Does this clue from the Sherlock colouring book reveal the true identity of Mary Morstan?

Who has time for colouring in with pretty pencils when there's serious mystery solving to be done?

We already know that Mary Elizabeth Watson, née Morstan, is not who we first thought she was. In Sherlock’s season three finale His Last Vow we discovered that John’s new wife is actually a retired assassin formerly known by the acronym A.G.R.A. We still don’t know what those initials stand for (although they are a nod to one of the original Sherlock Holmes stories) but after a couple of shootings, some strong words and a not insignificant period of angry silence, John and Mary agreed to put her past behind them.


Sherlock fans, of course, made no such promise…

There remains a theory that Mary’s true identity is yet to be revealed and that she will in fact turn out to be the modern-day female equivalent of a certain Colonel Sebastian Moran.

The sharp-shooting big-game hunter had Holmes in his sights during original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the Adventure of the Empty House and is most notable for being the right-hand man of one James Moriarty…

Until now, the basis for this idea has been pretty tenuous – that Moran and Morstan sound similar and that both are pretty good with a gun. In terms of the canonical stories the name theory doesn’t really add up, since there was never any suggestion of a relationship between Mary Morstan and Colonel Moran there (after all, Moran was a grizzled campaigner with side-whiskers and Mary was a young blonde lady).

But now a new piece of evidence – brought to our attention by Sherlock fan and Tumblr user ladymacphisto – might just lend weight to the theory that there is another layer of mystery surrounding the true identity of John’s wife.

So what’s the source of this new clue? Is it something Sherlock co-creators Steven Moffat or Mark Gatiss have let slip? Something previously unnoticed in an episode of Sherlock? A reference in one of the original stories? Nope, it’s from the Sherlock colouring book…

Not only does the book contain some lovely pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch for you to colour in, draw love hearts on etc, but there’s also a fun little game inside – find the hidden items.

“Hidden within the illustrations are nine clues, essential to solving the crimes in each episode,” says the book, followed by a pictorial list of those clues – one of which is Mary’s wedding ring.

At the risk of spoiling the fun for you, the ring turns up in that famous swimming pool scene from series one finale The Great Game. It’s the moment when Sherlock and John meet Moriarty for the first time and ends with a number of laser sights being trained on Benedict Cumberbatch’s cheek bones.

So, goes the new theory, if the ring is one of the clues “essential to solving the crimes”, does that mean Mary is one of the criminals? A criminal in league with Moriarty? A criminal who knows their way around a sniper rifle? A criminal like Moran…?

I don’t know about you but here’s one person who’s definitely convinced…


Be warned, this contains a bit of swearing (she’s really excited!)