Sherlock Holmes: “The Gloria Scott”

Summary: Sherlock relates the details of the first case he ever undertook. When in college, his only friend’s father died suddenly after reading a mysterious note. Sherlock decoded the note, which told him that a mysterious man had discovered the father’s secret. After reading a note left behind for the son, they learned that the father had been a prisoner on a ship where there was a mutiny. The boat of the least murderous prisoners left before the boat itself exploded. For some reason they went back to look for survivors and saved one of the sailors, who had plagued them ever since. The father died of fright for no reason, because the man disappeared after that. Sherlock deduced that he was done in by another blackmail victim, who then went into hiding.

Sherlock Rating: Meh. It was exciting to read, actually, and interesting because it was his first case and we saw a little of Sherlock’s backstory, but upon writing the summary, I realized that Sherlock did absolutely nothing to solve the case. He decoded the strange letter, but it was decoded in the explanation letter the father had left him anyway.

Mystery Story Convention: Hidden identities and secret dark pasts. A lot of these stories and mystery stories in general seem to deal with this.

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