First published 1904, The Adventure of the Three Student is the ninth story in the third collection of short stories, The Return of Sherlock Holmes.
What’s It About?
When visiting an unnamed (but clearly Oxford or Cambridge) university town, Holmes is approached by Hilton Soames, who is concerned that a student, one of three as you might guess, has broken into his room and copied an examination paper before a lucrative scholarship exam.
Is It A Mystery?
Surprisingly, yes, and it’s even got clues. Admittedly one piece of info explaining someone’s behaviour comes far too late to be fair, but this is one of the closest I’ve seen from Doyle to the traditional clued mystery.
Is It Any Good?
Given that I’d never heard of this one before, it was a genuine surprise. Admittedly, the scene when Holmes asks Watson and Soames who they think did it does rather signpost the thief – let’s face it, only Holmes is going to spot the real villain. There’s a rather nice ending to the tale too.
This Holmes tale is one chosen to represent the Great Detective in Odhams weighty 1948 tome “Fifty Famous Detectives Of Fiction”, which makes a pleasant change from The Speckled Band or Silver Blaze. Most likely due to the fact that it resembles the traditional detective story. More on that book very soon on the blog, by the way…