Friday, December 18, 2009

The Valley of Fear (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

The final Holmes novel—and the last full book review of 2009! There's only ONE WEEK LEFT until the Sherlock Holmes movie, so we here at the Daily Genoshan (and by "we" I just mean me, obviously) are winding down the great Holmesian read-through that's been going on recently. Hopefully you've been enjoying it and are now eagerly awaiting the film as much as I am!


The Valley of Fear begins much like most Sherlock Holmes stories: the great detective and his faithful friend Watson are seated in their 221B Baker Street apartment, fussing over some small riddle they've come across. The riddle is in the form of a coded message that Holmes has received, which, once deciphered, informs the pair that someone named Douglas is in danger somewhere called "Birlstone." No sooner have they figured out the code, however, than an inspector comes to the apartment to ask for their help; a man named Jack Douglas has been brutally murdered in his home, a manor called Birlstone!

From here, the first half of the novel progresses much like the others. And actually, if the first half stood alone as one of the short stories, it would probably be my favorite. All the clues were right there, but for the life of me I couldn't put it all together. There are a few bizarre contradictions, though, like the mentioning of Professor Moriarty and his possible involvement in the affair. Moriarty is only supposed to appear in "The Final Problem," the short story in which Holmes allegedly dies, but in The Valley of Fear Moriarty is still alive, and yet Watson talks about him as if the two have discussed him before. Oh well, slight problem. He isn't a main character really anyway.

What truly makes this novel stand out is the second half. Similar to the first novel, A Study in Scarlet, this book is broken into two parts, where the first part mainly concerns Holmes and his case, and the second part deals with the motives/backstory for the case. This backstory is told independent of Watson's narration, and takes place again in America, though this time in Pennsylvania coal country instead of Utah. Also, this novel again uses some kind of secret society based in the real world as its main antagonist. Where this novel's backstory veers away from that of the first novel, however, is in quality. I was blown away. Within the mystery from the first half of the novel, Holmes comes across the manuscript in which the second half is written, so it makes for a much smoother transition than in the first novel. It could almost stand alone as its own story as well, or even a feature film. It's amazing how well-written it is, and I'm pretty sure it was at least partially based on a true story, which makes it even more incredible. I don't want to give it away at all, so I won't go into the details too much, but it would be worth reading the novel even if the first half was crap, just to read that second part. Luckily, the first half is amazing as well. It's a completely different kind of story than The Hound of the Baskervilles, but just as good.


The Valley of Fear
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Two incredible stories tied neatly into one amazing novel. I was kinda worried that the follow-up to The Hound of the Baskervilles would be bad, assuming that they couldn't all be so well-written. Wow, was I wrong.

By this point in his career (1915), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had all but perfected the detective genre. To be able to write an action-packed American thriller alongside his upright British mystery is no small feat.

There's a whole lot of bloodshed in this one, which drops it to a 9.75 (some people aren't into that kind of thing, and that's ok), and then the weird Professor Moriarty contradiction docks another .25, admittedly, but it's still such an enjoyable novel. I'm astounded that one man could produce so many exceptional works.


I didn't go into these reviews as some Sherlock Holmes enthusiast, partial to the stories and wanting everyone else to enjoy them, too (that's also why I don't review books I've already read, it's cheating). I had never picked up a Holmes story before, or watched any of the films or tv shows. I was as new to them as most of you probably still are now. Look how it's affected the site, though! The #2 and #3 highest rated books of the last year are Sherlock Holmes novels! If that doesn't get you to at least check one of them out, consider this: Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain. All of these stories and novels can be read for free online. Please, do yourself a favor and look into it. I'm telling you, you won't be disappointed.

Make sure you come back next Wednesday for the final Holmes short story review. After that, there won't be any more reviews until 2010! Granted, that'll only be a week or two away, but still. Until then, keep reading, Genoshans!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Even More Sherlock Holmes Short Stories!

I have for you today the penultimate installment of my Sherlock Holmes Wednesday Supplement. After this we're left with only Friday's final Holmes novel, and next week's Supplement containing the last eight short stories. Strangely enough, this week's group contains some of the best and worst stories so far.

From His Last Bow by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"The Adventure of the Dying Detective"

Synopsis—Dr. Watson is sent for to fulfill the last wishes of a dying Sherlock Holmes. Can he find a cure to Holmes' rare Asiatic ailment before it's too late?
Comments—I kinda knew where this one was going, but it was fun to watch it play out. Very enjoyable.

"The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax"

Synopsis—Holmes sends Watson off to the continent to investigate the disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax. Will Watson be able to find the woman before its too late, or will he be stopped by the gruff-looking man that's been following his trail?
Comments—As was the case in The Hound of the Baskervilles as well, it's interesting to see Watson on his own. He's learned much over the years being with Sherlock Holmes, and puts it all to good use here, without forfeiting his own identity. Eventually the story comes back to London and remains interesting, so a nice read.

"The Adventure of the Devil's Foot"

Synopsis—While vacationing on the Cornish peninsula, Holmes and Watson stumble upon a devilish mystery. A woman seems to have been scared completely to death, and her two brothers have devolved into raving lunatics. With few clues to go off of, will Holmes be able to solve this "Cornish horror"?
Comments—Definitely an unusual case, and one with several points of singularity, but on the whole nothing too extraordinary. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as much fun as the last two.

"His Last Bow"

Synopsis—A tale of the work of Sherlock Holmes leading into the First World War and how he aided his country.
Comments—"His Last Bow" comes completely out of nowhere and dives into the world of international espionage. Holmes uses his talents for the good of his country, and while the format does shift—Watson is not the narrator—that doesn't hamper my enjoyment. I liked seeing a different side of Holmes.

From The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"The Adventure of the Illustrious Client"

Synopsis—Holmes is hired to convince a young woman in love that her fiance is nothing more than a ruthless murderer. The woman, however, won't listen to reason. Can Holmes find a way to change her mind before the wedding?
Comments—I like that Holmes gets more and more inventive as these stories go on. This one is pretty straightforward—there isn't even a crime to solve—but there were still enough twists and turns that it kept me engaged.

"The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier"

Synopsis—A young soldier goes searching for his friend after the friend mysteriously stops replying to any letters he receives. Could his family be holding him hostage somewhere on their estate?
Comments—Sherlock Holmes narrates a story for the first time! It's true that Holmes doesn't have the same flair as Watson, and comments that it is difficult to hold back facts when he himself is narrating, but it's still an interesting read. Holmes is humbled for the first time, as he admits finally that Watson has to inject personality into the stories to make them readable, which had previously been a point of contention between them.

"The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone"

Synopsis—Holmes leads a notorious criminal to the sitting room of 221B Baker Street in order to determine the location of a missing crown jewel. With such a deadly man in his home, though, will the great Sherlock Holmes survive the night?
Comments—For some reason, neither Holmes nor Watson narrate this story. It's this strange, ambiguous third-person narration, completely out of nowhere. Maybe it's because Watson isn't around for most of it, I don't know. It's not good, though. Don't read it.

"The Adventure of the Three Gables"

Synopsis—Holmes is asked to investigate a strange happening just outside of London. An elderly widow has been offered an exorbitant sum of money for her home and everything in it. Suspicious of such a gracious offer, she brings Holmes in to consult.
Comments—This story sucks. It is absolutely terrible. This is the strongest group of stories so far, with mostly 4's—and a 3 that was almost a 4—but these last two are just awful. There's actually a strong argument to suggest that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle didn't even write "The Adventure of the Three Gables," and I believe it. Holmes acts very strangely, and the plot blows. Don't even try to read this one.

It sucks to end the group on such a low note, but oh well. Make sure to come back on Friday when I review the last of the Sherlock Holmes novels, The Valley of Fear. Until then, keep reading, Genoshans!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Two weeks left until the Sherlock Holmes movie! I don't know about you, but I'm hoping to sneak out of the house Christmas morning to go see it. What better present can I give myself than that? As an early gift to you, though, I'm reviewing the third of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's four Sherlock Holmes novels, The Hound of the Baskervilles. I don't know if this is the case with anyone else, but The Hound of the Baskervilles was the only Holmes work that I had even heard of before I began this exhaustive undertaking, so I was really pumped to check it out.


Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson are visited one day by a Dr. James Mortimer, who has a rather strange request. Mortimer wants Holmes' advice as to whether or not someone should move into the recently vacant Baskerville Hall in Devon. The previous tenant, Sir Charles Baskerville, was apparently scared to death—literally, he was frightened so much that he had a heart attack and died—by a massive spectral hound, said to be a curse upon the Baskerville line. Mortimer is set to pick up Sir Charles' nephew, Sir Henry Baskerville, off the morning train, and feels that he should warn the newcomer before they set off for the manor. Holmes decides that this might be an interesting case to study, and suggests that Mortimer and Sir Henry stay in London for a few days before going to Devon. During this time, Holmes discovers that Sir Henry is being followed, and so begins to look at the case as more than just a curiosity. Fearing for Sir Henry's life by this point, Holmes suggests that Watson accompany Mortimer and Sir Henry back to Devon to start gathering facts while Holmes works on a separate case in London.

I have to tell you, this book is absolutely fantastic. Maybe because it's the third one—I'm partial to The Bourne Ultimatum, Return of the King and Return of the Jedi, so I guess I tend to favor third installments—but this is definitely the best of the three that I've read. Sir Arthur Conany Doyle not only paints a beautiful picture of the moor and surrounding countryside where most of the novel takes place, but also tells the clearest story. It's definitely a mystery, with plenty of red herrings and bits of misdirection, so I don't mean clear in that way, but it's an engaging tale that's easy to read even when it's hard to figure out. The action begins almost immediately, with Holmes and Watson debating the qualities of the man who mistakenly left his walking stick in their parlor while they were out. It then progresses steadily, building steam with clue after clue, many of which seem more important than they are, and several of which are easily overlooked. Then Watson goes to Devon and the book really takes off. There are so many suspects with suspicious pasts and plausible motives for wanting to kill off the Baskervilles that I hardly knew which way to look. Even when Holmes solves the mystery and discovers who is behind it all, there are still twenty or thirty pages left where no one has figured out exactly how to catch the culprit or even how the crime was committed.

I don't like to go too much into the details of these stories because they are in fact mysteries, and if I stress any one clue too much it could ruin the whole thing. I will say that, of all the Sherlock Holmes tales I've read so far, not just the novels, this is by far the best. There were times when I actually gasped and said, "No way! Wow, I can't believe I didn't think of that sooner." Doyle weaves his threads and plotlines so intricately throughout the novel that it's hard to keep track of every little piece of information. It never seems contrived, though. I never once felt like Holmes or Watson had gotten lucky or stumbled upon a bit of information that they hadn't earned. It reminded very much of Professor Layton and the Curious Village, a Nintendo DS game where the protagonist is a professor trying to solve a mystery. Everywhere he goes, the professor is blocked by riddles that he has to solve in order to progress. Some of the villagers refuse to help him unless he answers their riddle or solves some puzzle of the natural world. The Hound of the Baskervilles is like that. It's cinematic, but also with a strong sense of division between the different levels of the mystery. Each chapter holds new revelations, bringing the reader one step closer to beating the game and solving the mystery of the curse of the Baskervilles.


The Hound of the Baskervilles
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Doyle does an incredible job of keeping the story interesting, even when it seems like Holmes has reached a dead end. It amazes me how much content there is here. There are so many seemingly disconnected pieces that ultimately form the solution to this mystery.

I feel like this is the point where Doyle finally perfected his idea of the mystery genre. This book is more suspenseful and gloomy than the previous two, and works in a strong sense of forboding. The other books are about solving a crime, but this one is about solving one and preventing the next.

This book is fun to read, but not flippant. It's easy to follow, but suspenseful. I also particularly like that Doyle is able to change point of view without changing narrator. Usually, Watson just regurgitates back whatever it is that Holmes has done. Here, though, there is a significant portion of the book where Watson is on his own trying to figure things out. Watson is easier to relate to than Holmes, since Watson—like the reader—doesn't have Holmes' miraculous deductive powers. It makes a huge portion of the book more accessible, even if it is still a complicated mystery.


There have been some really high ratings in the last few weeks. I worried for a little bit that I was beginning to curve too high, but then realized that I've just been incredibly lucky in finding so many great books. Hopefully this streak continues! Keep reading, Genoshans!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Short Stories Installment #5

This whole "Wednesday Supplement" thing seems to be gradually turning into a "Thursday Supplement" thing :/ I do have an excuse this week, though. I just finished the first draft of my first book/thesis! I'm a very busy guy, I swear. The upside of posting the supplement late, though, is that most of these stories were read in the last 24 hours, so they're fresh in my mind.

From The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez"

Synopsis—A young man is murdered in his employer's home, but the police cannot figure out how the murderer escaped the premises! Sherlock Holmes is called in to clear up the matter.
Comments—Not too shabby. There's a map, and as I've said before, maps and pictures usually make the stories more fun. Stanley Hopkins even shows up again. A pretty well-rounded tale.

"The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter"

Synopsis—The star player for the Cambridge rugby squad has gone missing! Can Sherlock Holmes find him before the big match against Oxford?
Comments—This story has a lot going for it. Holmes is put on the wrong trail several times, which always makes for a more interesting mystery. There's also a highly intelligent adversary, which Holmes doesn't come across often.

"The Adventure of the Abbey Grange"

Synopsis—A drunkard lord whom no one cares for very much is bludgeoned to death in his own home after an attempted robbery. Stanley Hopkins asks Holmes to consult on the case in order to bring the criminals to justice.
Comments—There's some heavy-handed misdirection, followed by a jealous lover, a confession that clears everything up at the end, blah blah blah. Over it.

The Adventure of the Second Stain"

Synopsis—Sensitive international documents are stolen from the home of a high-ranking government official. It's up to Sherlock Holmes to retrieve the papers before a global crisis emerges!
Comments—Very similar to "The Naval Treaty," but it's still a great story. Holmes experiences a fair bit of luck in this one, making it all the more enjoyable. A great way to end the book.

From His Last Bow by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge"

Synopsis—A young man comes to 221B Baker over a trifling matter, but when the police show up to take the man away, Holmes decides the case might be worth investigating after all.
Comments—There are some strange features regarding this story. First of all, it's inexplicably broken into two parts, each with their own title. Secondly, it begins with one person soliciting Holmes' aid, and ends up with a completely different mystery altogether. Thirdly, it introduces an Inspector Baynes from Surrey, who seems to be almost as good as Holmes himself, if not his equal.

"The Adventure of the Cardboard Box"

Synopsis—A lonely old maid receives a package containing two severed ears! She and the police assume that it's some kind of sick joke, but Sherlock Holmes suspects something more sinister.
Comments—It was alright. I enjoyed it, but it didn't really blow me away at all.

"The Adventure of the Red Circle"

Synopsis—A woman comes to Holmes complaining about a mysterious lodger who never leaves his room. Holmes turns the woman away, but later takes the case more seriously when her husband is abducted!
Comments—I guessed at a lot of what was to come in "The Red Circle," but so much more surprised me that I found myself really liking it by the end. This one was broken into two sections as well, but didn't include section titles. It's a little bizarre that Doyle shifted format so much, but whatever, it didn't change the story at all.

"The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans"

Synopsis—A young government clerk is found dead on the tracks of the London Underground. The case becomes an international scandal, however, when plans for a top-secret submarine are found on his corpse! Can Holmes find the missing pages of these plans before they're sold to the highest bidder?
Comments—I don't know what it is about international intrigue, but Doyle has a way of writing his strongest when the government is involved. This is essentially the same framework as "The Naval Treaty" and "The Second Stain," but it still holds so many singular events and original ideas that I can't help but be impressed. The reappearance of Sherlock's brother Mycroft is a fun aspect as well.

Make sure you check back in tomorrow when I review the third, and arguably most famous, Sherlock Holmes novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Sign of Four (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Only three weeks remain until Christmas and the release of the new Sherlock Holmes movie, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams! If you haven't noticed, the Daily Genoshan has been on somewhat of a Sherlock Holmes kick lately, and that will continue right up to the film's release. Today I have for you the second of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's full-length Sherlock Holmes novels, The Sign of Four.


Sherlock Holmes, the world's only unofficial consulting detective, and his faithful friend Dr. John Watson are debating the merits of Holmes' cocaine addiction one day when a lovely young woman enters their office looking for assistance. No, seriously, Holmes is apparently a coke fiend, and only gives it up when he has the thrill of a case to give him a rush instead. Anyway, a woman comes in, worried about a strange letter that she has received. She says that her name is Mary Morstan, and that her father, Captain Morstan, has been missing some ten years. Roughly four years after his disappearance, she began receiving one very large and lustrous pearl each year from an unknown benefactor. Six years and six pearls later, she receives a letter requesting her presence from the same mysterious person who has been sending her the pearls. Too afraid to go meet this person on her own, she asks Holmes and Watson to accompany her. The three set off, and find themselves in the company of an exceptionally rich man named Thaddeus Sholto. Sholto tells Mary that she has inherited half of a large treasure, and that all she has to do in order to claim it is follow him to his brother Bartholomew's estate in Norwood. Holmes, Watson, and Mary Morstan accompany Sholto to his brother's home, but when they arrive, they find Bartholomew dead and the treasure stolen. Holmes sets out to discover how on earth this could have happened, since the room is sealed tight from the inside. The mystery takes Holmes and Watson all over London, and even includes a deadly boat chase!

The Sign of Four is much different from Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, in several ways. First of all, since it is the second novel, introductions and backstory are largely unnecessary, so Doyle moves almost immediately into the mystery. Secondly, the first novel is divided into two distinct sections that are very different stylistically, while the second novel is one large, unbroken story. Thirdly, a sense of familiarity pervades most of the second novel. Watson is presented as being accustomed to some of Holmes' quirkier traits. It reads as being almost identical to the short stories found in Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which was published in 1892, two years after The Sign of Four. In this way it is an excellent precursor to the majority of Holmes' cases. This lack of freshness does slightly hurt the overall power of the book, but as a segue into further reading, or even as a simple mystery to sit back and enjoy one afternoon, I have to admit it's still a very engaging read.

Doyle is a master at setting up his clues and bringing mysteries to a dramatic conclusion, but in this book he tries to branch out into other areas of writing. One of my favorite things about The Sign of Four was his bizarre attempt to inject a love story into the mystery. In moments of fear, Mary Morstan tends to reach out to Watson instinctively, and a slow, awkward romance tries to push itself in as a subplot. It has almost nothing to do with the rest of the book at all. Another strange feature is that boat chase that I alluded to earlier. While much of the book is focused on deduction and Sherlock Holmes' detective work, there are certain aspects of the plot that make it seem more like an action-adventure novel. There's a boat chase! It's 1890! How fast could those boats really be going? It's a well-written scene, definitely, and Doyle can write suspense as well as he can write quirky little deductions or realistic setting, but I'm curious as to why he would try to fit so many different things into one book. It works, definitely, and leads readers smoothly into his short story collections, so I'm glad he wrote it that way, but the novel suffers somewhat when you compare it to the first.


The Sign of Four
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Not as polished as the first novel. It's still an incredibly enjoyable book, but I think it could have been a lot better. The descriptions are fantastic, and most of the characters are vivid and real, but Mary Morstan in particular falls flat. You'd think he would have developed her a little better if she was going to be Watson's love interest, right?

As the forerunner to an amazing collection of short stories, Doyle does very well by establishing a more permanent style of writing here. A Study in Scarlet may have been a better stand-alone novel, but The Sign of Four is the book that truly sets up what is to come.

I had a good time with this book, and got through it incredibly quickly, but as I've mentioned, it could've been better. If you plan on reading the short stories, then you definitely need to check this out, since it contains many items that will be referenced later. If you're just looking for a great novel, however, this might not be the book for you.


It may seem strange that I was so down on this book, but still gave it such a high rating. There's no discrepancy, Doyle is an amazing writing. This might not have been his best work, but it's still better than the majority of other books out there. I've had no trouble being drawn into the incredible world that he's built up around Sherlock Holmes, and this is just another example of Doyle's talent at work. Keep reading, Genoshans!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Short Stories: Continued!

It's only 22 more days until the Sherlock Holmes movie, but I've decided not to find out what the screenwriter has chosen as the main plot. It could be any one of the many, many tales that Doyle wrote about his cunning detective, so here are the reviews for eight more short stories—any one of these could be in the film!

From The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"The Adventure of the Norwood Builder"

Synopsis—A young man is accused of murdering an old builder after the builder, a complete stranger, makes the young man the benefactor of his will. Can Sherlock Holmes find the real murderer before the young man is executed?
Comments—This one starts off very well because for once Watson is smart enough to pick up on some clues on his own. When the young man first enters Holmes and Watson's residence on Baker Street, Holmes declares that the man is "a bachelor, a solicitor, a Freemason, and an asthmatic." Usually these kinds of deductions confound Watson, but not this time. It's also a curious case in that Holmes comes his closest so far to failing completely.

"The Adventure of the Dancing Men"

Synopsis—Holmes and Watson are approached by a man in a happy marriage whose wife has been acting strangely. The only clue he has as to why her attitude has changed is a slip of paper covered in a series of stick figure drawings.
Comments—Eh, alright. I like when there are diagrams and pictures and things like that to break up the monotony of a block of text, but how many stories can Doyle come up with that turn out to involve old lovers? Not his best work.

"The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist"

Synopsis—A beautiful young music teacher begins to fear for her life when a strange man begins following her on her weekly bicycle route. Sherlock Holmes is brought in to discover who the man is and what he wants.
Comments—This one is pretty clunky. There are all kinds of clues strewn throughout, but without any real twists or turns at all. The explanation at the end almost isn't even worth it. I must say that it does include some of Doyle's better descriptions of setting, but honestly, who care?

"The Adventure of the Priory School"

Synopsis—Holmes and Watson are hired by the head of a priory school to find the missing son of one of England's most decorated subjects. One of the school's teachers is missing as well, could the two have gone off together?
Comments—Following two lackluster stories, "The Adventure of the Priory School" comes out of nowhere as a fantastic piece of writing. Doyle plants so many false leads and twists the results around so well that I couldn't help but be pleased with the final result. Not only that, but this one also includes a cute little map. Maps are fun.

"The Adventure of Black Peter"

Synopsis—A constable named Stanley Hopkins, a young protégé of Holmes', tries to solve the murder of Black Peter Carey on his own, but ends up coming to Baker Street for some help. Not many people liked Black Peter, but someone hated him enough to nail him to a wall with a harpoon!
Comments—Similar to the "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder," a man who had visited the victim shortly before the murder is suspected of the crime, and it's up to Holmes to clear the man before he reaches the gallows. I wasn't very impressed by any of the particulars of this case, although it was nice to see a new character introduced.

"The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton"

Synopsis—Holmes is asked to pay off Charles A. Milverton, a terrible man who makes his living by paying for incriminating letters and then blackmailing people. What will Holmes do, though, if Milverton's price is too steep?
Comments—I liked this one a lot. It wasn't a mystery, so it was nice to break out of the usual formula, and it involves Holmes making some questionable decisions, which adds a depth of character. Nicely done.

"The Adventure of the Six Napoleons"

Synopsis—There's a madman in London breaking in to houses and destroying busts of Napoleon. Scotland Yard enlists the aid of Sherlock Holmes in order to put the man away in a mental institution, but is something more sinister afoot?
Comments—I don't like when the stories are obvious right from the beginning, and this one had all the subtlety of an Indian elephant. Wait, what? The man is looking for something inside the busts?!?! Noooooo, you don't say?

"The Adventure of the Three Students"

Synopsis—Holmes and Watson visit a small university town and stumble upon a small university mystery! Can Holmes discover who stole the answers to the Fortescue Scholarship application exam before the cheater sits down to take the test?
Comments—It's refreshing whenever Holmes and Watson are looking into a mystery that isn't life or death. It makes the story more fun in general. There were a lot of different things going on in this one that made it difficult to clearly predict the ending, but more importantly I enjoyed reading it.

Make sure you tune in tomorrow for the Daily Genoshan's next Sherlock Holmes novel review, The Sign of Four!

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