Story A Day: “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client”

shortstorymonth320x320In addition to reading the complete stories of Stanley Ellin, Tara and I have also been working out way—aloud—through the complete Sherlock Holmes, novels and stories both. We currently have only one book left, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, the final collection of stories, which we finally delved into last night. The first tale, “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client,” has some great lines, a fiendishly despicable villain, and a vivid bit of revenge at the end, but overall, we both found ourselves a little disappointed. While this story has several aspects of the first Sherlock Holmes short story, “A Scandal in Bohemia”—including a scandalous relationship at its core, an incriminating bit of material that needs to be retrieved, and the interests of a royal personage, plus Watson stepping in to provide diversions while Holmes carries out his work—the end result is hardly as complex or rewarding as that first and perhaps most outstanding of the tales. — Art Taylor