Sherlock must prevent a case of international importance in The Adventure of the Naval Treaty
January 28, 2014
An important treaty goes missing in mysterious circumstances…
Watson is contacted by an old school friend desperate for help. Percy Phelps was entrusted to copy an important naval treaty that was due to be signed. Staying late at night, he leaves his office at the Foreign Office to collect a cup of coffee before returning to the task at hand. Alone in the building apart from the commissionaire, when Phelps was collecting his coffee, the bell connected to his office suddenly rings. When Phelps and the commissionaire rush to his office, they find that the treaty is missing. Yet what sort of thief rings a bell to draw attention to their crime?
Phelps has many suspects for the theft of the treaty. The commissionaire’s wife was spotted leaving the building at the time it was stolen and Charles Gorot, a colleague of Phelps also falls under suspicion. In the time that the treaty has been missing, Phelps has fallen in and been nursed back to health by his fiancee, occupying the room that was usually occupied by his brother Joseph. Can Holmes and Watson recover the treaty?
It was entertaining to hear Phelps describe how he obtained his position at the Foreign Office through his uncle, a case of him being hired through nepotism rather than earning the role on his merits. Also there is concern that the stolen treaty will be sold to Britain’s enemies France and Russia, two countries that modern readers associate with being our allies.
As for the solution to the story, there were a few stretches of the imagination that were required but overall it was an enjoyable story, even if you struggle to sympathise with Percy by the end.