Summary: Sherlock and Watson are asked to help a red-headed man who had gotten a strange job. Each day from 10-2 he would go to a room and copy pages from the encyclopedia, all as part of the “Red-Headed League.” Each week he was paid until one day he saw a sign that the league was disbanded. So he asked Sherlock for help to figure out just what had gone on. Sherlock figured out that his assistant had been tunneling from his shop to the bank next door while the man was at his “League.” Sherlock and company foil the plan.
Reaction: So I have read this before–actually, my dad read it to me when I was in elementary school because he liked that it was the red-headed league and he has red hair. But I read it again to see the context, and that was a long time ago, so I only remembered parts. I could have told you there was a scene with a lot of boxes (which there was). Other things rang bells like the encyclopedia. If you would have asked me, though, I would have said there was some kind of murder. I think the part where a glowing hand came out of the floor scared me a bit, and I probably associated that with a murder. (I was an easily frightened child and had to leave the room anytime my teachers read ghost stories. Luckily I was also easygoing and friendly and pretty much unconcerned about what the other kids thought, so I didn’t get picked on much for it, and if I did I don’t really remember it).
Why This Book Is a Classic: I think for the Sherlock Holmes’ stories I’m going to change this category. I will change it to how I rank the story based on the other Sherlocks I’ve read. So: Sherlock Ranking: Fun and quick! No long rambling explanations and nothing to serious to deal with. I’ll have to think of some fun Sherlock terms to go with the ranking in the future.
Mystery Story Convention: The stake-out. A classic stake-out in a basement. Also criminals tunneling to the bank next door. We see that all the time.
Classic Sherlock Quote: “It [music] is introspective and I want to introspect.” Thought I’d just add that to cap it off.