The Adventures of a Boscombe Valley Mystery
It seemed to be a cut and dried case. There was a witness to an argument and there was blood on the hands. Sherlock again uses his powerful intellect and some great sleuthing to discover the protestations of innocence by the son in the death of his father are indeed true. Footprints, cigar ashes, a rock with grass growing under it all are important clues to discovering who the killer was.
As in other Sherlock stories, when the perpetrator is discovered, he confesses and then justifies his actions. Also, as in other stories, the lifespan of the killer is shortened by illness or disease so compassion is the order of the day and Holmes keeps his mouth shut as the police stumble and bumble their way to trying to solve the case.
After two novels and four short stories, there are patterns emerging and thus the stories are getting a bit predictable. Only the characters and circumstances are changing, but still interesting enough to make a good story.
Some former Americans living in London are receiving envelopes in the mail containing 5 dried orange seeds and shortly thereafter are being found dead. Sherlock does some research and discovers that the KKK is behind the killings. Apparently these men have documents that list members of that notorious organisation and these document must be destroyed along with their owners. Sherlock sets a web for the killers, but before justice can be served, the perpetrators are lost at sea in a gale. Rather a lack-luster ending to story full of intrigue.
In this Sherlock Holmes short story, it seems that a respected business man is actually a beggar who has a very clever disguise. He found early in life that begging was much more lucrative than working. He is found out one day by his wife who happens to be in the neighbourhood and see him in the window of the house where he does his makeovers. It had Sherlock stumped for a while, but in the end the beggar was caught and confessed.
I may read a few more of these and then move on to something else. I am 20% done the collection at this point and not really becoming a Sherlock Holmes fan.