For me BOSC has Holmes at one of his best. And it doesn't hurt that once again Holmes and Watson are out of London.
Yea, I know, Holmes should be associated with London, and it is true that Holmes feels London is the place he truly needs to be. And it does suit him. But I sure do like it when he goes out of town. Being a Yorkshire man myself, I am more comfortable when Holmes is out of town.
Watson is still married and not living in Baker St., and this time Mary does get a part. Mary will always be for me the real Mrs. Watson.
What is nice about this mention of Mary is that she is actually at the table with Watson, unlike the last time we explored a similar setting.
We do not go to Baker St. at all in this tale. How many times does that happen?
But we do get trains and pipes and small hotels to make up for it. And we love our Sherlock Holmes and John Watson on trains.
Especially when they are on a train out of London to some small village or town.
Just like in BLUE we don't ever actually meet the accused man. Holmes is convinced of his innocence, so we must be okay with that.
Much like SIGN, amongst others, the case involves things that have happened in far off colonies of the realm.
We learn of a poet Holmes, if not actually likes, is at least reading. ( I had to look that one up.)
And he is at his best when inspecting the crime scene. Throwing himself on the ground, picking up leaves and grass and stones, and examining foot prints.
Again I am reminded, once Holmes is at Boscombe Pool, of a scene in 'Without a Clue'. The one where Watson and Holmes have arrived at Lake Windermere when our two heroes are looking for clues around the lake.
And again we find, like in BLUE that Holmes is willing to act as judge and jury in the case. And in this case it is much more extreme with Holmes actually allowing a murderer to go free. (Not just the murderer of McCarthy.)
And in this case we find that Lestrade is not the same footing with Holmes as he is eleven years later in SIXN. Holmes even goes so far as to say some not so very nice things about Lestrade.
And just for fun, look at the posture of Watson in the two SP illustrations. One of them is from BOSC.
I enjoyed BOSC, again.