Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Review

SH Consulting Detective board game review

Year: 1981 | Players: 1-8 | Minutes: 60+ | Ages: 13+

This Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective review was made after playing through four of the cases (at multiple player counts).

What is Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective?

In Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective you and your friends try to solve one of the 10 cases included in the box. Sherlock will give you the details of each case, then you will use the case book, the London Directory, a map of London, and local newspapers to find all of the clues that you need to solve it.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective was designed by Raymond EdwardsSuzanne Goldberg, and Gary Grady, and it is now published by Space Cowboys.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Rules Overview

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective review - directory, map, and case book

Each game of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective starts with someone reading the case details aloud. While one person is doing this, the other players should be taking notes so they can figure out which leads to pursue.

After you’ve read through the case file, you will start trying to solve it. This means that you will need to read through the newspaper to find clues and use the directory to find leads. On top of that, you can always look at the map to see if there is anything nearby that can help you solve the case. It’s up to you to decide where to go next.

Even though anyone can choose which lead to follow next, it is recommended that you go around the table picking one lead at a time. You can also decide on leads to pursue as a group, then simply pass the case book around the table to let everyone have a chance to read. It really is up to your group.

Once you and your team of detectives think that you have figured out the mystery, it is time to answer the questions at the back of the case book. You are hoping to score more points than Sherlock himself (good luck with that!) by answering all of the questions correctly and by using as few leads as possible. For us, it is more about solving the case than beating Sherlock’s score, but it’s always fun to read about how he went about solving each case.

Check out our Top 10 Co-op Deck Building Games!

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective – Pros and Cons


  • The theme in Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective just pops out of everything included in the box. The cases feel like real Sherlock Holmes cases, the newspapers were brilliantly designed, and you really do feel like a detective when you’re looking around the map and through the directory for leads.
  • The newspapers deserve their own spot on this list. It was just a very cool idea to have players look through the newspapers for clues because they really do pull you into the story. Multiple people have told me that it was the newspapers that elevated the game above other detective games.
  • The writing is fantastic. We’ve played through four of the cases so far and each one kept us on the edge of our seats. I could see all of them working well as TV episodes.
  • I like that clues can pop up just about anywhere. This is cool because often you’ll work hard as a group to come up with a direction you should go and usually you’ll find something useful wherever you end up going.
  • It’s also great that the game is designed in a way to let you jump right in and start playing. There are very few rules, so if one person reads the rulebook quickly before people get to the table, you really can just start the game right away.
  • This might sound weird, but I think it’s great that Sherlock ends up beating most people who play this game. Sherlock is the consulting detective and smarter than most, so it makes sense that he knows which leads to chase and can usually crush your team’s score.
  • The game also has a very cool “open world” feel to it. You are on your own to figure out which leads to chase, which is great because it makes solving the case that much more rewarding.


  • Unless you’re very close to it, the map can be pretty tough to read. I don’t necessarily think it needs to be bigger, but the numbers could have been bolded a bit more to make them stand out.
  • If you’re going to be playing with five or more people, expect the game to drag a bit since more people will be chiming in. It is best when played with 2-4 players (or even solo), but we did have one pretty fun game when we had six people at the table. It’s just really important that you make an effort to get everyone involved, which can be tough for some groups.
  • You have to do a lot of reading while playing this game. That isn’t an issue for everyone, but if someone in your group isn’t fully immersed while listening to the story bits, it can get boring for them. That can throw the whole experience off for everyone.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective – Final Thoughts

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is pretty freakin’ amazing! It’s such a fulfilling feeling to solve the mysteries this game throws at you, and my group has even had a great time when we haven’t figured them out. It’s the only game that has made me feel like a real detective.

I’m a huge fan of this game, as is the rest of my group, but it’s not necessarily for everyone. For example, if you’re not into deduction board games, then you might not be a fan of this one. But I still say give it a try since it’s unlike other detective games out there right now.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective goes right near the top of my group’s top cooperative board games list. It’s different than every other co-op game that we’ve played, and it’s one of those rare games that feels complete. It’s a must-have game for Sherlock Holmes fans… and just about everyone else. If you’re looking for a Sherlock Holmes board game to get to play with friends or family, I’d say this is the one you should check out first.

Update: All links now point to the newest version of the game. I’ve heard that the newest edition fixes some of the minor issues some people had with the older versions.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Links

BGG | Amazon | Miniature Market


Thanks for taking the time to read our Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective review!

Be sure to also take a look at our Best Cooperative Board Games list and other rankings.

Subscribe to our newsletter if you want more co-op board game content sent right to your inbox!


Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments