Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Not the Last of Holmes

His Last Bow:  An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"Honour is a medieval concept" 

This story starts off rather strangely for a Sherlock Holmes tale.  Usually we enter the scene at Holmes's study, 221 B Baker Street.  Holmes usually already has his nose on the scent of a crime and we are pulled along for the adventure.

This story starts with a study, but it is very clearly not Holmes who is the center of attention.  In this very short story, Holmes has come out of retirment as a bee-keeper and has gone undercover to pose as a traitor to the British government, willing to sell secrets during WWII.  In a classic double-cross, Holmes reveals his hand at the last minute to trap a German spy. 

Since we only get to see Homes at the very end of the crime, we don't get to see any deductive powers in action, which is what makes Holmes so great.  This story is a very typical WWII British tale with a lot of anti-German sentiment.  If you've never read Holmes, don't start with this one.  If you're a Holmes-phile, you might enjoy knowing he retired briefly to keep bees.  Who knew?

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