Solve Mysteries Together…

Spice up date night. Solve Sherlockian mysteries using clue letters mailed to your door.

Start Solving

"Engaging and well-written."

— Wirecutter/ The New York Times

A Dear Holmes Date Night

step 1

Search For Clues

Read through your clue letters. Identify lies and shakey alibis. Decide who’s a suspect, who’s a witness, and who’s a victim.

step 2

Eliminate Suspects

Make a murder board. Work with your partner-in-crime to eliminate suspects one-by-one until only the truly guilty remain.

step 3

Present Your Theory

Put on your deerstalker caps and lay out your solution to the case. Identify your criminal and explain how and why they did what they did.

step 4

The Big Reveal

Once you’ve finished, read through your solution letter from Holmes to see how the “official” solution compared to your own.

Mysteries For Every Kind of Couple

Are you ultra-competitive? Solve the mystery individually, then meet up with your partner-in-crime over dinner or drinks to see who best cracked the case.

Alternatively, solve the mystery together and submit your solution to the Featured Detective Competition, for your chance to win a prize and global recognition.

Are you more collaborative? Set aside a Sunday afternoon and solve together on the couch with some good coffee or a nice bottle of wine.

Build a “murder board”. Outline your clues. Debate who’s innocent and who deserves a further look. Nothing brings a couple closer quite like a difficult puzzle.

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Mystery options for every occasion

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About Dear Holmes

Read on to deduce whether Dear Holmes is right for you.

-+What Kind Of Person Is Dear Holmes Right For?

Anyone who loves mysteries is a good candidate for Dear Holmes. Our detectives (readers) hail from all fifty states and more than two dozen countries on six continents.

Programmers, teachers, comedians, doctors, lawyers, grandparents, and students all try their hands at solving our cases each month.

We are most popular as a gift for: Puzzle enthusiasts, voracious readers and book lovers, Sherlock fans, Agatha Christie enthusiasts, and anyone who loves getting mail.

-+Can I Get Dear Holmes For Myself?

Yes. Many of our detectives order Dear Holmes for themselves, or together with a friend or family member. Solving together is a great way to stay connected with friends and family.

If you love solving crimes and immersing yourself in Victorian-style mysteries, Dear Holmes is for you.

-+What Will I Receive As A Dear Holmes Member?

As a Dear Holmes member, the #1 thing you’ll receive is mail. Before your first mystery, you’ll receive a welcome letter in the mail from Sherlock Holmes. Then, for each mystery, you’ll receive three clue letters from your latest Victorian client, followed by a letter from Holmes walking you through his solution to the case.

Each of your letters will arrive to your mailbox on fine stationery, and all of our letters are mailed with real stamps (No metered postage, we promise).

With your membership, you’ll also have access to the Dear Holmes private podcast, with audiobook-quality narrations of each of your clue letters.

Finally, you’ll be eligible to compete for the coveted title of Featured Detective, which is awarded to one detective after each mystery (and the accompanying prize).

Sound like the experience for you? You can order right here.

-+How Challenging Are Dear Holmes Mysteries?

Each of our mysteries requires a different set of skills to solve, and they vary in difficulty, but all should be solveable by most detectives (readers) once all the evidence has arrived and been thoroughly analyzed.

If you’re a particularly talented detective, you may sometimes be able to arrive at the solution after your second or third clue letter.

Our mysteries are self-contained. Outside research is not generally required to solve our mysteries, though it is enriching if you have the time for it (many of our cases are grounded in some historical group or event).

-+Do Your Monthly Mysteries Repeat?

No, they do not. As a Dear Holmes member, you’ll face a new, never-before-seen mystery each and every month. If your membership expires and you renew, you’ll receive an all-new set of mysteries to solve.

-+When Should I Start My Mysteries?

A new mystery starts each and every month. If you’d like to start as soon as possible, select next month at checkout. If you’d like to start after a milestone (Christmas, Hanukkah, a birthday, etc.), select the month that follows it (January for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s).

-+When Will My First Letter Arrive?

The short answer: It’s complicated, but most welcome letters arrive 5-7 business days into your start month. Your first clue letter should arrive soon after that, and letters should continue at approximately a weekly cadence from there.

The long answer: We schedule our mailings to provide you with maximum flexibility to update your start date and mailing address before your membership begins.

To do this, we aim to send out your first letter (a welcome letter) on either the first or second weekday of your scheduled start month.

We’ll mail your first clue letter a few days after your welcome letter departs our mailroom, then continue to mail you a letter about once a week until your membership expires.

Mail can be unpredictable (that’s part of the fun), but in most cases, your letters will arrive 4-6 business days after leaving our office. We mail from Washington, DC, so the closer you are to our office, the faster we’d expect your first letter to arrive.

Please Note: By the 10th day of your start month, if you live in the US, you should have received at least one letter. If you haven’t, please reach out to our support team so we can investigate and expedite a replacement letter.

-+Who Writes These Mysteries?

Dear Holmes mysteries are written by a carefully selected group of modern Sherlock Holmes authors (our mystery makers) and edited by MX Publishing, the world's largest specialist Sherlock Holmes publisher, in collaboration with Letterjoy.

-+Where Can I See Pricing?

For our latest pricing, please refer to our pricing page. For renewal pricing, please see our renewal page.

Note: If you’re a veteran, an educator, or a first responder and you’re planning to purchase Dear Holmes, please reach out to us so that we can set you up with a discount code; you’ve earned it.

-+How do I Send In My Solution To This Month’s Mystery?

We accept solutions by mail, telegram, and via our online form. For more information on solving our mysteries and entering the Featured Detective competition, visit Dearholmes.com/solve.

-+I Ordered A Gift. Will You Notify My Recipient?

No. We don’t want to spoil your surprise, so the first communication your recipient will get from us will be their welcome letter, which will arrive after the start date you selected at checkout. Their first clue letter will arrive simultaneously or shortly after. We do recommend notifying your recipient in advance of their start date so that they know to keep an eye out for any mysterious mail.

-+Do You Have A Welcome Letter I Can Present To My Recipient?

We have a brief welcome/explanation letter from Mr. Holmes which you can download and customize here. Some customers mail this to their recipient, hand-deliver it, put it under a tree, or email it. Others get creative, hiding it (the first mystery) or sending it by telegram. Regardless, it’s available for your use.

-+When Are Solutions To Each Mystery Made Available?

Solutions are revealed in a letter from Sherlock Holmes to members at the end of each mystery. Shortly after every member’s solution letter has been mailed, we post a transcript of the letter to our blog. Shortly after that, we name our monthly Featured Detective.

-+Can I Get My Letters Emailed?

We believe in the power of paper. Our letters are designed to be read on premium paper stocks, folded crisply into a cream-colored envelope and mailed to your door with a real stamp.

Our goal is to help you live, for a few minutes each week, like a victorian-era detective, and if you read our letters on an iPhone, the experience just wouldn’t feel right. For that reason, we don’t currently offer our letters in digital form.

-+Do You Mail Internationally?

Yes, with two caveats:

1. International postage is more expensive, so we apply a modest postal surcharge to international orders.

2. International mail can take between 7 and 21 days to arrive (This can vary considerably based on the reliability of your national postal carrier).

-+Can I Try My Hand At Some Of Your Older Mysteries?

Looking for practice cases? If you’re an active Dear Holmes member, you can listen to narrations of past cases via your private podcast feed.

A book of practice cases is also in the works and will be available in the near future.

-+I Have Another Question. How Do I Get In Touch?

Another question? You’re thinking like a detective already! The fastest way to get in touch with our support team is via the form on our customer support page.

You can also reach out via email or, fittingly, by letter. Our mailing address is 1101 14th Street Northwest, Suite 950, Washington, D.C. 20005.

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