Saturday, April 6, 2013

Big Finish - The Speckled Band

Having enjoyed the Adventure of the Perfidious Mariner so much I went back and found my copy of The Speckled Band from 2011, directed by Nicholas Briggs.

Holmes and Watson receive a visit from Miss Helen Stoner who fears that she is danger after the death of her sister. After hearing her strange story the detectives are soon on their way to the house of her stepfather, Dr Grimesby Roylott, but can Holmes crack the mystery of the Speckled Band in time to save her?

This is a fairly short story from early on in Holmes' career and Nicholas Briggs and Richard Earl do a good job of conveying the younger, more enthusiastic characters. Quite different to the world weary figures they portrayed in the Perfidious Mariner. Most of the action is narrated by Dr Watson so this is more like an enhanced audiobook than a full cast radio play. However they both have marvellous voices so it is an enjoyable but fairly quick listen.

At the heart of the story is a classic locked room mystery but unfortunately it is perhaps one of Conan Doyle's less convincing solutions. The lengths that the murderer has to go to in order to achieve their aims are somewhat far fetched to say the least, although this does allow for some very striking moments. And all delivered with pitch perfect performances by Briggs and Earl.

As it is not my favourite Holmes adventure it gets a mere 3 out of 5 twisted pokers, not up to the heights of the Mariner or The Hound of the Baskervilles. However, I am not deterred and think I will check out Holmes and the Ripper next.

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