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No. 443, November 28, 2010

Sherlocking in Finland
By Don Hobbs

I recently bought a May 11, 1935 copy of The Saturday Review of Literature. In his “Bowling Green” column, Christopher Morley mentions that someone traveling in Finland found a translation of Sherlock Holmes in the native language. There is a picture of the book and it was for this reason that I bought the magazine. I thought the book mentioned in the article would be a nice addition to my collection so once the magazine arrived I started searching the Internet for a copy. This proved more difficult and I have yet to find a copy of Sininen Kiiltokivi.

Using my favorite Internet website, Google Translate, I quickly discovered that the title Sininen Kiiltokivi means Blue Gloss Stone. I feel confident that this book had “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” as one of its stories. However, this is where my success in finding this book ended and another opportunity reared its head. In the process of searching I did find the online Finnish auction site ( A search on Doyle brought back over two-hundred hits! There were several books from the 30’s. One that caught my eye was laivasto-sopimus, whichtranslates to Fleet Agreement or as I expect, The Naval Treaty. The technicolor cover jumped out at me and I knew I had to have this book.

Once again using Google Translate (GT), I started copying large sections of into the Finnish to English section of GT. Much to my delight and surprise, I managed to register and create a username and password. Next, I successfully placed a bid on the book. The next thing I know, I receive an email telling me that I had won the auction. I managed to type a response to the seller, in English; translate it into Finnish as well as explaining to the seller how it is that I am able to write to him in Finnish. The thing I know is I have an answer back from Finland in English. The seller is willing to accept US. Dollars for the book or I can wire-transfer money directly to his account.

I know that this method of banking is widespread in Europe but it is very cost-prohibitive here in the States.  The book cost me 25 Euros but the seller offered it for $35 and this included shipping costs. It cost me $15.62 to send the payment registered mail. My bank would have charged $45 to wire money directly. This was such a painless process, I bid on two more books and won them as well. I repeated the same steps as before and I am happy to report the same results. GT has made dealing like this much easier. I can fill in the gaps of my Finnish collection now that I have a place that I can deal with such ease.

Happy Collecting!!



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January 3, 2010
Happy New Year! A Sherlockian Potpourri

January 10, 2010
Sherlockian Nirvana

January 17, 2010
Sherlocking in New York City 2010

January 24, 2010
The Forgetful Sherlockian

January 31, 2010
Barcelona October 2010

February 7, 2010
Sherlocking in Southern California

February 14, 2010
Sherlocking in the Sun

February 21, 2010
The Don Hobbs Olympics

February 28, 2010
Sherlockian Potpourri

March 6, 2010
Six Degrees of Sherlockian Separation

March 14, 2010
Lake Sherlockbegon Revisited

March 21, 2010

March 28, 2010
Spring At Last

April 4, 2010
Another One Bites The Dust

April 11, 2010
The New Sherlock Holmes

April 18, 2010
Adventures of a Maniac Collector

April 25, 2010
More Sherlockian Potpourri

May 2, 2010
Sherlock Holmes: The Melodrama

May 9, 2010
Sherlocking in the Pacific Northwest

May 16, 2010
Sherlockian Ramblings

May 23, 2010
Marriage, Sherlock Holmes and Logic

May 30, 2010
Foreign Accent Syndrome

June 6, 2010
Sherlocking With Les Klinger

June 13, 2010
The God of the Hive -- A Review

June 20, 2010
Sherlock Takes A Back Seat

June 27, 2010
The Manga Sherlock Holmes

July 4, 2010
Sherlock Is Still In The Back Seat

July 11, 2010
Tough Decisions

July 18, 2010
The Signs of the Four

July 25, 2010
Sherlocking in San Luis Obispo, California

August 1, 2010
The No Fog Countries Meeting

August 8, 2010
Sherlocking at The Spirits of Sherlock Holmes

August 15, 2010
The Crucifer of Blood

August 22, 2010
Sherlocking with John Farrell

August 29, 2010
A Thing That The Dutch Know More About

September 5, 2010
Ex Libris Sherlock Holmes

September 12, 2010
Sherlockian Potpourri

September 19, 2010
How I Spent My Summer Vacation

September 26, 2010
Reflections of Foreign Language Collecting

October 3, 2010
Library Addition

October 10, 2010
Return to Sherlock, Texas

October 17, 2010
Sherlocking in Barcelona, Part 1

October 24, 2010
Sherlocking in Barcelona, Part 2

October 31, 2010
Sherlocking with
Joan Proubasta

November 7, 2010
Korean Sherlock Holmes

November 14, 2010
Sherlocking with Miguel Ojeda Peral

November 21, 2010
Welcome to My World

November 28, 2010
Sherlocking in FInland