|Take that, Carlo!|
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;
- 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.
Have you ever grown to appreciate a story more with successive re-readings?