For the second edition of our gift guide, we bring you trinkets, tokens and trifles for the mystery lover. Decorum prevents us from mentioning that therapy might be an appropriate gift for those of us who find ourselves irresistibly drawn to tales of murder, mayhem, gunpowder, treason and plot, but etiquette is a harsh mistress, and so I will say nothing.
And now, Watson, let us consider the significance of the following clues:
Stylish, retro, and a little bit creepy, this pin is a fabulous accessory for all occasions.
Okay, maybe not for a first date.
Or a job interview.
But other than that? Perfect.
£5 from the Literary Gift Company. They also have several other typewriter pins with quotes from, , William Blake, , and others.
I could get carried away just with Sherlock memorabilia, even if I eliminate everything that includes the non-canonical phrase “Elementary, my dear Watson,” anything that includes a deer-stalker hat, AND anything with Benedict Cumberbatch’s picture on it. So I’ve had to be ruthless, absolutely ruthless, in choosing which Sherlock-related Christmas tat I promote here, and these cufflinks are so fabulous that I had to include them. They are scans of actual 19th-century manuscripts of Sherlock Holmes stories and come with the seal of approval from the Conan Doyle estate.
If the gentleman in your life does not wear cufflinks, you can buy these for yourself and crouch in the corner cooing over their prettiness and whispering “my preciousssss.” That’s MY plan, at least. Alternatively, you could just get the earrings. For yourself. Or for the gentleman in your life. I don’t judge.
Earrings or cufflinks can be yours for £22 from Jezebel Charms and come beautifully gift-wrapped.
If you like your message-taking and grocery-list-making to have that little frisson of danger, this is perfect for you. It’s also brilliant for traumatizing any small children you may have around the house when you ask them to write down the stuff they need to remember for school or something like that.
£8.99 and the bloodstained pen is included.
And can I just say, as a literary mystery nerd, how happy I am to finally have the chance to use the sentence “the bloodstained pen is included”?
The only place I could find it was Amazon, where it’s selling for £65.99
You people need help, you know that, right?
I know, the Wimsey family motto is “As my Wimsey takes me,” not “by my Wimsey,” but YOU try Googling “Peter Wimsey gifts” and see what you come up with. There’s remarkably thin pickings for those who prefer the derring-do of the occupant of 110A Piccadilly to that of a certain Belgian or any residents of the Marylebone area.
So take this vaguely inaccurate, probably-infringing-on-copyright offering from CafePress and BE GRATEFUL.
It’s currently on sale for £12, down from £25.
Well, this is nice. Personally, whenever I’m sipping a lovely cup of tea, I’m thinking “all this experience is lacking, really, is the contemplation of my own impending mortality.” But now, no more shall I be plagued with such petty musings as “that’s a nice song that bird is singing” or “I wonder what’s on telly tonight” while I have my cuppa. Instead, I shall be properly considering such topics as “if I were to dissolve a body in an acid bath and then hang the skeleton in the Science department of a school, I bet they’d never find it.”
All is now well.
This reminder that all flesh is as grass will cost you £10 at the Museum of London shop. But hey, you can’t take it with you, right? So you might as well spend it on stuff like this.
Seriously. That’s what this is. A collection of recipes inspired by murderers and villains of literary history, from Lady Macbeth to Hannibal Lecter.
The publisher swears the food is delicious, but you might want to have someone else there to taste it for you first, just in case.
£16.95 from the Literary Gift Company.
There are plenty of these around, in a variety of price ranges, depending on whether you want an unframed small print (which will cost you around £10) or a big framed print or canvas (which will cost you your immortal soul and your firstborn child).
NEXT TIME: SCIENCE FICTION!!