Summary: A distressed banker comes to Sherlock after having lost part of a crown a very important man had given him as collateral for a loan he intended to repay by the next Monday. He blamed his son, but after investigating, Sherlock deduces that the supposedly blameless niece had fallen in with a bad man, who had tried to steal it, but the son had stopped him from taken all but a few gems. Sherlock gets it back, of course.
Reaction: I still can’t completely guess these. At first I thought the important man was running some kind of con, but when this disreputable man was mentioned with his full name, I knew he had something to do with it. I didn’t suspect the niece, though. In these classic stories I always expect the innocent girls to truly be innocent and perfectly blameless, but Doyle is pretty good at coming up with the unexpected.
Sherlock Rating: Pretty good. This one threw me for a loop, there was an actual crime, and justice was sort of served.
Mystery Story Convention: Unlikely nefarious alliances–We wouldn’t normally expect a chaste young maiden to take up with a scoundrel…okay, in a way it’s a bit of a cliche, but it can still take you by surprise, and mismatched alliances make a mystery just a bit richer and more complex.