The View Halloa – The Beryl Coronet

There is a popular saying that “no good deed goes unpunished,” and surely there is proof of this in the life and career of Alexander Holder. A loving and indulgent father, he saw his son growing into a spoiled spendthrift. In giving shelter to his orphaned niece, he laid himself open to betrayal. And in […]

The View Halloa – The Man with the Twisted Lip

An opium den! That sordid yet oddly romantic atmosphere of smoke, dreams and danger! Our beloved Watson leaves the bright comfort of his home to descend, like Orpheus, into the dark underworld of the Lascar’s lair. But unlike Orpheus, Watson finds that good things happen when he looks behind him. Whom should he discover but […]

The View Halloa – A Case of Identity

Poor Mary Sutherland! She’s good-natured, rather nearsighted, and not exactly the brightest gas-lamp on the street. We feel sorry for her, and we are as outraged at her stepfather’s duplicity as we are frustrated with her failure to see through his disguise. Still, Mary had just enough sense to ask Sherlock Holmes for help. Or […]

The View Halloa – The Red-Headed League

“As a rule,” said Sherlock Holmes, “the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be.” Holmes was right: he seems to have solved much of this mystery the instant he heard the description of Jabez Wilson’s assistant, and nearly all the rest of it while smoking those now-famous three pipes. But […]

The View Halloa – A Scandal in Bohemia

It is the first story in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and it is also the first of what we might call the stories of legend: those Canonical tales that have inspired our imaginations far beyond the events that Watson wrote down. It’s those larger-than-life characters who seem to do the trick for us. We […]

The View Halloa – The Sign of Four

“I’d like two shillin’ better,” said little Jack Smith, and there are plenty of characters in The Sign of Four who followed his philosophy. But there are also the knights errant: Holmes, working for the love of his art, and Watson, working for love. The story could serve as a study in Victorian ambivalence toward […]

The View Halloa – A Study in Scarlet

It is the first story in the Canon, and we treasure it for its account of the first meeting of our beloved heroes Holmes and Watson. Yet despite its honored position as Holmes’s debut, I wonder how many of us would have established our deep and longstanding passion for the adventures of Sherlock Holmes based […]