Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Adventure of the Dying Detective – a Sherlock Holmes short story

The Adventure of the Dying Detective – a Sherlock Holmes short story

The Adventure of the Dying Detective by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a Sherlock Holmes short story from His Last Bow collection. According to The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, it was Holmes 14thcase.

Would it alarm you to learn the dying detective is none other than Sherlock Holmes? It certainly alarmed Mrs. Hudson.

Mrs. Hudson, the landlady of Sherlock Holmes, was a long-suffering woman. Not only was her first-floor flat invaded at all hours by throngs of singular and often undesirable characters, but her remarkable lodger showed an eccentricity and irregularity in his life which must have sorely tried her patience. His incredible untidiness, his addiction to music at strange hours, his occasional revolver practice within doors, his weird and often malodorous scientific experiments, and the atmosphere of violence and danger which hung around him made him the very worst tenant in London. 
And yet…

She was fond of him…

And would only tolerate Holmes’ refusal of a Doctor for so long. Eventually, she sends for Dr. Watson.

Who found Holmes emaciated and delirious, causing Watson to remark…

Of all ruins, that of a noble mind is the most deplorable.

He still retained, however, the jaunty gallantry of his speech. To the last gasp he would always be the master. 

Of course, it does not require Sherlock Holmes’ powers to deduce that I have many Sherlock Holmes stories yet to read – so there must be hope for the persnickety detective.

Indeed, his condition is simply a ruse – though ever the slave to his craft, Holmes did deny himself food and water for three days to affect his gaunt condition. It was necessary to first deceive Mrs. Hudson – who Holmes knew would alert Dr. Watson. Next he would fool Watson in order that Watson should be convincing when he plead Holmes’ fatal condition to the real subject – and the villain in this case.

I think I am catching on to Holmes’ ways – I suspected Holmes was malingering. It was a fun adventure nonetheless.



  1. I think this is my favorite of the stories in The Last Bow. Holmes seems to be having a lot of fun in it, in a bizarre, Holmesian way.

    1. It was my first from that I can't compare, but I am anxious to read for of this bizarre fun.


Comments are always welcome. In fact, they make my day. You needn't sign in to leave a comment. Just enter your comment, then on the "Comment as:" drop down menu, select "anonymous".