Sherlock Holmes: “The Crooked Man”

I am going back to Sherlock for a little while. I’d like to eventually finish all of them. There’s a lot of stories, so I don’t know how far I’ll get before I’ll want to switch it up. But I did read War and Peace for a year, so maybe I’ll get through Sherlock this time.

So this week I read “The Crooked Man”

Summary: Sherlock shows up at married Watson’s house to ask for some help finishing up his mystery. (He didn’t really need help; he just wanted to show off.) There had been a murder of a Colonel Barclay, and his wife was suspected, but Sherlock didn’t believe she was capable. He found out a stranger had meet Mrs. Barclay, and he tracked that stranger down. He was a man who had been in India with Barclay and his future wife, and it had been a love triangle. She loved this stranger (Henry) and Barclay loved her. Then the natives rebelled and they were trapped, so Henry volunteered to go for help, but he walked right into a trap. Henry had been thought dead, but he was just horribly disfigured, which he felt was as good as dead, but he finally came back, and when Barclay saw him he was so shocked he fell back and hit his head and died. Henry fled because he knew he’d be blamed, but when he found out Mrs. Barclay could be blamed he agreed to come forward. He also had a mongoose.

Sherlock Rating: I give it 2 magnifying glasses. We didn’t get to be a part of the whole solving of the mystery–just the end, and there wasn’t really a murder. Plus it seems very familiar to some of the other mysteries he’s solved.

Mystery Story Convention: I know real investigators (especially those who investigate infidelity) see the same thing over and over, but as this is fiction I’d like it spiced up a little, and just throwing a mongoose in isn’t enough. The conventions in this one are secret pasts in India coming back to haunt, former lovers thought dead but aren’t, and animals that leave confusing clues (hello, orangutan?) Let’s step it up next week, Sherlock.


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