by Rick Bleiwess
Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes are two of the greatest and most recognizable fictional sleuths. Like them, my fictional sleuth, Pignon Scorbion, is a unique, eccentric, deductive crime-solver in early twentieth-century England. You can read his adventures in my award-winning mystery book Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives and in the second in the series, Murder in Haxford.
Poirot, Holmes, and Scorbion are kindred spirits in many ways and share a number of important commonalities. However, despite the similarities and the successes they each attain, the three are not at all alike in many significant ways — ones that affect them and the lives of the people who they come in contact with.
• Poirot is of short stature at 5’4”, non-athletic, with an egg-shaped head and an immense luxurious mustache and was never described as particularly attractive.
• Holmes is lankier, has a high nose and an acute face, and does not pursue athletic activities.
• Scorbion is taller than the average man of that era, has an athletic build, trained in bare knuckle fisticuffs, regularly engages in rugby matches, and is clean-shaven and handsome.
• Poirot is a bachelor, may be asexual, and probably never had an actual intimate relationship with a female, the closest being when he was smitten with Countess Vera Rossakoff. He had a friendship with Hastings.
• Holmes lives with Watson, has no intimate or amorous relationships, and allows few people to get close to him. He is very private.
• Scorbion was married once, and after that union ended, he engages in a relationship with Thelma Smith. He is gregarious and befriends many of those he works with.
• Poirot likes British women who are strong-willed.
• Holmes is never described as having any particular taste in women.
• Scorbion enjoys intelligent, attractive, unconventional, self-sufficient women.
* Poirot drinks tisane tea, crème de menthe, coffee, and hot chocolate.
* Holmes drinks tea mostly.
* Scorbion prefers tea, brandy, ale, and grog.
• Poirot wears custom-made immaculate silk suits, patent leather shoes, embroidered slippers, dressing gowns, a bow tie, and a hat.
• Holmes sports a deerstalker hat, untidy clothing, and carries a notebook and a magnifying glass.
• Scorbion’s bespoke clothing includes unconventional tight-fitting suits of wool and linen, unique black & white shoes, an occasional necktie, and no head covering.
• Poirot was born and raised in Belgium, moved to London when he was an adult, and remained in that city thereafter.
• Holmes’ ancestors were English country squires; he lived in London most of his life.
• Scorbion was of Egyptian and Haitian heritage but born in Paris. He moved to London with his parents when he was two years old and grew up there. As an adult, he left London and spent his life in the English countryside.
• Poirot strives to be, and be seen as, the smartest person in any situation, and wants to be seen as the person who solved every case he worked on.
• Holmes is stubborn, skeptical, prideful, obsessive, compulsive, cunning and it is believed that he might have Asperger’s Syndrome.
• Scorbion knows he is exceptionally bright but appreciates intelligence in others and enjoys working with a group and getting their views and opinions on the possible solutions to the crimes he investigates.
• Poirot likes gardening, knitting, painting, cooking, and smoking Turkish cigarettes.
• Holmes enjoys playing the violin, using cocaine, smoking cigars, cigarettes and pipes, running chemistry experiments, and liking music, forensic science, anatomy and geology.
• Scorbion is an art lover, chess and rugby player, brandy aficionado, and does not smoke.
• Poirot allows some people to escape justice (the Countess for one).
• Holmes is strict.
• Scorbion is lenient on some offenders but never allows them to fully escape justice.
• Poirot has a younger sister.
• Holmes has a brother and a sister.
• Scorbion is an only child.
• Poirot is compulsively neat about his clothes.
• Holmes is untidy, but compulsive.
• Scorbion is fastidious, but not compulsive.
• Poirot was born in 1861 and moved to London when he was fifty-five years old.
• Holmes was born in 1854 and retired in 1904.
• Scorbion was born in 1866 and moved to London when he was two.
• While both Poirot and Scorbion are self-assured, Poirot is described as arrogant and boastful.
• Holmes is prideful and moody, and gets depressed between cases.
• Scorbion is confident and commanding and gets bored between cases.
• Poirot began his career on the police force in Belgium and became a private detective when he moved to London, England.
• Holmes was a consulting detective in London.
• Scorbion was a policeman in countryside England, starting out in the hamlet of Chamfield and ending up in Haxford.
• Poirot has no on-going nemesis/foe.
• Holmes has Professor Moriarty as his foe.
• Scorbion has newspaper owner Faustin Hardcastle as his nemesis.
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