First published 1897, The Reigate Puzzle aka The Problem of the Reigate Squire/ Squires/Puzzle the seventh story in the second collection of short stories, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.
What’s It About?
Holmes is recuperating from a strenuous (but untold) adventure, have suffered a nervous collapse. He is called in when a second local burgalry ends in the death of the coachman at the nearby estate of the Cunninghams. Despite his weakness, Holmes sees that there is more to the case than a simple theft, but is he up to solving the case?
Is It A Mystery?
Definitely, although it’s more of a “what actually happened”, as if it were sold as a whodunit, there aren’t exactly a lot of suspects! It does feature one of my Holmes bugbears, namely the clue that Holmes sees that we don’t but in this case, we know what he was looking at – a muddy path – so we can at least guess the importance of what he sees.
Is It Any Good?
A very nice little story. We get to see a little of the human side of Holmes as he relies on Watson when his health fails. He does seem to take some rather unnecessary risks with catching the villain – nearly being killed – despite the fact he could probably make a case with what he had, but it did add some extra tension at the end of the story.
Not really. A nice little mystery – Doyle said it was one of his top twelve stories (twelfth, in fact). I am starting to think I may have been too hasty with my prejudgments of Sherlock Holmes… very much looking forward to the next one, whatever it may be.