Re-reading the original Sherlock Holmes stories. The Cardboard Box isn’t most exciting-sounding title, but it’s a terrific Holmes tale.
Facts of the case: It’s summertime, and there’s a heat wave hitting London. Holmes and Watson investigate a woman, Miss Cushing, who received in the mail a cardboard box with two severed human ears inside.
Great detective: Despite routine trips to the countryside, Holmes says he prefers the city, where there are so many crimes to focus his attention. Also, we learn that Holmes’ violin is an original Stradivarius.
Good doctor: Watson has no problem with the heat, as it reminds him of his time in the military. In addition to Afghanistan, we learn he also served in India.
Who’s that at the door: Inspector Lestrade is back, joining Holmes and Watson on the case. Lestrade rudely laughs at Miss Cushing when she suggests she got the package by mistake, and he takes partial credit for solving the case, even though Holmes did all the work.
Yes, this is canon: Holmes is somewhat shaken up by the gruesomeness of the case, hoping for logic and reason in all things. A universe ruled by chance, he says, is “unthinkable.”
Indubitably: I really enjoyed this one. There might not be a lot of action, as a lot of the story happens outside of the characters’ point-of-view, but it has a lot of nice character moments and wonderfully-written dialogue throughout.
Next week: Let’s all get uncomfortable.
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