Summary: Sherlock is called to help locate a missing prize horse before its race. It had gone missing when its trainer was murdered. Sherlock visits the scene and figures it out, and Watson even helps. He pretends like he didn’t find the horse even though he did. The neighbor trainer had been keeping it hidden by painting over its distinguishing features so it couldn’t run (this was unrelated to the murder). The horse’s own owner didn’t recognize it, even when it ran the race. Sherlock had to spell it out for him. He also told him the horse had been the murderer. The trainer had been trying to secretly lame it to make some money, but the horse kicked and killed him.
Reaction: I totally guessed this one right! Yay me! Some observations I came up with while reading: Inspector Gregory seems to be Sherlock’s favorite investigator so far–he was actually careful not to contaminate the crime scene. Sherlock is quite the trickster. He loves teaching jerks a lesson, like the horse owner. And by now Sherlock probably has enough important contacts he could do anything–he gets front row seats and backstage passes to this horse race. Notable quotes: “It is more than possible; it is probable.” and he mentions, “The curious incident of the dog in the night time.” I wonder if that’s where that title for that cute book I read once about a boy with autism came from?
Sherlock Rating: Awesome! There wasn’t a real murder technically, but there was a real crime, and we had all the clues to solve it ourselves. Plus there was humor, plus this one didn’t start with “The Adventure of…”
Mystery Story Convention: Blame wrongly placed on a minority group. Sure, in real life maybe they would have done it…maybe not, but in mystery stories they never do it–In Sherlock’s case, gypsies seem to be the scape goats, but it’s never the gypsies.