A Case of Identity

“A Case of Identity” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This is a really interesting case as it is one that Sherlock solves, but doesn’t “solve” as he can never reveal the truth to the client as she wouldn’t believe it.

One day Sherlock is remarking to Watson he hasn’t had an interesting case. However, there may be one in the future, near future, as in the girl who is pacing outside their door.

“I have seen those symptoms before,’ said Holmes, throwing his cigarette into the fire. ‘Oscillation upon the pavement always means an affair de coeur. She would like advice, but is not sure that the matter is not too delicate for communication.”

This new client is Miss Mary Sutherland. After Holmes amazes her with his deductive abilities, she introduces her case.

She is here to seek help in finding a Mr. Hosmer Angel.

Mary’s father died not to long ago, and shortly after her mother remarried a Mr. Windibank, fifteen years her junior and five years older than Mary, and they sold the Sutherland plumbing business for £4700. Mary has £100 annual that she receives from her uncle Ned.

She lives at home, earning a side income of £60 at typing, and has a genial relationship with her mother and “father”. She signs over her her £100, as she wants to help at home and can do well off her side income.

Mary used to go out and have fun while her father was alive, but Mr. Windibank never let’s them go anywhere. When they receive tickets to the gasfitter’s ball, in memoriam to her late father, Mary rebels. She decides to go, while her stepfather sulks off to France. She attends the dance with her mother and their old foreman, Mr. Hardy.

There she met Hosmer Angel. They continued to spend time together, as he asked her for walks, courting her. But then one day, her stepfather returns and no more is seen of Mr. Angel.

The two wrote letters and became engaged. However, he will not come around when her father is home.

He was a shy man, retiring, gentlemanly, soft voice, he had weak eyes like Mary and wore tinted glasses.

When her stepfather left, Hosmer Angel returned. They planned to get married and Hosmer made her swear on a bible that whatever happened she would always be true. Mary was worried about stepfather but her mother said to forget it. Mary was still worried as it felt underhanded and wrote to her stepfather, only to receive the letter back.

The day of the wedding Hosmer Angel placed Mary and her mother in a cab , following behind them. But when they reached the church, he had VANISHED!

Her mother and father were very upset and told Mary to forget him. He was just a cad and it wasn’t like he had borrowed money or married her and took off. But Mary can’t forget. She must know where her love is.

She advertised for him in the paper, but nothing. No one knows him and she has not heard from him again.

Where is he?

Sherlock agrees to the case and Mary leaves him to think on it.

Now Sherlock has picked up on many clues, one of which being the letters she received from her Betrothed, Hosmer Angel, were all typewritten, even the signature. Very odd.

He then writes two letters-one to a firm in the city, sand the second to Mr. Windibank.

The two wait for the reply.

The next day, Mr. Windibank answers the note and arrives at Baker Street. Sherlock discusses the case, the letters, etc-Mr. Windibank making a lot of bluster that he would like to catch the guy who did this to his daughter. But then Sherlock reveals who the guy is, Mr. Windibank.

Yes, Mr. Windibank was just a gold digger. He married the widow for her money and was also enjoying the money of the stepdaughter. He tried to do everything he could to keep her from marrying and taking her money with her.

First he never let her out or to any events, but soon Mary grew tired of this and rebelled. Windibank knew it was only a matter of time until she went somewhere and met someone, and he decided the only one she would meet would be himself.

He got his wife to help him and disguised himself. He wanted to distract Mary and knew the best way to hook her was to get her promise of undying love. And on the day of the wedding he entered the carriage on one side, exiting through the other to “vanish”. With such an event, he knew that Mary would never stop trying to look for her “fiancé” and that her heart would be stolen forever.

Thoughts After Reading:

The sad thing about this is that Mary is unlikely to believe him, so he decides to give that view up. But poor girl, how sad that her stepfather and MOTHER would conspire against her like that? I think this is one of the sadder stories in Sherlock Holmes. And now she will spend her life thinking and having her heart stolen by that jerk. And him, nothing he did was really against the law, but how horrible. Sherlock threatens to beat him with a whip for his treachery, but Wiindibank hurries away-fast. Too bad, I would have liked him to get his just desserts.

For more Sherlock Holmes, go to The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

For more by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, go to The Red Headed League

For more from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, go to A Scandal in Bohemia

For more short stories, go to Punishment Without Crime

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The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

“The Blue Carbuncle” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

It’s Christmas time in London and for Sherlock Holmes.

A priceless jewel, the blue carbuncle, has been stolen and John Horner, a former felon and current plumber, is arrested for the theft. The only issue, no jewel has been found.

Hmm…

The day after Christmas Dr. Watson visits Sherlock and finds him staring at an old hat. Commissionaire Peterson dropped it off after a scuffle made someone lose their hat and a goose. The goose had a name on it, Henry Baker, but it is so popular a name they have no clue where to find him. Peterson took the goose and Sherlock kept the hat.

Hmm…

After Sherlock relates it all to Watson, Peterson comes running in with the missing blue carbuncle.

Holmes works hard to find Henry deducing many things about him but is uncertain whether or not Henry stole the jewel. He places ads in the newspaper, and Henry Baker arrives at his doorstep. Holmes tells him that they cooked the goose and ate it. Henry doesn’t care, he accepts a replacement and goes on his way.

Hmm…

So obviously, he didn’t steal the jewel and had no knowledge that the jewel even exists. So how did it get in the goose? Holmes is on the case!

Thoughts After Reading:

I love this mystery, it is fantastic!

Check it out!

For more Sherlock Holmes, go to The Disappearance of Edwin Drood

For more from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, go to A Scandal in Bohemia

For more by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, go to The Red Headed League

For more Christmas stories, go to The Cat Who Turned On and Off

For more mysteries with stolen jewels, go to The Secret of the Three Teardrops

 

 

The Red Headed League

“The Red Headed League” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

One day Sherlock is approached by a man with red hair who has a very unusual problem. A Mr. Jabez Wilson is the owner of a pawn shop. It used to be prospering but since then has fallen on hard times. He now only has one assistant, a bright young man named Vincent Spaulding, who is willing to work for the low wage even though he deserves much more. Spaulding loves photography and has his own developing room in the cellar.

Hmm…

Two months earlier, on April 27th, his assistant bemoans his lack of red hair and shows Wilson an advertisement he found in the newspaper.

TO THE RED HEADED LEAGUE:

On account of the bequest of the late Ezekiah Hopkins, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., there is another vacancy open which entitles a member of the League to a salary of £4 a week for purely nominal services. All red-headed men who are sound in body and mind, and above the age of twenty-one years, are eligible. Apply in person on Monday, at eleven o’clock, to Duncan Ross, at the offices of the League, 7 Pope’s Court, Fleet Street.

Wilson was not one to got out and had never heard of anything like the red headed league, but his assistant had. It was founded by a millionaire who was red headed and has created a fund to give money and assist other red heads.

Apparently the league is only confined to London, as this American first started his business there, and they only accept those with real red hair, bright and blazing not auburn or any dark shades. The work is light and it means an extra £100 a year.

Wilson decides to try out, but is disheartened at seeing all the other red-headed men. He wants to back out, but his assistant won’t let him and on he goes. He gets picked to continue and gets his hair practically ripped out as they must test that it is really red.

He is chosen and given £4 a week for just copying out the Encyclopedia Britannica.

He gets going all the way to Attica, but then it all ends.

He goes to the league and finds a notice upon the door.

THE RED HEADED LEAGUE IS DISSOLVED

Wilson tries to track down the people, but the landlord says they were just renting it until his offices were redecorated. When Wilson goes to the address provided for the offices he finds a factory and that no one had even heard of the league or the people involved.

Sherlock Holmes believes he has figured the case out. Will he catch the Red Headed League Red Handed?

Thoughts After Reading:

I loved this story.

It was fantastic, thought provoking, and altogether a great story. And the conclusion,

You should defintely check it out.

Read it today!

For more by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, go to A Scandal in Bohemia

For more Sherlock Holmes, go to The Sign of the Four

For more short stories, go to The Utterly Perfect Murder

For more mysteries with private investigators, go to Secrets Can Kill

A Scandal in Bohemia

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“A Scandal in Bohemia” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Thoughts Before Reviewing:

Now that we have done the first two novels of Sherlock Holmes, we have moved into his short stories. As with all short stories, I’ll be posting them on Sunday instead of during the week (except for a few special cases).

I grew up reading the short stories or cases of Sherlock Holmes, and I think my favorite collection growing up was The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It just has so many good and memorable tales.

So “A Scandal in Bohemia” is probably a story you are familiar with.  I’m sure many of you have probably read this story or seen the Sherlock version (which I hated)

They didn’t do it right!

It is one of my favorites and I am glad to share it with you all.

Plot Synopsis:

The Bohemian King comes to Sherlock for help, first in disguise but of course Sherlock sees through that, to ask for his help. He is to be married, but before the engagement he had had a relationship with the beautiful Irene Adler. He has tried to get it back a very incriminating photograph through begging, payment, bribery, theft, etc; but nothing has netted it.

Nothing is working!

Sherlock does some reconnaissance on her and ends up being the witness at her wedding!

Seriously?

Sherlock continues on his plan to get the photograph by dressing up as a minister and having Watson create a fuss about fire in order to determine the secret hiding place of the photograph. When Irene goes to retrieve it and protect it, Sherlock spies on her and leaves planning on returning the next day for it before she leaves on her honeymoon.

On the way home he is greeted by a young boy, one he does not know but that isn’t very odd, after all he is a known figure. The next day the three men set out to retrieve the photograph but find Irene gone.

What?!

Irene has left a note explaining that she thought there was something suspicious about the “fire”, dressed up as a boy to research it, and figured out the plan of Sherlock Holmes; besting him by leaving that night.

She leaves the picture behind, as she is married she no longer needs it; forever going down in history as the one who bested the greatest detective, and becoming the woman.

Thoughts After Reading:

One of my favorites as Irene just kicks butt.

She’s everything we want to be: intelligent, cunning, beautiful, witty, etc. And she is the only one to outsmart the Sherlock Holmes.

For more by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, go to The Sign of the Four

For more Sherlock Holmes, go to A Study in Scarlet

For more short stories, go to The Murders in Rue Morgue

For more mysteries with private detectives, go to The Missing Housewife

For more mysteries that involve a wedding, go to Murder Well Done