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Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The Case of the Long-Awaited Book
We all have long "to-read" lists (or stacks). It took me almost 50 years to get around to reading The Case of the Aluminum Crutch. Here's what happened:
Earlier this month, at the "Doyle, Holmes & Friends" symposium in Dayton, Dana Richards had dozens of enticing books for sale. One that jumped out at me was the aforementioned Crutch, a juvenile mystery about a lad named Sherlock Jones and his pal Doc Botson. In an instant I recalled seeing the slim paperback around 1964 or 1965.
I don't remember why I never actually bought the book all those years ago, but I knew right away that I couldn't let it slip through my fingers again. I bought the book at a friendly price. It was a quick, delightful read - everything you would want in a mystery for kids.
Sherlock (not his real name) Jones is, of course, an admirer of the Great Detective who makes credible deductions in the manner of his hero. Doc Botson is a loyal, dependable boy of action. Together they tackle a seemingly impossible mystery of a wealthy boy who disappears from a tree house with the door locked from the inside, leaving behind an aluminum crutch. Perhaps "the singular affair of the aluminium crutch" alluded to in "The Musgrave Ritual" was something similar.
Was the book worth the half-century wait? I'd rather say that I wish I hadn't waited so long.
Despite language on a promotional page in the book about this being "another fascinating case," it was unfortunately Sherlock Jones's only case to make it into print. Long out of print, the book is available from used-book dealers, including through Amazon.
Posted by Doctor Dan at 12:00 AM