Sherlockian Shorts – The Adventure Of The Abbey Grange

First published September 1904 in The Strand magazine, The Adventure Of The Abbey Grange is the twelfth story in the third short story collection, The Return Of Sherlock Holmes.

What’s It About?

Inspector Stanley Hopkins summons Holmes and Watson to the Abbey Grange where a gang of robbers tied up Lady Brackenstall before murdering her husband in front of her. It seems an open and shut case…

SH Abbey GrangeIs It A Mystery?

Hardly. It’s a “what really happened” tale, rather than a whodunit, but it’s not as if there are a vast amount of options. Holnes actually leaves assuming that the obvious was the truth, as if Doyle is hoping we might assume the twist is that there isn’t one.

Is It Any Good?

A weak entry in the series. It’s not particularly convincing that Holmes would be summoned and it’s hardly a test of his deductive powers. And I agree with Holmes – why was he summoned in the first place?

Anything Else?

The first and only time that “The game is afoot” is used. It was adapted for the Jeremy Brett series as the second episode of “The Return Of Sherlock Holmes”, probably as it makes better drama than mystery.

This is the third and final appearance of Inspector Hopkins, following The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez and The Adventure of Black Peter.

NB For the full index of my Sherlockian Shorts, please follow this link.

One comment

  1. Yes, this is the only time Holmes uses the expression “the game is afoot”. However, the narrator Watson uses it once in Wisteria Lodge (His Last Bow)
    The expression is taken from Shakespeare.
    Henry the Fourth Part 1, Act 1, Scene 3: “Before the game is afoot……..”
    Henry the Fifth Act 3, Scene 1: “The game is afoot….”


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