Summary: In these three chapters, they begin investigating the murder of John Douglas, who had been mysteriously killed in his castle house. They first have a lot of questions with no clear answers. Sherlock interviews all of the household staff. Douglas had a friend who had been with him in America who knew of some great fear he had and used to mention “the valley of fear” but never explained what it was. He seemed to be afraid of someone called Bodymaster McGinty. Finally, Mrs. Douglas is revealed to have a secret. They believe she and the friend may be in love and that they are hiding the true time of murder and helped the murderer escape by lowering the drawbridge for him. Sherlock dwells on a missing dumbbell and finally reaches some kind of conclusion while calling himself a lunatic.
Sherlock Rating: 2 monacles. The case is interesting, but it doesn’t seem that special to be drug out into book-length. Moriarty hasn’t been mentioned again at all!
Mystery Story Convention: The cheating wife with a secret. The wives always have a secret. Those pesky women are always hiding something from the big, strong, insecure men. No matter how happy a woman in a mystery appears, she is always hiding something. I guess that’s why Sherlock doesn’t respect women all that much.