I’m not sure if http://noonlightreads.blogspot.ca/2016/12/the-chronological-sherlock-holmes_29.html#more knows I’m doing this. I can’t comment on most Blogspot blogs. It is a project to read all of Holmes over the course of 16 months. I, of course, would rather do it in a year, but my ambitions generally outweigh my actual deeds so maybe I should stick to the schedule. I have so far, having read The Gloria Scott and The Musgrave Ritual, the latter being more interesting because of being mentioned in the final episode of season 4 of Sherlock a show I have mixed feelings about. I’m not reading A Study in Scarlet because I read it two years ago. Although now having re-read my so-called review, maybe I should. I didn’t even remember then why it was called A Study in Scarlet. All I remember now is early Mormons, probably because I was so surprised a Holmes story should be about them at all.
The Gloria Scott is Holmes’ first case. He’s still in college and actually has a friend. It is the friend’s father who is the victim in the case and it’s a fine lesson in not panicking, but otherwise not, to me, a remarkable story. The Musgrave Ritual, as I said, was interesting because it is mentioned more than once in The Final Problem, the 4th episode of Sherlock’s 4th season. This is a show I love so much when it’s good. Unfortunately, only the middle one was really good. The first one was plagues with gratuitous torture and was, as someone put it, more James Bond than Sherlock Holmes. Though the last one was like that too complete with villain’s underground lair. No, Mr. Holmes, I expect you to die. Playing cat and mouse with a sadist always bores me a bit. And the deductions are pretty much incidental. The whole plot is ridiculous really. And it all has nothing to do with The Musgrave Ritual that I can see.
The Musgrave Ritual is the first case Holmes had as a professional. He is called to a sprawling mansion of great antiquity to solve the disappearance of two of the servants under mysterious circumstances. This one is much better. Holmes actually deduces things and solves the mystery and reveals things even the owner hadn’t guessed. It’s a good story, but there’s only so much I can say about a story. I have this problem with short stories. There’s not enough meat in most of ’em. You start it and 20 minutes later your done. It’s like an appetizer. You’re still hungry and unsatisfied.
I’m thinking once a month is enough and maybe more than enough to report on my Holmes progress. So the question is now whether to re-read Scarlet or move on to the Speckled Band. Oh, and I suppose it wouldn’t make too much sense to only watch The Abominable Bride (which I’ve seen lumped in with season 4, but could be viewed as a stand-alone special) and The Lying Detective, but that’s what I’d recommend.