The Five Orange Pips

Five orange pips are sent through the post. The recipients are later found dead. Can Holmes and Watson crack the case?

A violent storm hits London but still John Openshaw makes his way to Baker Street to ask for the help of Sherlock Holmes.  Two men have received letters through the post containing five orange pips and marked with the initials ‘K.K.K’. Both men were later found dead. Now John has received the same, with instructions to burn some papers on a sundial, and naturally fears for his life. Can Holmes and Watson save the marked man?

As the story progresses, the nature of The Five Orange Pips is compared back to The Sign of Four, while Holmes refers to the list that Watson made that details the apparent gaps in his knowledge of literature and other subject. Did Watson’s remarks smart his ego perhaps?

Watson begins our narration by detailing the many cases that Holmes has had and, with what we later realise to be a warning, that not all of the cases can have an ending or a satisfactory resolution. This is one case in particular as not only does Holmes fail to protect the client, he also fails to bring the murderers to justice.

It is also one of the few stories that fails when being read back as a modern reader. As soon as we know of the time spent in America and the reveal of the three initials it becomes clear to us what the possible mystery will be. It is one of the few times in which we the reader are ahead of the case before the Great Detective.

Tomorrow is The Case of the Man with the Twisted Lip

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