The cards arrived today and I've been fiddling with them a bit, trying to get a feel for them. I like them already; something about them seems very direct, rather like the Great Detective himself—these cards will not mince around. So far they've answered the couple questions I've put to them with unapologetic candor.
The cards themselves are on the large side (about 3.5 x 5 inches? same size as my Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery) and come boxed with a handy guide. While the artwork is not my favorite in style, it suits the deck very well (the more I look at it, the more I grow to like it), and as a fan of the original stories by Doyle, it is fun to pick out the sources of the images. Though sometimes the images are necessarily generic (as in Holmes reading the Times).
The suits are not what Tarot readers would be used to in a traditional sense, either. Instead of Cups, Swords, Wands and Pentacles we have Analysis, Observation, Evidence, and Deduction respectively, each indicated by a symbol on the card plate: a magnifying glass, an eye, a footprint, or a question mark.
|The 9 of Deduction (Pentacles) + a sample of the card backs|
For court cards this deck uses Baker Street Irregulars as Knaves/Pages, Peelers as Knights, Ladies as Queens, and Inspectors as Kings.
There is also a bonus "wild" card: The Giant Rat of Sumatra. The manual gives several suggestions for its use, but I take it somewhat like a blank rune. In canon, the story of the giant rat of Sumatra remains, like Wyrd, a great unknown.
This is, if nothing else, a unique deck, and I would want it in any case. However, I'm that much more pleased with the fact that I've found it reads quite well (for me; your mileage may vary) and that The Sherlock Holmes Tarot and I get along and communicate with one another nicely.