The Boscombe Valley Mystery


Basic information

Abbreviation: BOSC (J. F. Christ, 1947)
Word length: 9,681 (C. E. Lauterbach, 1960)
First published: Strand Magazine, October 1891

Discussion Questions

  • What about McCarthy’s son made Holmes suspect him of his innocence? 
  • Given the information presented at this point in the story, would you have sided with Holmes in believing James McCarthy’s innocence or would you have sided with Watson in believing him to be more suspicious?
  • What were McCarthy and his son arguing about?
  • Why couldn’t James McCarthy marry Miss Turner?
  • Why do you think McCarthy referred to Turner by the name “Black Jack of Ballarat” with his dying breath instead of using his actual name?
  • Considering his past, do you believe Turner’s actions are justifiable? Or rather, do you support McCarthy’s treatment of Turner because of said past?