Title: Sherlock Holmes: His Last Bow.
Author: Lois Duncan.
Genre: Fiction, mystery, detective fiction, WWI lit, spy lit.
Publication Date: 1908-1917, collected edition 1917.
Summary: A collection of 7 short stories. In The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge (1908), John Scott Eccles is accused of a beating Aloysius Garcia’s to death, because a note stating Eccles would be at Garcia's house that night was found in the victim's pocket, though Eccles claims that he had stayed at Garcia's rented house, but woke up in the morning to both Garcia and his servants had all vanished without a trace. In The Adventure of the Red Circle (1911), Mrs. Warren, a landlady, consults Holmes about a guest that had offered to pay double rent to have the room "on his own terms", communicating through notes and having everything left outside his room, until he seemingly disappears. In The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans (1912), Holmes's brother, Mycroft, asks Holmes for help locating some secret submarine plans, most (but not all) of which were found with a clerk's in a government office at Royal Arsenal, Arthur Cadogan West's, body, which was found next to the underground tracks with his head crushed. In The Adventure of the Dying Detective (1913), Watson is shocked to find Holmes dying of a mysterious illness, though refusing help and throwing a fit when Watson disturbs a mysterious little black and white ivory box with a sliding lid. In The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax (1911), Holmes sends Dr. Watson to Lausanne to investigate Lady Frances Carfax’s disappearance, and Watson finds out that a big bearded man, the "savage", was dogging her steps shortly before her disappearance. In The Adventure of the Devil's Foot (1910), Mr. Mortimer Tregennis and Mr. Roundhay, a local vicar, come to Holmes to report that Tregennis’s two brothers have gone insane, and his sister has died, under completely unexplained circumstances. In His Last Bow (1917), on the eve of World War I, Sherlock sets out on the last case of his career involving spying and international intrigue.
My rating: 8.5/10.
♥ “I have not all my facts yet, but I do not think there are any insuperable difficulties. Still, it is an error to argue in front of your data. You find yourself insensibly twisting them round to fit your theories.”
♥ “...It is grotesque, Watson,” Holmes added, as he slowly fastened his notebook; “but, as I have had occasion to remark, there is but one step from the grotesque to the horrible.”
~~The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge.
♥ “What is the meaning of it, Watson?” said Holmes, solemnly, as he laid down the paper. “What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable. But what end? There is the great standing perennial problem to which human reason is as far from an answer as ever.”
~~The Adventure of the Cardboard Box.
♥ “Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last.”
~~The Adventure of the Red Circle.
♥ “If you have a fancy to see your name in the next honours list--”
My friend smiled and shook his head.
“I play the game for the game’s own sake,” said he.
~~The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans.
♥ Mrs Hudson, the landlady of Sherlock Holmes, was a long-suffering woman. Not only was her first-floor flat invaded at all hours by throngs of singular and often undesirable characters, but her remarkable lodger showed an eccentricity and irregularity in his life which must have sorely tried her patience. His incredible untidiness, his addiction to music at strange hours, his occasional revolver practice within doors, his weird and often malodorous scientific experiments, and the atmosphere of violence and danger which hung around him made him the very worst tenant in London.
~~The Adventure of the Dying Detective.
♥ “And a singularly consistent investigation you have made, my dear Watson,” said he. “I cannot at the moment recall any possible blunder which you have omitted. The total effect of your proceedings has been to give the alarm everywhere and yet to discover nothing.”
~~The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax.
“...To let the brain work without sufficient material is like racing an engine. It racks itself to pieces. The sea air, sunshine, and patience, Watson - all else will come.”
~~The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot.
“...Stand with me here upon the terrace for it may be the last quiet talk that we shall ever have.”
The two friends chatted in intimate converse for a few minutes, recalling once again the days of the past whilst their prisoner vainly wriggled to undo the bonds that held him. As they turned to the car, Holmes pointed back to the moonlit sea, and shook a thoughtful head.
“There’s an east wind coming, Watson.”
“I think not, Holmes. It is very warm.”
“Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There’s an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it’s God’s own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared. Start her up, Watson, for it’s time we were on our way.”
~~His Last Bow.