After taking a short break from blogging due to a hectic house move I have finally got myself a lot more time to read and listen to my beloved audio books. So expect much more blogging in the future than I have been doing in the past fortnight.
Getting back to my ‘Short Read Sunday’ meme, a post created by myself, Swords & Spectres (obviously not my real name. That’s Aaron … and considerably less cool), in which every weekend I read a short story and blog a review about it. I do love taking time away from big thick books to take in a small bite-sized chunk. My offering for this week is a short story from one of my favourite authors: A Case of Identity by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Title: A Case of Identity
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Pages: Not certain as is a part of a complete collection and a kindle format book. Roughly 200-300 kindle locations.
My rating of A Case of Identity: 1.5 out of 5
A Case of Identity is one of the many short stories in the Sherlock Holmes universe. I own a copy of the Complete Sherlock Holmes collection and, for this week’s short story I simply chose one at random. Sadly, I do not feel the randomisation did my choice justice as I do not think I landed on one of the better tales.
In ‘A Case of Identity’ the problem is not one of the more difficult ones for Holmes to solve. In fact, he seems to solve it long before the client has finished telling her tale. There was simply no need for any of his extravagant disguises, nor for he and Watson to go rushing off around the city like they have in other tales. Everything is pretty much wrapped up in the comfort of 221b Baker Street.
The problem itself, on the face of it, is an interesting one. A young woman, engaged to be married, is left standing at the church door for a husband that never arrives. The cab driver swears that the groom entered the carriage but, upon arriving at the church, the carriage is empty. The distraught bride enlists the aid of Sherlock Holmes and his trusty companion, Dr John Watson, to discover the whereabouts of her betrothed.
As I said earlier, Holmes has the whole thing solved pretty quick, but, much like other Sherlock Holmes stories, he does provide the reader with an insight into how he deduces little things such as the clients profession and that she left the house in a hurry to come and see him. When you get through a good few of the stories, you can’t help but see the world in a different way. When I meet a new person, or even when I see someone I know, my eyes take in every aspect of them and I form my own little theories as to what they have been doing etc … This isn’t me being nosey. This is me subconsciously doing something that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has drummed into me. It’s like a tap spraying water that I simply cannot turn off. And I love it.
Despite the fact this is a pretty simple, easy to solve and, to be frank, an unmemorable story as far as the rest of the Holmes canon goes, I am thankful for having read the complete collection as a whole as it has changed the way I look at every day life. That feeling of thankfulness, however, does not stop me from slamming this short story with a low mark. Purely because you always expect more from a Holmes tale than this particular one offers.
Not going to lie, though, it does pain me to give anything Sir Arthur wrote a low score.