By A. Conan Doyle.
First appeared in the Strand Magazine, February 1892.
Collected in THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (1892).
Did Conan Doyle sometimes slyly substitute other genre elements to avoid the hard thinking that "the science of deduction" requires of the detective story writer? Maybe so:
While Dr. Doyle has written no horror story that seems to have a chance for long life, he has, nevertheless, given us a great number that have served admirably to amuse for the time being. At the very head of these we should place "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," which in its way is, nevertheless, about as poorly constructed a story as ever came from the pen of a practised writer. While it is one of the tales that have Sherlock Holmes as their central figure, there is very little of the great detective's personality, and very little of the science of deduction—the story holds the reader spellbound through sheer horror.
Very few of the Sherlock Holmes adventures are horror stories. The most of them appeal to the reader through his curiosity, his appreciation of the bizarre and the unconventional—they do not play upon his sense of the fearful.
Some of the most gruesome of Dr. Doyle's short stories are to be found included in the volume Round the Red Lamp . One of these tales, of which we cannot just now recall the title, Dr. Doyle, as was pointed out some time ago in an article in THE BOOKMAN, very curiously imitated in a later story. — "The Gruesome in Conan Doyle," THE BOOKMAN (December 1900)Resources:
- "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" is available HERE.
- ROUND THE RED LAMP is online HERE.
Category: Detective fiction