Stick that in your pipe - a smokin’ Sherlock story by M J H Simmonds

Published on 25 May 2018

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 H & S 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 have recognised.

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 still on sale today in his family’s High Street shop  - which does get an 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 Holmes and Dr Watson take a carriage after arriving at the Victorian train station which will be remembered by local folk of 50+.

The victim is a James Harrison, not described as a relation of Harrison and Simmonds, but an interesting twist in the The Adventure of the Pigtail Twist.

Copies of the book are on sale at the shop or at Amazon

or via the family business website

A Sherlock short story by Matthew can be found here too


Harrison & Simmonds, Bedford's finest gentleman's emporium since 1928, purveyors of high-quality gifts and the finest range of gentleman's accoutrements including: pens, pewter hip-flasks, pocket-watches, clocks, globes, paperweights, letter openers, cufflinks, tobacconist goods, barometers and thermometers, masonic gifts and grooming, games and models, sports accessories, sticks and canes.

The business has been in the Simmonds family for five generations, offering traditional, personal, congenial service and great attention to detail. With over 1000 products available, you are sure to find that unique gift you have been looking for, with many being customisable with on-site engraving services.

This is not the only Simmonds book on sale. A history of the family was written and published by Anne T. Simmonds - together with the Sherlock Holmes tale they make a great choice for Father’s Day presents (June 17th)

Of for the discerning pipe smoker there is the special edition Harrison and Simmonds 90th anniversary pipe on sale.

Did You Know? Harrison and Simmonds host a monthly cigar club on the roof terrace garden of The Standard pub in the High Street? 

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