Sherlock Holmes has some unusual means of enquiry at his hand, his amiable way with women, his nonchalant means of asking a question with little direction, as with the boat yard owners wife in the sign of four or the market stall owner in the Blue Carbunkle.
He also uses advertisement in the media to ensnare or return, again referring to the goose and hat in the Blue Carbunkle.
But in both The opening adventure “A study in Scarlet” and the ” sign of four” Holmes employs the baker street irregulars a band of young boys of whom Wiggins, their leader and Holmes Lieutenant who as Holmes himself refers as scruffy little urchins who can go anywhere and see anything.
I should remark at their in ability to follow standing orders though as on both occasions Holmes remarks that “in future Wiggins only you come up, I cannot have Mrs Hudson upset like this”
I wonder in modern times how the modern Holmes may investigate, I favour social media, and he can still use the media along side the afore mentioned social media and an army of loyal soldiers.
I fear there are no real irregulars available as London is a deal more civilized and to speak nonchalantly would I fear draw suspicion of your motive rather than draw the information you require.
Plus I have to doubt that the now Metropolitan police would be so eager to work with such an ally even meaning so well, but then I have already remarked as to Holmes’ forensic mind, attitude and approach putting aside his ability for deduction and observation.
I do however favour that with a modern Mycroft assistance Sherlock would in fact be an mi5 or mi6 agent with his ability to manipulate and gather a militia for his purposes, he does after all act in the government’s interest in such stories as The last bow, among others which I shall go into in another post.