First published in The Strand magazine in December 1893, The Final Problem is well-known as the story that was meant to kill off Sherlock Holmes once and for all… allegedly – we’ll come to that in a bit. It’s recently had a major updating as The Reichenbach Fall, the series 2 finale for Sherlock, but what about the original story?
What’s It About?
Holmes surprises Watson with the news that he is being hunted by members of the gang of villains who work for Professor Moriarty. Holmes is on the verge of catching the evil mastermind, but needs to lay low. One ill-fated trip to Switzerland follows…
Is It A Mystery?
Not a smidge of a mystery in sight here.
Is It Any Good?
Definitely. It has a very personal tone from Watson, especially in the opening and closing sections. It’s an adventure story, more than anything else, but it’s a pretty good one at that.
Anything Else To Say?
You can see my more detailed thoughts here – but I’ll recommend again the audio adaptation by Big Finish Productions, with sterling work from Nicholas Briggs as Holmes and, in particular, Richard Earl as Watson.
If it really was supposed to be the final Holmes story, Doyle really does give himself an easy get-out-of-jail-free card here. He must have had it in the back of his mind when he wrote it that he might need to bring Holmes back. Anyone have any solid information on that?