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This is one of the stories that, until I get it underway, I can never remember the events just from the title. I mean, I remember the events of pretty much all the short stories by this point, but just can't match them up to the proper title with some of them. The Red-Headed League, The Speckled Band, stuff like that is easy to keep straight, but "Boscombe Valley Mystery"? So bland!

It probably doesn't help that this isn't one of my favorite stories. I mean, I don't hate it or anything, but it doesn't do much for me.

I do feel a bit bad for Watson - it seems like every time he runs into Holmes he's being told he's gained weight, or accused of downright slovenly shaving, or something similar. Yeesh.

Other than that... well, I feel like a bit of a failure, since I once again don't have all that much to say to spark discussion. *sniff* Maybe just that I find it hard to dredge up a huge amount of compassion for pretty much any of the players, except for perhaps the daughter. But her father was a scumbag blackmailer, the young man was a dimwit that let himself get roped into a (not even valid) marriage when he loved someone else and then couldn't even come clean about it, and his father was a highwayman. Yeesh.

I also have to wonder just how wonderful the solution at the end really is, since the young man was only got off on some various objections Holmes brought up, but without an actual culprit or anything more concrete, I have to wonder if now he gets to go through life with just about everyone suspecting that he's a murderer that just happened to get away with it.


The schedule

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stormfeather
Dec. 9th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
Urgh, yeah, the dangers of posting while sleepy I guess... stupid sleep-cycle resetting *grumble*

But yeah, still, the point stands. ;)
crouchback
Dec. 19th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
Victorian (and Edwardian) attitudes toward blackmailers were a good deal harder than our modern ones. This is not the only story where Holmes lets someone who kills a blackmailer walk, and similar attitudes show up in stories by Doyle's contemporaries: Raffles the amateur cracksman, for instance, who abhors murder, is willing to contemplate killing a blackmailer, because it just wouldn't count as murder.
stormfeather
Dec. 20th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Well,I guess that might hold for the killing of the actual blackmailer, but it still doesn't change the fact that he was a highwayman!
crouchback
Dec. 20th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
I think Holmes was sympathetic because the guy tried to reform, and because of how the scandal, if it came out, would hurt his daughter.
khedron
Dec. 11th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)
I do feel a bit bad for Watson - it seems like every time he runs into Holmes he's being told he's gained weight, or accused of downright slovenly shaving, or something similar. Yeesh.

It did make me glad that my own mirror is lit consistently from the top & back windows! (Of course, there's plenty else for Holmes to pick on.)

Ha-ha moment:
"... I see the direction in which all this points. The culprit is --"
"Mr. John Turner," cried the hotel waiter ...

These are really very short stories. With so little space, there are only a few possible characters, and so we always know that the culprit is either going to be one of the main characters, or I suppose be some external force of nature. On the other hand, also because the stories are so short, as a reader I don't think the clues are available to me, except as Holmes divulges them. It's less murder mystery than exciting adventure & "how'd they do it?"

I did have a bit of sympathy for Mr. Turner, the ex-highwayman. Here he was trying to lead a new life, but this leech won't let him go!
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