Sherlockian Shorts – The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist

First published 1903, The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist is the fourth story in the third collection of short stories, The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

What’s It About?

Miss Violet Smith, currently working as a music teacher in Surrey, contacts Holmes due to the fact that every time she travels from the railway station to her place of work, she is followed by a mysterious bearded cyclist. Holmes sends Watson to investigate but soon realises the seriousness of the events and intervenes himself.

Is It A Mystery?

Not particularly. There is the question of who the cyclist is, but it’s not much of a puzzle.

Is It Any Good?

Cartoon villains, a clichéd plot and a ridiculous plan on the part of the villains. Not one of Holmes’ finest adventures.

Anything Else?

According to the oracle that is Wikipedia, Doyle had to re-write it to include more Holmes, otherwise The Strand Magazine would not publish it. A shame that he didn’t re-write it to make Watson a bit more competent in the opening section of the action.

Perhaps this is an example of what my fellow bloggers mean when they say that the stories are generally weaker in the later collections…

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