The Man With The Twisted Lip

Watson discovers Sherlock Holmes in an opium den. What mystery will they uncover?

Watson goes to the aid of a family friend and visits an opium den, hoping to discover his friend’s husband who has gone missing. There he encounters Holmes, not as a user of the den, but disguised as an old man. A case has led him here and he asks Watson to join him. Placing the drug addled husband in a handsome cab, they go in search of another missing spouse.

Except this missing spouse case is far more strange. Mrs St Clair entered into a dubious part of London while trying to collect a parcel. She is shocked to find her husband staring back at her from a window above an opium den before he vanishes. Alarmed, she returns with the police only to discover that her husband is missing and Hugh Boone, an infamous beggar and ‘the man with the twisted lip’ in his place. The only trace of her husband is his clothing and a present for their young son. Everyone believes he has been murdered until a letter from her husband appears…

The story has an interesting opening, as it someone visiting Watson’s quarters and asking for help, instead of coming to visit Holmes in Baker Street. It also shows the horrors of the opium den, with some odd quirks that stand out to the modern reader, in that the den has a ‘manager’ and there is a bill that must be settled before the errant husband can leave.

At the conclusion, it takes Holmes some time to uncover the mystery, as he spends the night meditating on a bed of pillows before declaring that he is “one of the most absolute fools in Europe”. Also in another surprising turn, Mary Watson calls her husband James instead of John…

Christmas comes tomorrow with The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

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