- This article is for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character. For other versions of the character see Versions of Mycroft Holmes.
Mycroft Holmes is the older brother of Sherlock Holmes. He possesses even greater powers of observation and deduction compared to his younger brother; however, he lacks the energy and inclination to use them in the same way as his brother.
- "...he has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solutions, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right. Again and again I have taken a problem to him, and have received an explanation which has afterwards proved to be the correct one. And yet he was absolutely incapable of working out the practical points..."
- ―Sherlock Holmes, speaking to Watson about his brother in "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter"
Mycroft Holmes possessed greater powers of deductive reasoning compared to his brother, Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock even stated that Mycroft possessed in a larger degree a faculty of observation and peculiar facility for deduction than himself. He was unwilling, however, to put physical effort behind these powers. It was implied that he lacked practicality. Mycroft occupied an unspecified role in the British government. His brother stated that Mycroft audited books for certain government departments; however, his true role was hinted as to be more substantial and influential. ("The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter")
Mycroft also spent large amounts of time at the Diogenes Club.
Mycroft Holmes was seven years older than Sherlock.
Mycroft Holmes was a much larger and stouter man than Sherlock. His body was absolutely corpulent, but his face, though massive, had preserved something of the sharpness of expression which was so remarkable in that of his brother. His eyes, which were of a peculiarly light, watery gray, seemed to always retain that far-away, introspective look which Sherlock only possessed when he was exerting his full powers ("The Greek Interpreter"). He had a head so masterful in its brow, so alert in its steel-grey, deep-set eyes, so firm in its lips, and so subtle in its play of expression, that after the first glance one forgot the gross body and remembered only the dominant mind ("The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans").
Mycroft Holmes appeared or is mentioned in the following adventures:
- "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter"
- "The Final Problem"
- "The Adventure of the Empty House" (mentioned)
- "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans"
Mycroft Holmes has been portrayed by various actors: