Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Reigate Squires - a Sherlock Holmes short story

The Reigate Squires by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle                                                   A Sherlock Holmes short story

The Reigate Squires is part of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes collection. It is Holmes eighth case chronologically. Doyle ranked this as his twelfth favorite Sherlock Holmes adventure. Me? Not so much.

As usual, Holmes’ keen observation and powers of deduction solve the case, but it lacked something for me. There was little comic relief, which usually comes in the form of Holmes awkward social graces, collegial banter between Holmes and Watson, or Holmes’ contempt and subtle disparaging innuendos directed at the inspectors of Scotland Yard, particularly Inspector Lestrade. 

However, there were two elements I liked in this murder mystery. First, that Watson had taken Holmes to a country estate of an Army colleague, in order for Holmes to rest and recuperate after a strenuous case and illness. But of course, even on medical holiday Holmes is confronted with a mystery to solve. And although I liked this, it is perhaps also what disappointed me. I think there was great opportunity here for comic banter between Holmes and Watson, but there was almost none. 

Secondly, I liked that Holmes was much more professionally courteous with the country constable in charge of the case. I suppose Holmes didn’t feel he needed taking down quite so badly as the typical Scotland Yard inspectors. Whatever his reasons, I was glad to read Holmes treating the constable with respect. 

Other than that, just another case in the chronicles of Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes wrestling with the murderers…Dr. Watson to the rescue. Illustration by Sidney Paget

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