Summary: A landlady asks Sherlock to help her figure out her renter, who paid a huge amount to rent the room and has never come out. Sherlock takes the case because it is interesting–purely as “education” for himself. He determines that the person living in the room is different than the one who originally rented it. When they spy on the door, they discover that a woman is living there. She is being communicated to through the “agony column” in the newspaper. It turns out she and her husband were on the run from a gang. Her husband managed to kill their pursuer just as Sherlock and the police closed in on them.
Sherlock Rating: 4.5 magnifying glasses. It was exciting and interesting. I really enjoyed this one.
Mystery Story Convention: Secret codes in the newspaper–I’d never heard of an “agony column” before. I guess it compares to Twitter today?
Summary: Sherlock and Watson begin their investigation, though the local constable seems to have it well in hand–impressing even Sherlock with his methods. Sherlock hones in on the mansion of “Mr. Henderson.” Suspecting that his governess was the one who had sent the letter that had gotten the man killed. He believes she is being held captive. This turns out to be true, and Sherlock’s man saves her as Mr. Henderson tries to flee. It turns out that the local constable was on the same trail (for once), and the only thing of value Sherlock added to the investigation was that he was able to save the woman. The woman explains that Mr. Henderson was actually the Tiger of San Pedro, a former cruel leader of San Pedro who had had her husband and many others killed. There was a network of people plotting to get justice, and she and the murdered man were among them. Though the Tiger got away this time, he eventually is killed.
Sherlock Rating: This ended up being shorter than I expected. The chapter thing had thrown me off. So I give this mystery/adventure a 2.5. It was interesting, but Sherlock really didn’t have much to do. And they promised a rescue mission and then immediately took it away when the woman escapes on her own.
Mystery Story Convention: Foreign war criminal in hiding with a secret group trying to kill him. This is something that has come up before. I wonder if any of my neighbors are secret foreign war criminals…
Summary: Another longer story. Sherlock is bored so he takes a case from Mr. Eccles, who was visiting a new friend (Mr. Garcia, a Spaniard) overnight, but found that the man and his whole staff had disappeared in the morning. The police find Mr. Eccles to get a statement from him, since the man had been found murdered. Sherlock decides that Garcia had made friends with Eccles to get a reliable English alibi for something he wanted to do having to do with a woman. It clearly didn’t work out as planned. Now Sherlock is going to the location it happened.
Sherlock Rating: 3 bows, as in bowing in appreciation, not archery or hair ribbons, unless I’m reading the title of this thing wrong. Anyway, this is because it seemed to be a pretty good build up, though nothing too interesting or exciting happened.
Mystery Story Convention: The first suspect (almost) never is guilty. Unless they dismiss that first guy so quickly you forget about him, but I’m pretty sure in this case, this rule is followed.