Two cases test Sherlock in The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge and the Bruce-Partington Plans.
In The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge Holmes is visited by John Scott Eccles, who wishes to discuss something “grotesque”. No sooner has he arrived at Baker Street than not one but two police Inspectors arrive, a Gregson and a Baynes, wishing to question Eccles over a murder near Esher last night. A note in the victim’s pocket indicates that Eccles said that he would be at the dead man’s house that night.
Whereas in the Bruce-Partington Plans, Mycroft pays his brother a visit, requesting help with a most urgent case. Some top-secret submarine plans have gone missing and seven of the ten pages were found on the body of Arthur Cadogan West, a young clerk in a government office. His body was found next to the Underground tracks, his head crushed. He had little money with him, theatre tickets for that evening and no Underground ticket. The three missing pages would enable one of Britain’s enemies to build a Bruce-Partington submarine.
In Wisteria Lodge, this was a lengthy story brimming with mystery and intrigue. An empty house, a grimacing figure and suggestions of voodoo keep the reader turning the pages throughout. One area to highlight is that in most stories Holmes is rather belittling towards the detectives that he works with, thinking little of their work or input to the cases. Here he is positively brimming with praise for Inspector Baynes, leaving me feeling rather sorry for Inspector Lestrade.
When I started reading Bruce-Partington Plans, I thought this was going to be nothing more than a re-tread of the Naval Treaty. Instead it reminded me more of a recent Sherlock episode as Holmes and Watson delve into the Underground tunnels and the ingenious way that a body is disposed of, throwing the reader totally off the scent. Even though the ending is a bit of a let down, with Sherlock using his old trick of a newspaper advertisement, I still really enjoyed the story. The reappearance of Mycroft Holmes also gave it an added interest, particularly when we realise the high regard and powerful position that he holds within the British government.
The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge: [usr=4]
The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans: [usr=5]