A Case of Identity

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A Case of Identity is one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and is the third story in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Synopsis

Set in 1887, the story revolves around the case of Miss Mary Sutherland, a woman with a substantial income from the interest on a fund set up for her. She is engaged to a quiet Londoner who has recently disappeared. Sherlock Holmes's detective powers are barely challenged as this turns out to be quite an elementary case for him, much as it puzzles Watson.

The fianc, Mr. Hosmer Angel, is a peculiar character, rather quiet, and rather secretive about his life. Miss Sutherland only knows that he works in an office in Leadenhall Street, but nothing more specific than that. All his letters to her are typewritten, even the signature, and he insists that she write back to him through the local Post Office.

The climax of the sad liaison comes when Mr. Angel abandons Miss Sutherland at the altar on their wedding day.

Holmes, noting all these things, Hosmer Angel's description, and the fact that he only seems to meet with Miss Sutherland while her disapproving youngish stepfather is out of the country on business, reaches a conclusion quite quickly. A typewritten letter confirms his belief beyond doubt. Only one person could have gained by this - Mr James Windibank.

The story first appeared in the Strand Magazine in 1891.

External links

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