I feel this is a little premature, considering this is the death tale, but I am not even halfway through my collected stories. From the little bit of background I know about Sherlock and Sir Arthur, he began to hate writing about Sherlock and so killed him off so he could write about real science, like alchemy and magic. But the public was so outraged he had to bring him back from the dead–hence both the latest Sherlock movie and mini-series ending with Sherlock revealing himself to Watson. (Plus Watson tells his tales out of order, so besides The Hound of the Baskervilles novel that’s next, who knows what stories are coming up.)
Summary: Watson hasn’t heard from Sherlock in a while, but one night he turns up at his house with a strange tale and offer for adventure. He is just about to set a trap for the most ingenious crime lord who ever existed, Professor Moriarty. He is apparently behind almost all the crime in the city but has never been connected to any wrongdoing until Sherlock made it his mission. Sherlock set a trap and decided to get out of town before the trap could fall and Moriarty could try to get his revenge. Moriarty knew about the trap, though, and despite all their secretive maneuverings and disguises, and even Mycroft’s help, he finally tracks Sherlock and Watson down in somewhere near a waterfall in Austria/Germany or somewhere like that. Sherlock knows he’s coming and lets Watson be drawn away. When Watson realizes what’s going on he runs back, but he’s too late. Both have apparently gone over the falls in a struggle. Sherlock left Watson a note about it, though, that is very formal, mentions supposed “friends” who will grieve him, and neatly ties up all his affairs. Toodles, Watson!
Sherlock Rating: A very resounding 5 magnifying glasses! Finally Moriarty! Sherlock’s nemesis! And all the things I like in a good climax–a chase, suspense, past characters coming together to help (Mycroft), and a big confrontation between our hero and the bad guy. Very exciting and enjoyable (and the tragic ending is helped by the fact that there is still lots more to read and that I’m pretty sure Sherlock has a miraculous survival)
Mystery Convention: Literal cliffhanger–or, I suppose, cliff faller. Disguises, a chase. Everything you could want!