Sherlock Holmes may be the world's greatest fictional detective, but the principles behind his approach to solving crime are very real, indeed. Listen to him explain his method of thought to Watson, and chances are, you'll come away with much the same impression as the good doctor: of course! How did I not think of it myself? It all seems to simple after the fact.
It can seem simple before the fact, as well--if only we pay close attention to the principles behind Holmes's explanations. That is precisely what I try to do in my exploration of the psychology and neuroscience behind the great detective's methodology, in Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Viking, 2013). It all boils down to the two M's: mindfulness and motivation. That, and a whole lot of practice--hours upon hours upon hours of it--on the side.
But wouldn't it be worth putting in all that time and effort if at the end of it all, we'd come out with a more Holmes-like mind and mindset? Perhaps if we learn to apply his approach to thought more extensively, we'll even find ourselves equipped to deal with these 10 Holmes-worthy mysteries. He may not be here to solve them for us, but his tenets of observation may be a first step to enabling us to do it on our own.
Here are 10 modern mysteries to put your Holmesian mind to.