Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear (2:7)

Summary: In the conclusion of this tale (finally), McMurdo sets a trap for this detective they’re worried about and has all the most lethal members of the Scowrers lie in wait. But then he reveals that he is actually the detective they had been so worried about and that he knows all their secrets and they are all under arrest. They serve their time, and from then on McMurdo/Birdy Edwards has to go into hiding. Eventually he goes overseas to get away, but the Scowrers just hire Moriarty to help, and that has sealed his fate. After some time passes, Sherlock and Watson hear that he had fallen overboard around Cape Town and was lost at sea.

Sherlock Rating: I give the story as a whole just 2.5 magnifying glasses. I was disappointed that Moriarty, and Sherlock, for that matter, just played a marginal role. And I still don’t care for story tangents like the one about the freemasons, McMurdo, etc.

Mystery Story Convention: The twist ending. Though I was pretty sure McMurdo would turn out to be the guy that had faked his death to get away from “the bodymaster” and “the Valley of Fear,” and I was pretty sure he’d secretly prevented some murders, like warning the guy before he blew up the house, I didn’t guess that he was actually the detective, and I appreciate twist endings like that.

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