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, March 5, 2014

The Adventure of The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four isn't much of a mystery, but it certainly is a great adventure. There's even a treasure hunt!

The murder of Bartholmew Sholto takes place in chapter five. Holmes announces the name of the murderer, Jonathan Small, in chapter six! There are no other suspects - except to Athelny Jones. There's a wonderful exchange between Holmes and Watson after Jones arrests Thaddeus Sholto along with a housekeeper, a butler, and gamekeeper:
"Isn't it gorgeous," said Holmes, grinning over his coffee cup. "What do you think of it?"
"I think that we have had ourselves a close shave of being arrested for the crime."
"So do I. I wouldn't answer for our safety now, if he should happen to have another of his attacks of energy."
(But the butler actually did do it, sort of.)

Shortly thereafter follows the thrilling chase on the Thames - adventure, but not mystery.

I re-read The Sign of Four last week in the splendid Sherlock Holmes Reference Library edition from Gasogene Books, edited and annotated by Leslie S. Klinger. I happened to have re-read The Maltese Falcon immediately beforehand. The two detective novels (and detectives) are very different in type and tone. But it struck me that they are both about a treasure which is ultimately lost.

Ah, the Agra Treasure - "That's the stuff that dreams are made."

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