Ah, one of the classics.
One odd thing I'd note: this apparently takes place after the various other covered cases, since Holmes lists them off, many of which took place after Watson's marriage. And yet Watson is living with Holmes again. So... what happened to his wife?
Holmes, an egotist? Say it ain't so! Not to mention inclined to look a gift horse in the mouth...
I remarked earlier in the month that it seemed that he smoked cigarettes more than the normally associated pipe, but that may have been in error - now that I said that, I've been noticing all the times he smokes pipes, like here. I think it may have just been that I always noticed the cigarettes more, just by contrast with what's expected from him.
Aww, how sweet. Holmes worries about Violet over the course of two weeks, who he's only even met once. If he's not careful, he might start to seem human.
A bit of the elitist though, looking out at the "poor ignorant folk" living in the country, and expecting them to live like animals re: the law.
According to wiki Pete, beige was apparently at first just a type of cotton cloth, left undyed and thus a, well, beige color, which explains the oddness of having an electric blue dress that is beige. :p
Man, I gotta feel bad for the poor vicious dog, kept chained up in a dinky shed most of the time, and more or less starved. :( Thus the ending is even more karmic than it otherwise might have been. Well, except for killing the dog.
Violet definitely come across as a bit of a nosy parker, although it's more understandable when she's in such an eccentric house - using the hand-mirror to see what's behind her, snooping in the locked drawer, and getting into the abandoned wing of the house. Can't say I blame her in the circumstances, but you know what they say about curiosity...
This also marks a very odd occurrence, where Holmes actually shares his deductions before the end of the story. Perhaps he's moved to do so out of worry for Violet, and wanting to set her at ease as much as he can? Awww.
Ah, and the vague and useful brain-fever, which shows up later in the Holmes stories as well (although we of course won't be Parasha'ing them. *sniff*).
I do like the turn of phrase "by certain arguments, metallic or otherwise."
This is a bit hard for me to say just how much I enjoy the story on its own merits, since it's one of the first Holmes stories I became familiar with when I was still very young, and it's more or less always been there. But I do like it, for its balance and its drama, and just plain weirdness.
No more schedule. Poo.