“It is with a heavy heart that I take up my pen to write these the last words in which I shall ever record the singular gifts by which my friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes as distinguished.”
Dr. John Watson, “The Final Problem”
Leigh: This story starts off as Watson saying that he's writing the last Holmes adventure ever. That's it. No more after this one. We don't know what happens but we know SOMETHING, something big happens between Sherlock Holmes and a man called Professor Moriarty. One can expect to have something important happen in this story and there isn't much of a lull between Watson's somber intro and Holmes walking into Watson's living room talking about air guns.
This story has to be my favorite of the set. There hasn't been a whole lot of action or adventure in this book and we've been stuck with mostly story time with the conclusion happening off screen. But this one is an adventure as soon as Holmes walks into Watson's home and asks if he can climb over the back garden wall. And we get a bit of a story when Holmes explains to Watson just the heck this Moriarty guy is but I loved it. I know we try not to mention it too often here, but I couldn't read this back and forth between Moriarty and Holmes without thinking of BBC's Sherlock.
|"This isn't Switzerland." "You really are a genius detective."|
And then that ending. To me, the ending is the strongest bit of writing from ACD. It doesn't feel like a "I'm sick of this character, let's chuck him over a cliff," but it really felt like ACD loved this character but needed to move on. It's another time that ACD and Watson seem to be the same person.