Summary: Charles Augustus is a blackmailer and he’s really good at his job. Sherlock’s client wants him to fix her problem, but after a meeting with Augustus, Sherlock is left with no progress. He has a back-up plan, though. He’s been going in disguise to Augustus’s house and has gotten “engaged” to a girl who works there. Now he knows the routine of the house and where everything is, so he decides to break in. After telling him not to do it, Watson insists on going too, so they don their burgling outfits and sneak in. Everything goes according to plan until Augustus walks in, not asleep as they’d thought. They hide, and they witness a woman confront him about ruining her life. Then she shoots him and flees. Watson and Sherlock burn all his incriminating papers and then run as well. They are spotted but not recognized, and the next day the police come to ask Sherlock to help solve the murder. He refuses to punish someone who did the world a favor.
Sherlock Rating: 5 magnifying glasses! Even writing the summary was exciting. We get disguises, break-ins, confrontations, and justice is satisfying at the end.
Mystery Story Convention: It has a lot, but my favorite from this one is the good guys breaking the law. In real life any evidence you get from stealing from the suspect isn’t admissible, but in fiction it is a great way to build the suspense and it feels good to read about Sherlock and Watson doing something so daring. Also, I loved the bad guy confrontation, which, in this story happened with Sherlock at the beginning, and Augustus really showed him up. It’s rare to see Sherlock so frazzled. Then we get another confrontation at the end with A. and they mysterious lady!