesota. As the situation arises, we also attend performances of Holmes plays or movies as a group. We hold our annual meeting and dinner in December, featuring a Victorian-era meal, quizzes and a talk from a regionally known author. We have another annual event, Baker Street West, in January to celebrate the birthday of the Master. The group's newsletter, Explorations, is published irregularly two or three times a year, and the Sherlock Holmes Study Group meets monthly to discuss a tale from the Canon. An affiliated vocal-acting troupe, The Red-Throated League, performs vintage Holmes radio scripts once or twice a year complete with music and sound effects. If you are interested in joining a fun group of like-minded Holmes enthusiasts, please see our Membership page!

Current Events:

Norwegian Explorers Study Group: Third Saturday of the month at 2:00 PM

Saturday April 16, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.

Steve Schier will lead the group in a discussion of "The Bruce Partington Plans." See the discussion questions below. We are continuing to gather via Zoom. See the link and other information below; please forward to any Sherlockian friends and colleagues who may not be members of the Norwegian Explorers.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 828 223 3034
Passcode: 878937

Discussion questions:

1. What do you think was Holmes' reason for not telling Watson the truth about his brother's profession when they first met?

2. Why do Mycroft's "instincts" cause him to dispute Lestrade's initial analysis of the crime?

3. In response to the suggestion of his name on the next honours list, Holmes says, "I play the game for the game's own sake." What do you make of Holmes comparing solving crime, often murder cases, to a game?

4. Mycroft Holmes urges Sherlock to "use his powers" to solve this crime. What does this say about the dynamic between the brothers?

5. It's mentioned often in this story that this crime is different from others Holmes has solved because it involves the government, and Holmes is "serving his country." What role does patriotism serve in this story?

6. Given the time period, what could have been the consequences of spies getting their hands on submarine plans?

7. At which points in his investigation could Holmes have gone wrong in finding the correct solution?

8. How competent a spy is Hugo Oberstein?

9. Holmes is surprised to discover the identity of the person who stole the plans. Who did he suspect was the perpetrator and why was he wrong about it?

Upcoming Dates and Stories

The group normally meets the third Saturday of the month at 2:00 p.m. We're using the Jay Finley Christ four-letter abbreviations for the tales and taking them in alphabetical order.

On June 18 we'll take our traditional non-Canonical detour with a dive into the first A.J. Raffles collection, The Amateur Cracksman, by E.W. Hornung. Hornung was ACD's brother-in-law who decided to make his own contribution to the Crime Fiction genre with his creation of Arthur J. Raffles, AKA "The Gentleman Thief" (or you might say, "The Anti-Holmes"), and his friend and partner, Harry "Bunny" Manders. We will explore the similarities and differences between Holmes and Watson and Raffles and Bunny as well as the similarities and differences between the stories about the two partnerships. This should prove to be an interesting and exciting discussion! The Amateur Cracksman is available as inexpensive ebooks at the usual places (Amazon, etc.) and is also available for free at Project Gutenberg <>. Your local library may also carry a copy. You may also want to watch the on-screen characterization at the following link Raffles 1939 - David Niven, Olivia de Havilland, Dudley Digges, May Whitty - Bing video

Know that many other Sherlockian societies are offering virtual get-togethers open to all during the pandemic via Zoom, providing a perfect opportunity for many Norwegian Explorers who have not been able to travel to in-person events in the past to enjoy the camaraderie.

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The Norwegian Explorers are closely affiliated with the Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota, housed in Andersen Library, which contains the largest assemblage of Sherlockian materials in the world. The Explorers and the Collections have sponsored several highly praised conferences, also open to all, which are held every three years.

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For further information, email Tom Gottwalt, president of the Norwegian Explorers, at

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