Re-reading the original Sherlock Holmes stories. If you’re not on board with all things Holmes after The Speckled Band, then I can’t help you.
Facts of the case: A troubled young woman comes to Holmes for help. She’s living under the thumb of her cruel stepfather, and her sister recently died under mysterious circumstances. It’s off to a countryside mansion for architectural strangeness and a menagerie of exotic killer animals.
Great detective: The story begins with Watson waking up in the morning to find Holmes standing over his bed, fully dressed. How long was Holmes standing there?
Good doctor: This one is a flashback to the days when Holmes and Watson were roommates. Watson begins the story saying that only now can he reveal the sordid details.
Who’s at the door: Mrs. Hudson is mentioned, answering the door for Holmes and Watson.
Action hero: The evil stepdad is a hulkingly huge guy who threatens Holmes by bending a fireplace poker with his bare hands. Holmes responds by using his own awesome strength to straighten out the poker. Holmes later goes to town on one of the killer animals.
Yes, this is canon: Holmes is described as laughing and chuckling throughout the first half of the story. Then, at the end, he gets down on himself for not solving the case sooner.
Indubitably: Again, the whole story is more about figuring out the puzzle rather than bringing the killer to justice. The identity of the killer is brushed through real quick in favor of how the crime was committed. Beyond that, though, this story is a blast. It’s dark yet quirky, with a lot of action and humor while life and death are on the line. One of my personal favorites.
Next week: Are you a blackthumb?
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