Sherlock Holmes The Adventure of the Speckled Band Book Review
Sherlock Holmes Story Critique
This is a tale in which a woman's twin is killed in an incomprehensible manner and it becomes likely that she too will follow the same, strange fate. Not only must Holmes determine the exactitudes of the original murder, but to also prevent a future murder.
In doing so, he offers himself up as possible victim in place of the woman, Helen Stoner. Along the way, he learns of her oddly, violent step-father, Dr. Roylott, and learns all of the details of Helen's twin's untimely fate. In offering himself up as bait, Holmes, of course, becomes the cage that traps the killer while simultaneously liberating Helen Stoner from a fatal end.
Watson is the continual dullard throughout the tale, and yet he is also a fine assistant -and documenter of Watson's genius. Yet by being so obtuse (or seemingly so), he makes the perfect excuse for the reader to be informed of the many happenstances of the case, a fine literary device that Arthur Conan Doyle could be said to have almost perfected.
Though a bit simple to the modern reader, who can deduce as quickly as Holmes, the tale is a fine one, even in this age of cell phones and laptop computers. It does us well to remember, after all, that one of the reasons the modern mind is so accute, is due to the approximately 60 stories about Sherlock Holmes that Sir Arthur C. Doyle produced. In fact, his writings were emulated and copied in his lifetime and after. This has continued so much so that mysteries have been refined to the point that we now have the masterful likes of television murder-mystery programming (not to mention a continuance of great murder-mystery writing), the likes of NCIS: Miami, Criminal Minds, and Law and Order.
The language is older and lovely not only ipso facto, but in the difference of expression that it embodies in relation to today's modern, stiffer, and more compact language. Just as the writings of Jefferson or Madison are so very eloquent, so too is the prose surrounding Sherlock Holmes stories, though they are less to woo political minds, and more to the aim of psychological examination.