Michael Wood writes:
I t’s not the main function of great fictional characters to provide platforms for the careers of others, but they do the job very well. In a new film, Sherlock Holmes walks into Inspector Lestrade’s office and announces that he has solved a particular case. Lestrade is pleased, and says he has two questions. The first is how did Holmes do it? Holmes offers a detailed answer. He is about to leave when Lestrade asks his second question: how did Holmes’s sister manage it before him?