“The Crooked Man” Or, No, Watson, you can’t have a pet mongoose!

“The Crooked Man” was published in July 1893 and takes place Wednesday, September 11 to Thursday, September 12, 1889.

Apparently “The Crooked Man” is considered to be a locked room mystery. According to The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing, only “The Speckled Band” is a locked room crime, but Leslie adds also The Sign of Four, “The Empty House,” and this one to the list (NA, 588). I question whether or not it’s actually a locked room mystery, though, considering how easy it was for both the footman and Henry Wood to get into the room through the large French windows. Not much of a mystery there!

My miscellaneous thought! [Let me show you it!]

  • ‘…Could you put me up to-night?’
    ‘With pleasure.’
    ‘You told me that you had bachelor quarters for one, and I see that you have no gentleman visitor at present. Your hatstand proclaims as much’
    ‘I shall be delighted if you will stay.’
    ‘Thank you. I’ll fill a vacant peg then. Sorry to see that you’ve had the British workman in the house. He’s a token of evil. Not the drains, I hope?’
    ‘No, the gas.’
    ‘Ah! He left two nail-marks from his boot upon your linoleum just where the light strikes it. No, thank you, I had some supper at Waterloo, but I’ll smoke a pipe with you with pleasure.’
    ‘I see that you are professionally rather busy just now,’ said he, glancing very keenly across at me.
    ‘Yes, I’ve had a busy day,’ I answered. ‘It may seem very foolish in your eyes,’ I added, ‘but really I don’t know how you deduced it.’ (NA, 583-584)
    [Stop showing off, Holmes, he already said you could sleep over.]

And I’m afraid that’s it – most of Leslie’s other notes were about the British military and I didn’t find much of interest to discuss. Hopefully next week, when I’ll be discussing “The Resident Patient” will be a bit more riveting. At the very least we only have three more stories before we get to “The Final Problem”!

*Most of my notes, I think, come from the New Annotated simply because I find its format easier to work through and it is, therefore, the version that I’m reading first (I’m only reading the notes in the Baring-Gould). Much of the information is doubled up, but there is some that is unique to either volume, so if you see NA, that’s the Baring-Gould edition and BG is the New Annotated. No, I’m totally kidding – it’s the other way (the logical way) round.