A quick list of the few errors (along with corrections) in this otherwise excellent book.
The Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Raymond Smullyan is an excellent collection of ‘retrograde chess problems.’
For the most part these puzzles are pretty challenging, and on more than one occasion, I’ve put the book down and said, “I think he made a mistake! I’m going to check the answers.” Usually I regret this, because usually he didn’t make a mistake, and usually I’d just missed something.
But a couple times, he did make a mistake, and on the first of these occasions I’d spent over a year on one of the puzzles, failing to see how a valid solution could be legally reached. When I finally resigned myself to defeat, I found that I’d been right: his solution was incorrect, and he’d missed something.
And so, should you decide to delve into this masterpiece of chess puzzles, I will save you the trouble and grief of wondering if the puzzle you’re working on is flawed. Below is the short list of the puzzles I’ve found to be in error. Explanations/Corrections can be reached by following the relevant link.
(This position can not be reached legally in the context given for this problem)
(alternative solution is possible)
(ambiguous wording allows for alternate solution)