Sherlock Holmes and the Gloria Scott (On the Case with Holmes and Watson)
By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted by Murray Shaw and M.J. Cosson
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Publication Date: March 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2012
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John H. Watson had taken up residence at 221B Baker Street near Regent's Park in London. After several years Watson got married and moved out, but Holmes's incredible flair for solving mysteries intrigued him and he was always ready to help. Watson was always curious about one case in particular, but Holmes was tight-lipped about it as it was his first one. They were seated by a fire, Watson browsing a newspaper and Holmes poring over a note, when Holmes suddenly asked, "Ah Watson, this would be of interest to you."
Watson's eyes widened as he looked at the cryptic message on the note. "The supply of game for London is going steadily up. Head-keeper Hudson, we believe, has now been told to receive all orders for fly-paper and for preservation of your hen-pheasant's life." When Holmes said a man dropped dead when he read it and declared that it was from his very first case, Watson became very excited. It was THE case he'd always wanted to know about, a case that Holmes had been asked to solve when he was in college many years ago.
Holmes was a solitary chap in college, but when Victor Trevor's dog bit him on the heel, the two got to know each other a bit better. Victor invited him to "his father's estate at Donnithorpe" and it was there that he met Mr. Trevor and solved his first case. Mr. Trevor was aware of his talents and asked him what he could "deduce from [his] appearance." Mr. Trevor's eyes grew wide and he fell onto the floor in a state of shock when Holmes told him what he knew. Later a mysterious man arrived and the note was not far behind. As previously noted, Watson knew Mr. Trevor died after he read the note, but why? How could Holmes possibly figure out what happened?
Naturally the young Sherlock Holmes fan will be as anxious to find out how and why a ship, the "Gloria Scott," factors into this mystery. This is the secretive case that Dr. Watson was never privy to, but when Holmes offered up the story he was dying to hear it. This case is slightly different than the others in that Dr. Watson is not an assistant, but rather Holmes's rapt audience. The story, told in a graphic novel format, has a slightly dream-like quality to the panels, making it seem even more mysterious than some of the others I've read. This mystery is sure to appeal to even the most reluctant reader and just may garner a few fans for this dynamic duo. In the back of the book Watson lets us know how Holmes solved the mystery. There are also additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: This is the story of the first case Sherlock Holmes ever solved, a most impossible mystery.