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Thursday Quotables – A Case of Identity (A Sherlock Holmes Short Story)


A professional case of great gravity was engaging my own attention at the time, and the whole of next day I was busy at the bedside of the sufferer. It was not until close upon six o’clock that I found myself free and was able to spring into a hansom and drive to Baker Street, half afraid that I might be too late to assist at the dénouement of the little mystery. I found Sherlock Holmes alone, however, half asleep, with his long form curled up in the recesses of his armchair. A formidable array of bottles and test-tubes, with the pungent cleanly smell of hydrochloric acid, told me that he had spent his day in the chemical work which was so dear to him.

“Well, have you solved it?” I asked as I entered.

“Yes. It was the bisulphate of baryta.”

“No, no, the mystery!” I cried.

“Oh, that! I thought of the salt that I have been working upon. There was never any mystery in the matter, though, as I said yesterday, some of the details are of interest. The only drawback is that there is no law, I fear, that can touch the scoundrel.”

“Who was it, then, and what was his object in deserting Miss Sutherland?”

The question was hardly out of my mouth, and Holmes had not yet opened his lips to reply, when we heard a heavy footfall in the passage and a tap at the door.

“This is the girl’s stepfather, Mr. James Windiback,” said Holmes. “He has written to me to say that he would be her eat six. Come in!”

Thursday Quotables Meme

Some time back, Lisa from the Bookshelf Fantasies talked about an app she had just discover. An app for reader (read all about it in Lisa’s post). I decided to try it, and really really like it. The app only offers classic, royalty-free works, but I have to tell you I didn’t know there are so many classic stories I want to read.

Just for the sake of trying, I chose a short work, and since I read a couple of Sherlock Holmes’s stories many years ago and liked them I though why not start with this short 2-intallment story?

About the app: I don’t normally read fiction on my phone, but this app is simple and clean and it was comfortable enough.

About the story: I’m sure it was a lot more complicated when it was first published, but the trick has been used so many time in storytelling now that I was able to guess the outcome before it was revealed. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the story. It is a joy to read, it flows away very fast and I liked Holmes and Dr. Watson’s banters, they sound so natural and witty.

Being so short, the story relies heavily on dialogue, though I have to admit Conan Doyle managed to cleverly include a lot: body language, backstory, characters’ interaction, and of course, Holmes’s legendary deduction skills, which, I have to say, do come across as realistic and sound.

So, would I recommend such a classic? Definitely yes. Would I recommend trying the app? Definitely yes. I know Lisa is reading Moby Dick with the app. I won’t try such a long read, I’m sorry. But hey! If you try the app, let me know what you think and what you’re reading. There’s a lot of fantasy and horror too, so I know I’ll read some of that next. You?

In post is part of the Thursday Quotables mem. If you want to discover more about this meme and maybe take part in it, head over to Bookshelf Fantasies

Pinterest pin. The text reads, "A Case of Identity by Arthur Conan Doyle - Book Review". The picture shows a closed fountain pen resting on a piece of lined paper crowded with longhand writing.  The picture is in mute colours.
Pinterest pin. The text reads, "A Case of Identity by Arthur Conan Doyle - Book Review". The picture shows a closed fountain pen resting on a piece of lined paper crowded with longhand writing.  The picture is in warm, bright colours.


  • Brenda
    Posted October 3, 2016 at 21:38

    I am a big time Holmes fan. I am a big lover of my e-reader, but not fond of reading on the phone, but do. I still love the weight of a box in my hand. An app? Maybe.

    • Post Author
      Posted October 3, 2016 at 21:53

      Hi Brenda and thanks for stopping by 🙂

      I agree with you, there’s nothing like a real book. But I’m not opposed to alternatives, when they are confortable and fun. I do have an e-reader and I do use it, both for reading files (that’s particularly handy when I research) and novels that I prefer to ‘try’.
      The app is fun. It’s easy and fast and it gives me the possibility to read stories that I might never read otherwise. Try it. I may like it 😉

  • Veronica Knox
    Posted October 14, 2016 at 14:11

    I’m a big time graphic design fan, captivated by your website. The content is great but I’d tune in just to see the way you’ve presented them. I reached here by reading your comments in a recent Tara Sparling post. What a pleasure to find your site. If you designed it, bravo. I wish I had the technical skills to do the same. Alas, I hover low on the digital learning curve and hired an adequate web designer. But if I could I would want an elegant look like the one you’ve achieved.

    I almost forgot. I was also here for the writing. Reading Sir Arthur’s words makes me want to investigate. I agree. Smooth reading and of course knowing the character so well makes it seamless.

    • Post Author
      Posted October 15, 2016 at 08:36

      Hi Veronica, and thanks so much for stopping by.
      Thanks also for the nice worlds about my blog. It is a regular WordPress theme, though I have costumised it. I’m not at all a techy person myself, but WordPress makes things very easy for the tech-uneducated persons 😉

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