Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How 'The Copper Beaches' Made My List

Take that, Carlo!
You might expect that after more than half a century of reading Sherlock Holmes I have long had my favorite stories firmly set. At least, that's what I thought. But I was wrong.

Baker Street Babe Amy Thomas, of the Girl Meets Sherlock blog, once noted that "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" is her favorite Holmes story. The story - the last in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - seldom appears on lists of favorites, including Arthur Conan Doyle's. But on a recent re-reading, I suddenly saw all that it has going for it:
  • a strong Baker Street opening;
  • a wonderfully Gothic plot, suggested by Arthur Conan Doyle's mother;
  • a truly creepy villain;
  • a damsel in distress;
  • a loyal boyfriend;
  • suspense;
  • some great quotes ("Crime is common. Logic is rare." and ". . . the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.");
  • a vicious mastiff that could get a job as as stand-in for the Hound of the Baskervilles;
  • an exciting conclusion, topped by poetic justice for the villain. 
All of these strong points don't move this overlooked story to the top of my list of favorites, but they certainly put it on the list. Thank you, Amy Thomas!

Have you ever grown to appreciate a story more with successive re-readings?

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