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Blog, Book Review, Sherlock Holmes

Story Review: The Red-Headed League – Sherlock Holmes

I’ve always been a fan of Holmes, and though many may say it, it’s honestly true.

There’s something about the stories and how they are written, that manages to envelope you in a great sensation of the moment, created by the words without bias.

You can appreciate the warm fireplace and cosy interior of Baker street, or sense the threat from the darker moment with equal attention.

It is fair to say then, always worth a read.


The Red Headed League, was published in 1891 and one 1 of 56 short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.


It details a wonderfully bemusing plot, that as Sherlock proves, really isn’t that bemusing at all.

A pawnbroker, looking to improve his modest income, seizes the opportunity to do just that, in a very unique way (title reference). However, he comes to Holmes when an abrupt end to it all comes his way.


This is one of my favourite aspects to the stories of Sherlock Holmes, for me, it is done perfectly so, and evokes just the right elements the reader needs to be involved.

Presented by Watson, his insights and description are constantly refreshed by the contrasting, yet reciprocating, characters of him and Holmes.

“Well, Watson,” said Holmes, when our visitor had left us, “what do you make of it all?”

“I make nothing of it,” I answered frankly. “It is a most mysterious business.”

“As a rule,” said Holmes, “the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be…”

Though at times I required a very brief re-read, the story is otherwise of wonderful flow and pace, allowing you to maintain focus and interest.


To devote such a small portion of text to Watson and Holmes would be a discredit, so take it from me that, as ever, they are of their own element.

The rest of those within the pages are well described, well thought-out, and fit in perfectly well. Not once did I feel unseated by any particular one of them.

“We’re hunting in couples again, doctor, you see,” said Jones, in his consequential way. “Our friend here is a wonderful man for starting a chase. All he wants is an old dog to help him do the running down.”

“I hope a wild goose may not prove to be the end of our chase,” observed Mr. Merryweather gloomily.



I specifically came back to read this one as I knew it was an intriguing and inventive plot; perfectly channelling the essence of Sherlock Holmes.

To be honest, this would even be a great place to start for someone who has not read any of the stories by Doyle-though, to confess, I would probably say this about a great deal many more.

I feel that the plot was a great example of how the strangest and peculiar of things, can have logical and fantastical reasoning behind them.

A must read.

Score: 10/10

Let me know your thoughts on the review as well, that way I can make better ones in the future!

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