Summary: A woman has come to Sherlock asking for help figuring out what has happened to her husband, who she saw in a window above an opium den, but then he disappeared. A beggar camping out in the apartment up there was arrested for his murder, but no body was found, just all his clothes. After thinking it over Sherlock realizes that the husband had been dressing up as a beggar because begging made him more money than actually working, but he never wanted his family to know. They agree to keep it a secret as long as he never begs again.
Reaction: I actually really enjoyed this one. And this one was solved, kind of, but there was no real bad guy. This is becoming a trend with this series of stories–no definite crime/bad guy followed by a slam/bam arrest. It does say a lot about Sherlock’s motives. He loves the puzzles and the chase, but once he figures it all out, who cares? I do. I want a real crime with a real, satisfying ending for once.
Sherlock Rating: Cut down on the opium/cocaine..I love weird factors as much as anyone–more, actually–but it’s really high time for something more solid and satisfying.
Mystery Story Convention: The lock-up confrontation. Sherlock does a prison interview and gets his conviction. Interestingly, the man would rather be convicted of murder than have his family know he’s been making their money from begging.