• Member Since 19th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen Tuesday


Makes ponies cry


Description: Returning from Zebrica, Rainbow Dash finds her lot cast in with the brilliant and eccentric detective, Rarity, as they unravel a crime most foul.

Starring Rainbow Dash as Watson, Rarity as Holmes and Fluttershy as Lestrade.

Originally posted on Equestria Daily here: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/04/story-study-in-rainbows.html

Spanish translation: https://www.deviantart.com/spaniard-kiwi/art/Un-estudio-en-arcoiris-999961891

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 74 )

I'm glad to see this here on fimfiction.net! I read your story a long time ago when it was on EQD and I loved it.

Insta-win! So glad it got here! *reads...again*

There is a group for Holmes crossovers. Hope you don't mind if I add this.

I am sure you have been asked this before, but why Rarity instead of Twilight?

I can see some of the Holmes personality traits in Rarity, but Twilight would seem to fit it better in my mind.

Also, bravo on using pastries as weapons:rainbowlaugh:.

EDIT: keeping in mind I haven't read beyond chapter one yet.

I've been waiting for this story to be posted here! Thanks a lot! :pinkiehappy:

Ha! Brilliant! An expertly ponified Holmes story. I especially liked the bit at the beginning, with Gilda and Rainbow talking like turn-of-the-century English Gentlemen about "dweebism" and "coolness". And I love how seriously everypony takes the Poison Joke. Messing up someone's mustache is seen as a heinous crime! :rainbowlaugh:

You know what? Here, have a fave. It's that good.

Finely done, the references weren't obnoxious, the dialogue is hilarious, the characters act pretty much how you'd expect and every turn of events seems reasonable.
On the other hand, MIRIAM DASH?

as a fan and student of Doyle's character and works, I must say that this is amazing.

You had my attention at the title and now, at just a single chapter in, you will hold me through to the end, if just to see if you can live up to the legacy that you are emulating.

You can call me amazed.

Not only did it feel as l though I were reading Watson's writings, but you managed to keep the characters in line with the Holmes mythology and mix in enough pony to make a truly incredible story.


So happy to finally see this on Fimfiction! Easily one of the best fics EQD has ever featured.

Yeah, Rainbow's middle name is often given as Miriam. (Or, sometimes, Jennifer.) I'm not sure where that comes from.


By all means!


Holmes is nothing like Twilight! Grab your copy of the Holmes stories (you *do* have a copy, don't you?) and actually have a read of what Holmes is saying. He doesn't value knowledge at all. He doesn't value the scientific method at all. He's all about intuition, elegance, precision, style. Twilight wants to solve the case too much. Holmes kinda doesn't care about the cases he's got, to him they're just games for his mind.

Rarity is a fundamentally better fit in my mind.


Rainbow "Miriam" Dash was coined by my good friend, darthbobcat, in one of his earliest stories "Fair Feathered Friend". I maintain it in my own stories as a salute to him.

And that's when I realized I should actually watch you so I can stop being surprised by amazing stuff I should have seen coming.

Seriously, though, who was the third pegasus in the cave?

863609 Shimmer Snowflake, Phoe's OC. She's a good friend, so I try to slip references to her character in here and there.


I see. Now that I think about it, Shimmer Snowflake was in a bit from "Griffin Over the Line" which I also read recently...

Criticism time: I'm not sure how anyone was meant to deduce her identity. We know that she was tied up in the cave and that she later admitted to being used to that in her line of work. And that she's a pegasus. There's no reference to her coloration, even. If you're going to include an obvious question for the reader like that, you need to include enough information for them to find the answer. Otherwise people like me are going to have a lasting feeling of "what the fuck why was she even there?".


I know D= I made some poor decisions when planning that story and by the end I was exhausted and just wanted to take a break and didn't really come back to it. It's not my finest piece, but I learned from the experience.

First, I do not appreciate the insinuation that I have not read every single story.

Holmes is all about solving the case, not so much catching the crook.
For it to be a game he would have to have an opponent of worth, the only time this was true was with Prof. Moriarty and perhaps one or two of the other stories. I would compare it more to a puzzle, finding each piece and how they fit together. Once the puzzle is complete nothing else is truly important, unless the crook offended Holmes in some way.

Intuition- (after looking up the definition) yes
Precision- Yes
Elegance and style- not so much

Scientific method is half true. He is a scientist after all (a published one at that), the first time Watson meets him he is running an experiment. When on a case he differs in that he does not experiment. He observes everything, he then works with no assumptions cutting away the impossible until he is as certain as he can be, usually 100%. There are a few where he had to act before he could be certain or something was missing and he could not be certain until after the fact.

He does value knowledge, just not what he considers to be frivolous knowledge. He is in fact a well spring of interesting knowledge that one would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. The sun and moon have no baring on crimes, but cigar ashes and types of dirt and where to find them do.

You are right of course. Rarity is the better choice., for all those reasons and perhaps more. (And my opinion on best pony has nothing to do with that what so ever:raritywink:)


I remember several cases where Holmes solved the crime immediately or from a distance and then basically sent Watson on ahead to blunder around like a fool while Holmes laid a trap for the real villain. He wasn't interested in the puzzle or the crime then so much as he was in how he could prove it with style.

And really, there's this sense I get every single time that I read one of Holmes' explanations that he's completely bullshitting us. To him, the leaps of intuition he makes are so complex, complete, and natural that he doesn't even think about them (and he says as much to Watson). So he'll come into a room, do his thing, and then Watson will ask "By gum, Holmes, how did you manage that?" And he has *no idea*.

So then Holmes sort of sifts back through his thought process and tries to unpick it and apply form to what he's just done, purely for Watson's benefit. A posthumous dissection of his flash of brilliance to try and work out where it came from. Sometimes those explanations seem quite weak or incomplete, which is a natural consequence of trying to fit his immense genius into a brief and logical format. The reality is that it just comes to him, like lightning, like creativity.

That's the impression I get with every single Holmes story. He's not a forensics technician who leans over a microscope looking for the crucial piece of evidence. He's an artist. That's why I chose Rarity to play his part.


I see where you are coming from. I disagree, but I get it.

865778 I still double take whenever someone respectfully disagrees with me on The Internet.


A year ago I would not have... but well.. :ajsmug::yay::pinkiehappy::rainbowlaugh::twilightsmile::duck:

I think Holmes would be offended at the suggestion that his deductions are "intuitions". He would say they are the inevitable logical result of observing and thinking clearly, and that when people attribute it to "intuition" or "genius" they are merely making excuses for their own stupidity, pretending that Holmes was gifted with some mysterious essence which they lack. He values knowledge enough to stuff his flat with books and clippings and cross-reference everything carefully; but you could argue that he values it only as a tool.

There are places where the explanations Holmes offers don't seem justified; and I see how you could conclude that Holmes invented the explanations post-hoc. My interpretation is that Doyle isn't as smart as Holmes, and made mistakes; and that the world isn't a place where Holmes-like deductions are possible, so we must accept some stretching of the truth and simplification of the possibilities.

I don't know whether Holmes merely loves solving puzzles, as you say; or whether he has a love of the pursuit of knowledge which he despises and sabotages, flitting from one project to another lest he lose his ironic detachment, because of his manic depression, his secret and lonely lack of faith, and his emo-like existential angst. My own Holmes story, which is complete but waiting on some more artwork, doesn't answer that question; but the ending hinges on that dark aspect of Holmes.

And I would like a solution to the mystery of why this story only has 107 views! We have a fine story, by a famous author, with a good title and a great illustration, and almost no views. What's going on here? It would have helped to release it one chapter at a time, but still - WTF? Testing my own Holmes story on fan-fiction, I've concluded that Holmes stories are not very popular among the MLP crowd. I've tried different titles and descriptions, but as long as it says "Holmes", people don't want to click on it - it gets about half as many views as my other stories.


I feel the need to defend him on this one point. Intuition does not, in point of fact, mean what I had always thought it meant.

1. direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension.

That's the meaning of intuition I had in mind. I don't think that is what Doyle intended for Holmes to be doing; and it isn't what Holmes claims to be doing. The weakness and incompleteness of his explanations, I attributed to Doyle not being Holmes, and Holmes being impossible in the real world.

It depends on which way you want to break the world. Thanqol's interpretation breaks the world by making it overly magical, so that Holmes can intuit reality. Mine breaks the world by making it overly logical, so that Holmes can make impossibly accurate predictions.

So, the difficulty with this kind of fusion fic is keeping the characters involved feeling like both characters. That is, Rarity here must serve as Sherlock Holmes but she must also be Rarity (and should probably be more Rarity than Holmes) or there is no point in the retelling for one may as well have used Sherlock himself. Being true to two source materials at once is even harder than one. You've done a good job with Rarity and Rainbow Dash thus far but I do wonder at your choice of Applejack for the heavy.

Am I the only one who liked Twilight's wizard robes better than either of the two dresses Rarity made her? (Though that headpiece with the stars on antennae was pretty awful).

People intuit reality all the time. Intuition isn't magical, it's just your brain's non-conscious thought processes. And because it's your brain's thought processes, they are as likely to be accurate (or wrong) as whatever you've internalized (probably without being fully aware of it) to the point that it's running in the background all the time. When a professional baseball player intuits the exact moment to swing a bat at a ball, to use a much more simple example, it's still a product of their experience even though it's not them consciously thinking out "the ball appears to be moving this fast, so it will take this long to get here." Holmes' intuition is as good as whatever means he's using to come up with ti, but he's not necessarily aware of those means anymore. In fact, if he were consciously processing the amount of stimuli he lists for coming up with his deductions, I'd expect them to take far longer. The advantages of intuition are that it's faster and takes less effort than conscious thought. The disadvantages are that since you're even less aware of what's informing your conclusions than usual and all kinds of outdated instincts and emotional responses can clutter the data provided. Basically, intuition is only reliable in fields that you're good at anyway.

That said, this was an enjoyable story and I love the idea of Spikely Whiplash as the surprise villain.

Whoah, how did I miss that this story was now up on FIMfiction?

This is one of the best Holmes pastiches I've read, anywhere, and the fact it's a MLP:FiM crossover just makes it even better. Dash is perfectly in her element as the Watson, while Rarity makes for an appropriately brilliant and theatrical Holmes, prone to mood swings and all. I'm going to enjoy re-reading this quite a lot. :rainbowdetermined2::raritywink:

Any chance of you also uploading The Hound of Ponyville here? :pinkiesmile:


Good point, I totally spaced on that.

If, say, Rarity entered the Best Young Fliers competition and showed me up my grievances might be legitimate, but that seemed to be what I was hoping to do to her.

I see what you did there. I see it.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and look forward to reading the sequel, which I shall begin forthwith.

Rarity makes an excellent Holmesian detective, her drive for perfection and eye for detail making her uniquely suited to the role. (Far moreso, I must say, than Twilight Sparkle, such that I wish a certain confectionery train caper had been written with the wisdom to focus on Rarity and Pinkie Pie.) Combining the deductive reasoning methods of Holmes with Rarity's other traits -- in particular, her fashion expertise and her flair for dramatic performance -- craft a delightful character.

Of Rainbow Dash however, I must admit a less glowing endorsement. I did not care for Rainbow Dash as the protagonist, and not for any lack of wanting. Rather, you have succeeded excellently in your endeavor to write the story within the style of Sir Arthur. Unfortunately, that style is so utterly foreign to the character of Rainbow Dash that I find the juxtaposition fails. I cannot believe Rainbow Dash is speaking, much less thinking, in the voice presented. A pity, because this is the singular flaw in the storytelling.

Finally, I turn my critique towards Fluttershy. And it is here where I believe your story shines most brightly. The choice of Fluttershy for this role was both unexpected and brilliant. The revelations of how she gained her position, and the way her interplay with Rarity fed the cycle of her ascendance, made this character particularly intriguing. The reactions of both Rainbow Dash and Rarity to her were written ambrosia.

Thank you for the delightful tale.


2166350 Ah my goodness, thank you for the comment! I am glad my story entertained you in some way.

I am not as proud of the sequel (it was written for less elegant reasons), but I hope it is at least not offensive.

Thank you again for taking the time :)

Did you by any chance watch the BBC Sherlock and decide to do this :D cause I love that show, and I can totally see Rarity doing the things that Sherlock does. I don't think a lot of people can pull of his rants though about how people are, that is what makes the show so wonderful. I have added this to the Nook and will eagerly read this!!!

I had forgotten how fun this story was. Commence reread.

Indeed, this was a most pleasant way to while away a bit of time. Thanks.

2188610 That one I had mixed feelings about. I did really like the text messages and psychopathic behaviour, they were a great take on modernising Sherlock Holmes. On the other hand I honestly enjoyed A Game Of Shadows far more, even if it was light on investigation.

When I found out this was the Reichenbach fall, I was so scared, "Rarity, nooo!" I'm sorry, I'm too used to the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes, and we all know what happens at the end of the last episode...heh heh...

Anyway, I read this in one sitting, and I'm quite glad I did. The story was amazing, the character choices were quite fitting, and it was very intriguing. So, take a like and favorite from me!

And so the dashing Runcible Spoon sallies forth on his maiden voyage as a fully registered user.
I am a big Holmes fan, and I'm intrigued to see how this goes...
Now then, on to chapter one!

If I were to attempt to put to words my feelings on this story thus far, I would find myself in the unfashionable position of merely reiterating what has already been spoken by MrBackpack.
I have enjoyed this chapter, and shall continue on to the next.

My formality fell off a cliff.
This is my casualness speaking.
It had nothing to do with the cliff incident, it swears.
Anyhoof, you continue to impress.
I continue to be intrigued, enough to push the 3 button, there...

You've blended the two quite nicely thus far, I find myself genuinely curious to see what happens next.

I find myself once again in the undesirable position of merely reiterating what somepony before me has already spoken of.
ForSpite is correct in their analysis.
And I agree somewhat with their concerns on Applejack.
It makes sense, in a way.
Large, mob-like family.

Chapter five, my word!
I won't ruin who is likely the culprit, as somepony may read this comment in the future.
Fascinating that you would choose them, if the implication is to be trusted...

You are not alone, ForSpite.
I loved those robes.
Anyhoof, I thought so...
And a lesson was learned in the process.

Here we are, at the end.
It has been an excellent ride.
I find that nothing more can be said that hasn't already been said.
Well done, I look forward to reading more of your work.
I should have known they were the Moriarty-esque character...

Got drawn back here by Runcible Spoon sensibly siding several times with me.

I'll share a thought: As far as fussy fiction detective fusions go, Rarity would make an excellent Hercule Poirot (I'm particularly thinking of the David Suchet version). Perhaps better than Holmes.

2627805 My dark secret is that I'm actually a cultural rube and I've never read a Poirot book.

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