His Last Bow (Part I)

His Last Bow by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”

Holmes and Watson are visited by a rattled gentleman who awoke in an abandon house in which he had been a guest the night before. Two inspectors arrive at Baker Street looking for the gentleman, who tells all four men what he endured in the last 24 hours. Afterwards, one of the inspectors announces that the gentleman’s host was murdered and invites Holmes & Watson to join him at the titular location. The inspector and Holmes take their own paths, but end up at the same result which makes Holmes favorable to the country inspector.

4 1/2 STARS

“The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”

A woman receives a mysterious package with two human ears, Lestrade comes to for Holmes assistance. After a quick investigation, Holmes figures out the entire case.

3 STARS

“The Adventure of the Red Circle”

A landlady comes to Holmes with a problem, though he is not interested but then decides to humor her. After the woman tells Holmes the situation with her tenant, Holmes is intrigued and begins his investigation. The next day, the woman returns to say her husband had been accosted resulting in Holmes and Watson going to her home to spy on the lodger who is not who they thought. Later that night the mystery is cleared up.

3 1/2 STARS

The Valley of Fear

The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The first half of this novel Holmes and Watson help the investigation into the death of John Douglas in Birlstone, Sussex after figuring out a message Holmes received warning of Douglas safety.  The mystery and Holmes’ analysis is wonderful, and then Doyle ruins the novella by the overextended backstory that is only saved by the twist ending.

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Part IV)

1593080409.01._sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter”

A cryptic message arrives at Baker Street soon followed by it’s sender, who spouts off phrases that are at first are confounding. Holmes and Watson soon learn that Cambridge’s best rugby player has gone missing the day before the match with Oxford, but without any clue about his whereabouts. Holmes takes the case and soon must face off against one of Watson’s fellow medical men.

2 1/2 STARS

“The Adventure of Abby Grange”

Inspector Stanley Hopkins asks Holmes to come investigate a murder at the titular home in Kent. However by the time they arrive, Hopkins believe he’s wrapped up the case. Soon Holmes shares his opinion though not without a momentary disbelief, however on they return to London Holmes believes he’s in err.

3 1/2 STARS

“The Adventure of the Second Stain”

An explosive letter written by a hot-headed European monarch goes missing from it’s hiding place, government officials asked Holmes to investigate but he has some demands before taking the case and are grudgingly accepted. But a wrinkle develops when one of Holmes initial suspects is found murdered the morning he gets the case. Those starts several days in which Holmes feels frustrated in bring this case to a close before hitting upon the solution.

3 STARS

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Part III)

1593080409.01._sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton”

Holmes goes up against notorious blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton. After a verbal exchange at Baker Street, Holmes spies on Milverton’s residence in preparation to burglarize his safe. Watson joins Holmes during the burglary, but before they can get the goods they witness one of Milverton’s previous victims exact revenge. The duo escape the house, but are seen though not enough to be identified and later decide not to help the police investigate.

4 STARS

“The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”

Lestrade comes to Holmes and Watson with a mysterious series of events surrounding the destruction of busts of the Emperor Napoleon, which the Inspector believes will interest Watson more than Holmes until he gets into the particulars. The next day Lestrade sends a telegram saying the case has gotten deadly. Holmes and Watson then start pounding London’s streets to find answers.

4 STARS

“The Adventure of the Three Students”

Holmes and Watson are on a college campus as Holmes does some research when a professor begs the former to help him. Holmes grudgingly listens and finds himself intrigued by the problem.

4 1/2 STARS

“The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez”

Inspector Stanley Hopkins comes to Baker Street with a perplexing murder that has no apparent motive. After explaining to Holmes and Watson the facts as well as his investigation using Holmesian techniques, Hopkins inquires if Holmes will look into the case. The next morning they arrive at the murder scene and by early afternoon, the case is solved.

4 STARS

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Part II)

1593080409.01._sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist”

A young woman arrives at Baker Street asking for advice from Holmes about a mystery man who always follows her while she trains to and from her employment every weekend at a distance, but only for a short stretch of her journey. The young woman mentions the fact that she is engaged, but has had to fight out men from seeking her hand in recent weeks (and after her visit must refuse her widowed employer). Holmes makes some inquires and sends Watson to investigate before learning of his client’s decision to leave her employer after his marriage proposal, he then insists on getting to her at once to ensure her safely to the train but arrive too late to find her cab and team deserted on the road. Holmes and Watson meet the mystery cyclist who seems to know what is happening, the three rescue the young woman from a forced marriage meant to gain her far-off uncle’s fortune.

4 1/2 STARS

“The Adventure of the Priory School”

The head of a prestigious school arrives at Baker Street exhausted, looking for help in finding a missing student who is the sole child and heir of a political important Duke. Holmes and Watson travel north with the headmaster and begin investigating with very interesting results. The best story of the book so far.

5 STARS

“The Adventure of Black Peter”

Watson along with the readers enter the investigation half way through as Holmes arrives for breakfast with a harpoon in hand followed soon after by Inspector Stanley Hopkins, whom Holmes has hopes for. Hopkins has followed Holmes methods as best he could to find the murderer of Peter Carey, a horrible former whaler captain found dead in his cabin with a harpoon through him and into the wall. The trio go to the cabin and find evidence that someone tried to break-in the previous night. After Holmes investigates inside, the trio await and capture the burglar who Hopkins believes to be his murderer. However, Holmes has a surprise for young Hopkins.

4 STARS

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Part I)

1593080409.01._sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The Adventure of the Empty House”

A mysterious death brings Sherlock Holmes out of hiding after allowing the world, and his friend Dr. John Watson, believe he was dead. Immediately the two friends go on an adventure as one of Moriarty’s henchmen that got away, attempts to kill Sherlock only to be captured by the famous detective and charge with the first murder not attempting to murder Holmes.

3 STARS

“The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”

Holmes and Watson receive a client begging for help because he his implicated in the murder of a man who just named him as his heir. The police arrive to arrest their client, but Holmes believes things are not as they seem though he is frustrated in his deductions. Then a bloody thumbprint that seemingly condemns his client is found, Holmes uses it to find the “victim” alive and well.

3 1/2 STARS

“The Adventure of the Dancing Men”

A venerable country squire asks Holmes for help in trying to figure out whom is terrorizing his wife and cause property damage in the process. The squire and Holmes interact several times until Holmes discovers distressing news, which makes him and Watson race to the squire’s home only to arrive too late for their client is dead and his wife is severely wounded. But Holmes assists the local police in the investigation resulting in arresting the the surprised culprit.

4 1/2 STARS

Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women’s Rights

0976443449.01._sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women’s Rights by Diane Eickhoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book via Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

The life of women’s right crusader Clarina Nichols is the focus of Revolutionary Heart by editor-turned-historian Diane Eickhoff. Through Nichols life, we not only see the accomplishments of a very determined woman but also see the history of the three great antebellum reform movements.

The life of Clarina Nichols begins at one end of the country (Vermont) to the other (California), but a very important part of her life was spent in helping settle and attempt to influence the formation of the State of Kansas. Eickhoff using recovered sources that had not been known of since Nichols’ death in 1885, brings Nichol life in an entertaining and engaging manner that keeps the reader manner. Eickhoff follows Nichols’ life growing up in Vermont and her troublesome first marriage that helped focus her crusading efforts in the antebellum women’s right movement that was launched by circumstances in her second marriage. While detailing Nichols’ efforts on women’s rights, Eickhoff makes it a point to show Nichol’s as a mother not just as an aside but as one of the main themes throughout the book. And through Nichols, Eickhoff helped bring into the focus how the three major antebellum reform movements—abolition, suffrage, and temperance—were interwoven with one another for a 30 year period.

Revolutionary Heart pacts a lot of material in 277 pages in a well-written biography of an under-recognized leader of the early women’s rights movement in the 1850s thanks not only to Eickhoff’s writing but also her background of editing. The life and work of Clarina Nichols helps give context to the 1850s and 1860s when the popular view focuses on slavery and the Civil War. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to learn more about the early women’s right movement.