Monday, April 8, 2013

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye: The World's Greatest Detective Tackles the Bible's Ultimate Mysteries by Len Bailey


Embark on a journey through the Old and New Testament with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as they explore exotic and spice-laden places in search of clues.
The detective and the doctor travel back in time with the help of a Moriarty-designed time machine to investigate ten Bible destinations, unlocking clues to ten Bible mysteries. The most fascinating crime cases are those that are already solved, those that have been investigated by the police and brought to a swift, satisfying, and almost inevitable conclusion. So it is with Bible stories which the reader may consider familiar and unremarkable. But under close scrutiny these stories give up their hidden clues, their long kept secrets. Like a jewel newly polished, they sparkle and shine with a fresh, introspective light.
While traveling back in time to witness certain scenes, Holmes and Watson unravel ten different Biblical mysteries, including the following:

  • The Hanging Tree: Why did Ahithophel hang himself?
  • Righteous Blood is Red: Is Zechariah the son of Berekiah or Jehoiada in Matthew 23?
  • You Miss, You Die: Why did David take five stones against Goliath?
  • Dead Man Walking: Why did Jesus delay in coming to Lazarus in John 11?

I'm a sucker for anything Sherlock Holmes so I wanted to see what this book was all about.

In Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson travel to different Biblical times, aided by a golden needle given by a client, in order to solve some of the mysteries in the Bible.

The book contains several mysteries, some of which I liked and some of which I found a little bit boring. First, the good stuff. My favorite story is the one wherein Jesus tells the Pharisees who wanted to stone a woman, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." In the story, Jesus writes something on the ground which seems to convince the Pharisees to leave the woman alone. However, it's never said what was written. The book gives a plausible explanation, which leaves me quite satisfied. I also liked the story that focused on the fall of Jericho. I liked that story partly because I already read one theory that I agreed with on why the wall fell and I thought that the book's theory was okay too, and because instead of Dr. Watson, it was Mrs. Hudson who was with Sherlock Holmes.

There were some mysteries that I found boring, though, since I felt that they weren't really mysteries to begin with. At least, they weren't mysteries unless you actually read into it and analyzed it. One example is the story wherein Sherlock Holmes and Watson discussed who was Zechariah's real father.

If you find yourself getting bored while reading this book, I recommend imagining Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. It made reading the book even more interesting.

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the e-ARC. Publication date of Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye is on May 7, 2013.'


  1. Mrs. Hudson gets a starring role in one of the mysteries.
  2. Sherlock Holmes is witty and sarcastic as ever.
  3. There's a section at the back for discussion questions for the different stories.


  1. People may not find all the mysteries interesting.

And as the Israelite troops stampeded toward Jericho, Mrs. Hudson ran with them.

  1. You're a Sherlock Holmes fan.
  2. You are curious about Bible mysteries.
  3. You like to analyze the stories in the Bible.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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