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The Adventure of the Final Problem

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The Final Problem" is a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his detective character Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in Strand Magazine in December 1893. It appears in book form as part of the collection The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle later ranked "The Final Problem" fourth on his personal list of the twelve best Holmes stories. The Final Problem" is a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his detective character Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in Strand Magazine in December 1893. It appears in book form as part of the collection The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle later ranked "The Final Problem" fourth on his personal list of the twelve best Holmes stories.


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The Final Problem" is a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his detective character Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in Strand Magazine in December 1893. It appears in book form as part of the collection The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle later ranked "The Final Problem" fourth on his personal list of the twelve best Holmes stories. The Final Problem" is a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his detective character Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in Strand Magazine in December 1893. It appears in book form as part of the collection The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle later ranked "The Final Problem" fourth on his personal list of the twelve best Holmes stories.

30 review for The Adventure of the Final Problem

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    "The Final Problem" is the final short story in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes collection. The ever-loyal Dr. Watson takes his pen in hand, heavy-hearted, to tell the story of the escalating conflict between Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty, a criminal mastermind that Sherlock is determined to bring to justice, along with all of his criminal associates. Says Sherlock:"He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker... He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its w "The Final Problem" is the final short story in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes collection. The ever-loyal Dr. Watson takes his pen in hand, heavy-hearted, to tell the story of the escalating conflict between Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty, a criminal mastermind that Sherlock is determined to bring to justice, along with all of his criminal associates. Says Sherlock:"He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker... He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them."So Sherlock asks Dr. Watson to join him on a trip to Europe, to keep Sherlock away from Moriarty - who’s determined to kill Sherlock - until the trap Sherlock and the London police have set up for Moriarty has time to snap closed. Moriarty is a little too smart, however, and the journey turns into a cat-and-mouse chase. But who is the cat and who is the mouse?(view spoiler)[This tale is also famous because it's the one where the author killed off Sherlock Holmes ... or at least I'm fairly certain that was his intent at the time. But the public was having none of that, and Doyle unbent and wrote several more Sherlock Holmes stories later, including the unforgettable The Hound of the Baskervilles. (hide spoiler)] There's no real mystery here, and we don't get to know Moriarty directly, only indirectly through Sherlock's observances. It's a suspenseful tale, though, and it rated #4 on Arthur Conan Doyle's personal list of what he thought were the best Sherlock Holmes tales.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    This was a very strong story up to the last couple pages, when suddenly the end. Not using an exclamation point, even, because it was so anticlimactic. Intellectually and emotionally unsatisfying.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ashrakat Deyab

    This is, without a doubt, the best Sherlock Holmes short story I have read so far. I would have given it 5 stars if I had read the story before watching the BBC version but I'm sorry to say that I haven't. Moriarty in the originals Moriarty in the BBC series Besides the fact that the original Moriarty is not half as attractive as the modern one, he was overall quite disappointing. He lacked character depth and that psychotic weirdness that was so evident and intriguing in the BBC version. The Adven This is, without a doubt, the best Sherlock Holmes short story I have read so far. I would have given it 5 stars if I had read the story before watching the BBC version but I'm sorry to say that I haven't. Moriarty in the originals Moriarty in the BBC series Besides the fact that the original Moriarty is not half as attractive as the modern one, he was overall quite disappointing. He lacked character depth and that psychotic weirdness that was so evident and intriguing in the BBC version. The Adventure of the Final Problem would probably have been much better if a)it was a novel instead of a short story.. maybe then there could have been more character depth and b)Watson had shown more of his feelings about what was going on. So, overall, the story was pretty good but this is probably the only time that I can say I liked an adaptation more than the original.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Connie G

    I had wanted to read "The Final Problem" because I was intrigued by Professor Moriarty in another story. Moriarty was a criminal genius and the intellectual equal to Sherlock Holmes. (view spoiler)[Author Arthur Conan Doyle wanted to move on to other writing so he had Sherlock Holmes play the hero in this story, sacrificing himself to rid the world of a dangerous criminal. However, fans of Sherlock Holmes objected, wanting more stories about their favorite detective. The author also enjoyed the m I had wanted to read "The Final Problem" because I was intrigued by Professor Moriarty in another story. Moriarty was a criminal genius and the intellectual equal to Sherlock Holmes. (view spoiler)[Author Arthur Conan Doyle wanted to move on to other writing so he had Sherlock Holmes play the hero in this story, sacrificing himself to rid the world of a dangerous criminal. However, fans of Sherlock Holmes objected, wanting more stories about their favorite detective. The author also enjoyed the money that the Sherlock Holmes books brought in. The ending of this story is ambiguous since we don't definitely know if Holmes and Moriarty were killed in the gorge. This gave Arthur Conan Doyle the option of either killing or resurrecting the two rivals in the future. It was great news for his fans when the author went on to write more Sherlock Holmes mysteries. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jason Donoghue

    Sheer brilliance, and what an ending. Sherlock Holmes antagonist professor moriarty is brilliant a true rivalry between both men. Characters like no others I have read before. I find myself liking both men. This is how you write short stories, true excellence. Highly recommended reading it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jemma

    The most disappointing Sherlock I've ever read. There was no detective work or plot whatsoever Arthur Conan Doyle literally just wrote it to (view spoiler)[ kill off Sherlock. (hide spoiler)] The most disappointing Sherlock I've ever read. There was no detective work or plot whatsoever Arthur Conan Doyle literally just wrote it to (view spoiler)[ kill off Sherlock. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I thought I knew the basic premise of this story when I started it, but it turns out I knew the whole thing. This incredibly slim volume is considered the final of only four novels in the Sherlock Holmes series. There are many additional short stories. Written from Watson’s point-of-view we see an increasingly paranoid Sherlock taking extreme measures to escape his arch-nemesis Dr. Moriarty. The pair, one an unconventional, brilliant detective, the other a criminal mastermind are perfectly match I thought I knew the basic premise of this story when I started it, but it turns out I knew the whole thing. This incredibly slim volume is considered the final of only four novels in the Sherlock Holmes series. There are many additional short stories. Written from Watson’s point-of-view we see an increasingly paranoid Sherlock taking extreme measures to escape his arch-nemesis Dr. Moriarty. The pair, one an unconventional, brilliant detective, the other a criminal mastermind are perfectly matched. Sherlock has finally found his intellectual equal; unfortunately they are pitted against one another. You can’t help but hear the admiration in Sherlock’s voice as he describes the villains’ evil empire. Here’s a bit about Moriarty in Sherlock’s own words… “He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the center of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans.” BOTTOM LINE: A worthy conclusion to Sherlock’s story, I only wish it had been longer! I would still recommend The Sign of Four as the best place to start if you’re new to Sherlock.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Crime Addict Sifat

    This story puts Sherlock Holmes abilities under serious scrutiny when he is confronted by the best criminal personality (Professor James Moriarty) in England, one that has attempted more than once to slaughter Sherlock Holmes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    José Cruz Parker

    Mr. Conan Doyle--my favorite English writer--took the formula designed by Poe and improved on it, thereby creating the most important, if not the best, detective stories this world has ever seen. In The Final Problem, Sherlock Holmes faces his nemesis and counterpart, Professor Moriarty. The latter seems to represent Holmes' id; however, I tend to see Moriarty as Holmes' alter ego. After all, Watson only ever hears about Moriarty: he never actually sees him. Be that as it may, the confrontation Mr. Conan Doyle--my favorite English writer--took the formula designed by Poe and improved on it, thereby creating the most important, if not the best, detective stories this world has ever seen. In The Final Problem, Sherlock Holmes faces his nemesis and counterpart, Professor Moriarty. The latter seems to represent Holmes' id; however, I tend to see Moriarty as Holmes' alter ego. After all, Watson only ever hears about Moriarty: he never actually sees him. Be that as it may, the confrontation between the two great men is both exciting and stimulating. It reminded me of the relationship that exists between Dale Cooper and Windom Earle in Lynch's Twin Peaks. The Final Problem was written as the swan song of Sherlock Holmes, who is arguably the greatest and most famous fictional character of all time (I myself have a slight bias towards Poirot). Holmes' fans, however, would not hear of it! They demanded that Holmes be resurrected forthwith. Conan Doyle had no choice but complying with them. I don't know if his decision was the right one, but I am certainly happy that he did it, because it means that we have more Holmes stories to read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rob Thompson

    All in all is a great conclusion to Sherlock’s story. This is the final of four novels in the Sherlock Holmes series written from Watson’s point-of-view. Its sees Holmes confronting his perfectly matched arch-nemesis Dr. Moriarty. He describes him as follows: “He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless All in all is a great conclusion to Sherlock’s story. This is the final of four novels in the Sherlock Holmes series written from Watson’s point-of-view. Its sees Holmes confronting his perfectly matched arch-nemesis Dr. Moriarty. He describes him as follows: “He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the center of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans.” The plot(view spoiler)[ Holmes arrives at Dr. John Watson's residence one evening in a somewhat agitated state and with grazed and bleeding knuckles. Much to Watson's surprise, he had apparently escaped three separate murder attempts that day after a visit from Professor Moriarty, who warned Holmes to withdraw from his pursuit of justice against him to avoid any regrettable outcome. First, just as he was turning a street corner, a cab suddenly rushed towards him and Holmes just managed to leap out of the way in time. Second, while Holmes was walking along the street, a brick fell from the roof of a house, just missing the detective. He then called the police to search the whole area but could not prove that it was anything other than an accident. Finally, on his way to Watson's house, he was attacked by a thug armed with a cosh. Holmes managed to overcome his assailant and handed him to the police but admitted that there was virtually no hope of proving that the man was in the employ of the criminal mastermind. Holmes has been tracking Moriarty and his agents for months and is on the brink of snaring them all and delivering them to the dock. Moriarty is the criminal genius behind a highly organised and extremely secret criminal force and Holmes will consider it the crowning achievement of his career if only he can defeat Moriarty. Moriarty is out to thwart Holmes's plans and is well capable of doing so, for he is, as Holmes admits, the great detective's intellectual equal. Holmes asks Watson to come to the continent with him, giving him unusual instructions designed to hide his tracks to the boat train at Victoria station. Holmes is not quite sure where they will go, which seems rather odd to Watson. Holmes, certain that he has been followed to his friend's house, then makes off by climbing over the back wall in the garden. The next day Watson follows Holmes's instructions to the letter and finds himself waiting in the reserved first class coach for his friend, but only an elderly Italian priest is there. The cleric soon makes it apparent that he is in fact, Holmes in disguise. As the boat train pulls out of Victoria, Holmes spots Moriarty on the platform, making gestures in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the train. Holmes is forced to take action as Moriarty has obviously tracked Watson, despite extraordinary precautions. Holmes and Watson alight at Canterbury, making a change to their planned route. As they are waiting for another train to Newhaven a special one-coach train roars through Canterbury, as Holmes suspected it would. It contains the professor, who has hired the train in an effort to overtake Holmes. Holmes and Watson are forced to hide behind luggage. Having made their way to Strasbourg via Brussels, the following Monday Holmes receives a message that most of Moriarty's gang have been arrested in England and recommends Watson return there now, as the detective will likely prove to be a very dangerous companion. Watson, however, decides to stay with his friend. Moriarty himself has slipped out of the grasp of the English police and is obviously with them on the continent. Holmes and Watson's journey takes them to Switzerland where they stay at Meiringen. From there they fatefully decide to take a walk which will include a visit to the Reichenbach Falls, a local natural wonder. Once there, a boy appears and hands Watson a note, saying that there is a sick Englishwoman back at the hotel who wants an English doctor. Holmes realises at once it is a hoax although he does not say so. Watson goes to see about the patient, leaving Holmes by himself. Upon returning to the Englischer Hof, Watson finds that the innkeeper has no knowledge of any sick Englishwoman. Realising at last that he has been deceived, he rushes back to the Reichenbach Falls but finds no one there, although he does see two sets of footprints going out onto the muddy dead end path with none returning. There is also a note from Holmes, explaining that he knew the report Watson was given to be a hoax and that he is about to fight Moriarty, who has graciously given him enough time to pen this last letter. Watson sees that towards the end of the path there are signs that a violent struggle has taken place and there are no returning footprints. It is all too clear Holmes and Moriarty have both fallen to their deaths down the gorge while locked in mortal combat. Saddened, Dr. Watson returns to England. The Moriarty gang are all convicted on the strength of evidence secured by Holmes. Watson ends his narrative by saying that Sherlock Holmes was the best and the wisest man he had ever known. (hide spoiler)]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Armita

    Oh god, this story was awful on SO MANY levels- but that's what made it super hilarious for me. A. C. Doyle's hatred for Sherlock never fails to make me giggle. Brilliant. =)))))) Oh god, this story was awful on SO MANY levels- but that's what made it super hilarious for me. A. C. Doyle's hatred for Sherlock never fails to make me giggle. Brilliant. =))))))

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Perfect length for a cuppa. Finally, the story I've been waiting for. Sigh. I don't really know what to say. But it's probably the best of stories I've read. 5 Words: Perfect length for a cuppa. Finally, the story I've been waiting for. Sigh. I don't really know what to say. But it's probably the best of stories I've read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katja Labonté

    5 stars & 5/10 hearts. What an ending. WHAT an ending! Wow! I’m blown away every time. It’s simply perfect—for the series, for Holmes, for Moriarty… yes. It’s amazing, and so well done. I applaud Conan Doyle for being able to create such a mastermind criminal and yet still managing to defeat him… even if Sherlock must pay the ultimate sacrifice to do so. I think this story really shows the heart of Sherlock’s detective work—he wants to make life better and protect people, and he dedicated his li 5 stars & 5/10 hearts. What an ending. WHAT an ending! Wow! I’m blown away every time. It’s simply perfect—for the series, for Holmes, for Moriarty… yes. It’s amazing, and so well done. I applaud Conan Doyle for being able to create such a mastermind criminal and yet still managing to defeat him… even if Sherlock must pay the ultimate sacrifice to do so. I think this story really shows the heart of Sherlock’s detective work—he wants to make life better and protect people, and he dedicated his life to this, in spite of every temptation and reason to live a quiet life. He pitted himself against Moriarty not only because of his brains, but because of his heart—and he vanquished not only because of his brains, but because of his heart. This is the real Sherlock… and I love him. <3 A Favourite Quote: “I think that I may go so far as to say, Watson, that I have not lived wholly in vain,” he remarked. “If my record were closed to-night I could still survey it with equanimity. The air of London is the sweeter for my presence. In over a thousand cases I am not aware that I have ever used my powers upon the wrong side. Of late I have been tempted to look into the problems furnished by nature rather than those more superficial ones for which our artificial state of society is responsible. Your memoirs will draw to an end, Watson, upon the day that I crown my career by the capture or extinction of the most dangerous and capable criminal in Europe.” Content: smoking.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile

    A thrilling story, exciting and intriguing until the very end!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    It is frankly bizarre that Moriarty is featured in literally every Sherlock adaptation under the sun, because in the short story he's a bad villain that just doesn't fit the format at all. In a series of short stories, a mastermind coming out of nowhere who is in charge of most of the criminal activity in London (England?) just doesn't work. Doyle tries to sell it by having Watson not accompany Holmes as much as he used to so that all the messing around with Moriarty and Sherlock can happen befo It is frankly bizarre that Moriarty is featured in literally every Sherlock adaptation under the sun, because in the short story he's a bad villain that just doesn't fit the format at all. In a series of short stories, a mastermind coming out of nowhere who is in charge of most of the criminal activity in London (England?) just doesn't work. Doyle tries to sell it by having Watson not accompany Holmes as much as he used to so that all the messing around with Moriarty and Sherlock can happen before the start of the story, but it feels weak. There's little detective work, the whole thing feels predictable and never keeps you guessing and I think this is probably the one story I've read where I instantly identified the person Sherlock was disguised as. It's *almost* like the whole thing is a hasty attempt to kill of a character that Doyle didn't want to write anymore! Hmmm.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    I was inspired to read this infamous Sherlock Holmes adventure after watching the BBC modern day rendition of "Sherlock", aired this past Sunday (1/15/2012). Although Sir Arthur Conan Doyle meant this to be the final adventure of Sherlock Holmes, I'm glad he left the plot shrouded in enough mystery to allow for the eventual resurrection of this brilliant detective with definite personality issues. Additionally, although I may have found Conan-Doyle's portrayal of James Moriarty frustratingly eni I was inspired to read this infamous Sherlock Holmes adventure after watching the BBC modern day rendition of "Sherlock", aired this past Sunday (1/15/2012). Although Sir Arthur Conan Doyle meant this to be the final adventure of Sherlock Holmes, I'm glad he left the plot shrouded in enough mystery to allow for the eventual resurrection of this brilliant detective with definite personality issues. Additionally, although I may have found Conan-Doyle's portrayal of James Moriarty frustratingly enigmatic, in retrospect I am glad he only painted a vague picture of this criminal mastermind because it now leaves the character open for more in-depth interpretation...and I think Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss created a brilliant Jim Moriarty in their series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Artist Cat

    Ahhhhhhhhhh... I'm so so so so so so so so disappointed! Why? Mr. Doyle, you have failed me :( This is SO stupid I have to quote Sherlock at it: What's this?? Really, not even as dramatic as Study in Scarlet! No mystery, no case to solve, no nothing except Sherlock Holmes falling off a cliff. AND Moriarty, so-called Napoleon of Crime, does nothing whatsoever except (fail to) drop a load of bricks on Sherlock's head and nearly squash him under a carriage. I'm so cross. I'm done. Ahhhhhhhhhh... I'm so so so so so so so so disappointed! Why? Mr. Doyle, you have failed me :( This is SO stupid I have to quote Sherlock at it: What's this?? Really, not even as dramatic as Study in Scarlet! No mystery, no case to solve, no nothing except Sherlock Holmes falling off a cliff. AND Moriarty, so-called Napoleon of Crime, does nothing whatsoever except (fail to) drop a load of bricks on Sherlock's head and nearly squash him under a carriage. I'm so cross. I'm done.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pedro Martinez

    "He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the center of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans". Holmes on Moriarty. The final adventure. "He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the center of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them. He does little himself. He only plans". Holmes on Moriarty. The final adventure.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michelle (In Libris Veritas)

    Kind of a disappointing introduction to Moriarty...he's always portrayed as Sherlock's absolute nemesis...and while it's certainly the same way within the story it goes by so quickly it's almost a blink and you'll miss it encounter. Kind of a disappointing introduction to Moriarty...he's always portrayed as Sherlock's absolute nemesis...and while it's certainly the same way within the story it goes by so quickly it's almost a blink and you'll miss it encounter.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rajul Sisodia

    A nice short story which keeps you hooked

  21. 5 out of 5

    James

    Doyle surrenders to his fans and Holmes returns from the dead! A decent adventure, the Sherlock stories are fun, popcorn reads for the most part.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rajat Dubey

    At the end of the story i completely 💔

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ahd Mahamid

    "Any attempt at recovering the bodies was absolutely hopeless, down in that dreadful cauldron of swirling water and seething foam, will lie for all the time the most dangerous criminal and the foremost champion of the law of their generation."💔 "Any attempt at recovering the bodies was absolutely hopeless, down in that dreadful cauldron of swirling water and seething foam, will lie for all the time the most dangerous criminal and the foremost champion of the law of their generation."💔

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roberto Mattos

    This story, set in 1891, introduces Holmes's greatest opponent, the criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty. Holmes arrives at Dr. John Watson's residence one evening in a somewhat agitated state and with grazed and bleeding knuckles. He has apparently escaped three murder attempts that day after a visit from Professor Moriarty, who warned Holmes to withdraw from his pursuit of justice against him to avoid any regrettable outcome. First, just as he was turning a street corner, a cab suddenly This story, set in 1891, introduces Holmes's greatest opponent, the criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty. Holmes arrives at Dr. John Watson's residence one evening in a somewhat agitated state and with grazed and bleeding knuckles. He has apparently escaped three murder attempts that day after a visit from Professor Moriarty, who warned Holmes to withdraw from his pursuit of justice against him to avoid any regrettable outcome. First, just as he was turning a street corner, a cab suddenly rushed towards him and Holmes just managed to leap out of the way in time. Second, while Holmes was walking along the street, a brick fell from the roof of a house, just missing the detective. He then called the police to search the whole area but could not prove that it was anything other than an accident. Finally, on his way to Watson's house, he was attacked by a thug armed with a cosh. Holmes managed to overcome his assailant and handed him to the police but admitted that there was virtually no hope of proving that the man was in the employ of the criminal mastermind. Holmes has been tracking Moriarty and his agents for months and is on the brink of snaring them all and delivering them to the dock. Moriarty is the criminal genius behind a highly organized and extremely secret criminal force and Holmes will consider it the crowning achievement of his career if only he can defeat Moriarty. Moriarty is out to thwart Holmes's plans and is well capable of doing so, for he is, as Holmes admits, the great detective's intellectual equal. Holmes asks Watson to come to the continent with him, giving him unusual instructions designed to hide his tracks to Victoria station. Holmes is not quite sure where they will go; this seems rather odd to Watson. Holmes, certain that he has been followed to his friend's house, then makes off by climbing over the back wall in the garden. The next day Watson follows Holmes's instructions to the letter and finds himself waiting in the reserved first class coach for his friend, but only an elderly Italian priest is there. The cleric soon makes it apparent that he is Holmes in disguise. As the train pulls out of Victoria, Holmes spots Moriarty on the platform, apparently trying to get someone to stop the train. Holmes is forced to take action as Moriarty has obviously tracked Watson, despite extraordinary precautions. He and Watson alight at Canterbury, making a change to their planned route. As they are waiting for another train to Newhaven a special one-coach train roars through Canterbury, as Holmes suspected it would. It contains Moriarty, who has hired the train in an effort to overtake Holmes. Holmes and Watson are forced to hide behind luggage. Having made their way to Strasbourg via Brussels, the following Monday Holmes receives a message that most of Moriarty's gang have been arrested in England and recommends Watson return there now, as the detective will likely prove to be a very dangerous companion. Watson, however, decides to stay with his friend. Moriarty himself has slipped out of the grasp of the English police and is obviously with them on the continent. Holmes and Watson's journey takes them to Switzerland where they stay at Meiringen. From there they fatefully decide to take a walk which will include a visit to Reichenbach Falls, a local natural wonder. Once there, a boy appears and hands Watson a note, saying that there is a sick Englishwoman back at the hotel who wants an English doctor. Holmes realises at once it is a hoax although he does not say so. Watson goes to see about the patient, leaving Holmes alone. Upon returning to the Englischer Hof, Watson finds that the innkeeper has no knowledge of any sick Englishwoman. Realizing at last that he has been deceived, he rushes back to Reichenbach Falls but finds no one there, although he does see two sets of footprints going out onto the muddy dead end path with none returning. There is also a note from Holmes, explaining that he knew the report Watson was given to be a hoax and that he is about to fight Moriarty, who has graciously given him enough time to pen this last letter. Watson sees that towards the end of the path there are signs that a violent struggle has taken place and there are no returning footprints. It is all too clear Holmes and Moriarty have both fallen to their deaths down the gorge while locked in mortal combat. Heartbroken, Dr. Watson returns to England. I recommend this book to all readers that appreciate a well written mystery story.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Crissy

    Had never read this one before but have seen/read many adaptations. Wanted to read the real thing!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Another addition to my studies of A.C. Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes. This week's reading was much better than last week's, but WOW, Sherlock dies???? But, our professor says he reappears 8 years later to explain his death to Watson. I enjoyed my introduction to the despicable Professor Moriarty! In class today, we had a guest speaker about raising bees because it was a hobby of Sherlock Holmes. It, too, was extremely interesting. On to Hound of Baskervilles for 2 weeks discussions. Another addition to my studies of A.C. Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes. This week's reading was much better than last week's, but WOW, Sherlock dies???? But, our professor says he reappears 8 years later to explain his death to Watson. I enjoyed my introduction to the despicable Professor Moriarty! In class today, we had a guest speaker about raising bees because it was a hobby of Sherlock Holmes. It, too, was extremely interesting. On to Hound of Baskervilles for 2 weeks discussions.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The sleuth's enemy Professor Moriarty pursues him across Europe - towards the ultimate confrontation The sleuth's enemy Professor Moriarty pursues him across Europe - towards the ultimate confrontation

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wash your hands.

    Is this it? Is this very short and not very well written story, clearly designed to kill a character an author no longer wants to write about in the quickest possible way, the whole basis for all those long television programs, movies and fan fiction/spin off novels? I feel robbed.

  29. 5 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    I am so torn in writing the review for this Sherlock Holmes story, because whereas the introduction of Professor James Moriarity and the mystery itself makes this an excellent story, the ending will break every Sherlock Holmes fan's heart. I am so torn in writing the review for this Sherlock Holmes story, because whereas the introduction of Professor James Moriarity and the mystery itself makes this an excellent story, the ending will break every Sherlock Holmes fan's heart.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I should have cried. I would have, if I didn't know. I like Sherlock more than Watson, not because he's better but simply because he's so Sherlock. This was definitely a favorite of mine. Doyle did an excellent job building up to the climax. I should have cried. I would have, if I didn't know. I like Sherlock more than Watson, not because he's better but simply because he's so Sherlock. This was definitely a favorite of mine. Doyle did an excellent job building up to the climax.

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