I swear this will be the last Sherlock book I blog about, because I have now read them all! The entire series...and let me tell you, it has been a journey indeed. This is also the last book that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote for Sherlock and Watson, writing at the beginning of the turn of the century, and approaching issues that would be a part of our times for decades after they were addressed by Doyle. In this book, I believe there is one case given in a third person perspective, not by Watson, and there are also two cases that are written by Sherlock himself, and other than two in Sherlock's Memoirs, these are the only ones chronicled by Holmes alone. The rest, of course, are chronicled by Watson. This book is set for its times just as it should be, but it also makes this book different from the Victorian times which prevailed in the earlier Sherlock novels and short story sets. The turn of the century was a time of change, and Arthur Conan Doyle changed with his times. Anyway, this is my favorite passage from the book, in a story called "The Three Garridebs" (Watson begins the narration in this passage):
In an instant [Evans] had whisked out a revolver from his breast and had fired two shots. I felt a sudden hot sear as if a red-hot iron had been pressed to my thigh. There was a crash as Holmes's pistol came down on the man's head. I had a vision of him sprawling on the floor with blood running down his face while Holmes rummaged him for weapons. Then my friend's wiry arms were round me and he was leading me to a chair.
"You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake, say that you are not hurt!"
It was worth a wound--It was worth many wounds--to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service had culminated in that moment of revelation.
"It's nothing, Holmes. It's a mere scratch."
He had ripped up my trousers with his pocket knife. "You are right," he cried, with an immense sigh of relief. "It is quite superficial." His face set like flint as he glared at our prisoner, who was sitting up with a dazed face. "By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive."
Anyway, I just have to say I love these books! If you ever have a question about Sherlock or any of the stories, let me know and I will be glad to answer it for you and discuss it with you! Also, I realized last night, at about one in the morning, that the newest movie Sherlock Holmes (with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law) actually alludes in some way to all of the short story books (A Study in Scarlet, Return, Memoirs, His Last Bow and Case-Book). It also alludes, through Watson's fiancee Mary, to The Sign of the Four. Guy Ritchie did his research!!! Huzzah!!
4 years ago