Banner art by Chelsea Sprauer

Everyone’s heard of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, but how much do you really know about the residents of 221B Baker Street? In addition to four novellas (one of which we covered at GUY.Com), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote five collections of 56 short stories starring the world-famous detective and his faithful associate. We’ll be spotlighting 20 of them, to get you caught up just in time for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. All of these stories are public domain, so find a free copy online and read along!

A Case of Identity

Found in: “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”

The Case: Mr. Hosmer Angel was a man who successfully courted the beautiful Miss Mary Sutherland, until he mysteriously disappeared on the day of their wedding. After hearing the would-be bride’s strange and tragic story, Sherlock Holmes sets out to find out who Hosmer Angel is and where he went.

The Solution: *Hosmer Angel is actually Mary’s greedy stepfather in disguise.*

Impressions and Fingerprints: There’s no crime committed. There isn’t even a threat of any crime. As such, this case is unique in that Sherlock can’t really intervene with any authority. That said, he does solve the case pretty much immediately, and he makes it clear that a man doesn’t have to be a criminal to be an evil, bloodsucking son-of-a-bitch.

Is it still worth it? This is a fluff piece. The case is laughably easy, not to mention highly implausible. Still, Holmes has some good dialogue in here, and his conversation with Watson at the opening is a lot of fun to read. Take this one or leave it.

Part 20: “The Last Bow”
Part 19: “The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place”
Part 18: “The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone”
Part 17: “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange”
Part 16: “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”
Part 15: “The Adventure of the Empty House”
Part 14: “The Final Problem”
Part 13: “The Naval Treaty”
Part 12: “The Crooked Man”
Part 11: “The Reigate Puzzle”
Part 10: “The Greek Interpreter”
Part 9: “The Musgrave Ritual”
Part 8: “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”
Part 7: “Silver Blaze”
Part 6: “The Five Orange Pips”
Part 5: “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”
Part 4: “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”
Part 3: “A Case of Identity”
Part 2: “A Scandal in Bohemia”
Part 1: “The Red-Headed League”