EDMONTON — The game will be afoot for mystery buffs and literature lovers when a world-class exhibition on the fictional super sleuth Sherlock Holmes arrives in the Alberta capital.
The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes makes its only stop in Canada next month at the Telus World of Science.
The highlight, says Mike Steger of the science facility, is a meticulous re-creation of the sitting room in 221B Baker Street, where Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson would be called to action to use science and deductive reasoning to thwart crime and skullduggery.
"If you're a big fan of the books, this room is going to blow you away,'' says Steger.
"This (room) is exactly as written and described in the books.''
In total, visitors walk through five exhibit areas and into the world of Victorian-era London to learn about Holmes, his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the science of forensic crime detection.
"It feels like you're walking into 19th century London,'' says Steger. "It has a very strong sense of place.''
There is also a mystery to solve.
Visitors receive notebooks and collect clues to help Holmes solve what can be a real brain buster.
"It feels like you're walking into 19th century London."
Steger says people will be challenged to rewire their brains and look at the mundane in new ways to fit theories to facts — and not facts to theories.
"What most people do when they go after this mystery (is) they make some very basic assumptions, which are incorrect because they are not looking at the evidence,'' says Steger.
Along the way, visitors learn about modern day crime-detecting techniques and the early state of forensics when Doyle penned his famous stories starting with "A Study in Scarlet'' in 1887.
Young and old will explore interactive exhibits to understand bullet trajectories, blood splatter patterns, and trace evidence of footprints. There are other hands-on displays to learn about how botany, chemistry, toxicology, anatomy and geology play a role in crime detection.
Doyle's main muse was surgeon Joseph Bell and it was from Bell he learned how science can solve crime, a discipline he then transferred to the world of Holmes.
For more than a century, the man in the deerstalker hat has come to epitomize the romance, danger and brain-teasing challenge of detective work, spawning movies, TV shows, comics and stories that live on today.
The final exhibit celebrates all things Sherlockian, with props, costumes and other items from the BBC "Sherlock'' TV series, the CBS show "Elementary,'' and the recent big-screen adventures starring Robert Downey Jr.
The exhibit also displays artifacts borrowed from the Doyle estate and the Museum of London.
It takes about 45 to 90 minutes to take it all in, and there will be guides in costume to help out with queries and give explanations.
As for the mystery, Steger refuses to break under rigorous interrogation.
"There's blood,'' he would only say.
"Something bad has happened, but you don't know what.''
The exhibit runs from March 25 to Sept. 5.
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