Some people would claim there is an uncanny parallel between the methods used by Sherlock Holmes and machine learning. In both cases an apparently insoluble problem is suddenly resolved using nothing but careful assessment of the available evidence. In both cases we are startled that it was possible to find a solution when we, the readers, had no idea of it. So I was intrigued when Phil Gooch presented an analysis of a Sherlock Holmes story to discover the most important details. Could machine learning, like Holmes, solve a crime mystery? Phil’s presentation, at the excellent London Text Analytics Meetup Group, lived up to expectations, even if he didn’t quite demonstrate a machine solving the mystery. Instead, and quite an achievement in its own right, he coded the analysis in front of us while he was presenting. I’ve been to presentations where there is a live demo, but I’ve not seen coding on the screen (and taking suggestions for alterations) as the main part of the presentation. All credit to Phil, then, for coolness!