Short Story Review: A Case of Identity by Arthur Conan Doyle

A Case of Identity is the third short story in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Summary (from Goodreads)

Miss Mary Sutherland, angry and beside herself with feelings of loss, asks Sherlock Holmes to solve the sudden, mysterious disappearance of a shy and attentive man she has grown to love upon the very day they were to be married.

Favourite Quote

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”


Great storytelling, even if this story was a little predictable – or should I say easier to solve, than some of the other Sherlock Holmes mysteries?  The scheme involved wasn’t very nice at all and I found myself feeling sorry for Mary Sutherland one moment and wondering how she could have fallen for it the next.  So, a bit of a mixed bag, this one.

One of the high points of the story though was the conversation between Holmes and Watson where Sherlock, in the role of “master consulting detective” informs Watson his “pupil”, that he is getting better at the craft of the consulting detective.  He congratulates him with, “‘Pon my word, Watson, you are coming along wonderfully.  You have done very well indeed”, before he goes on to say, even if he failed to notice everything that was important about the case.  Smashing stuff!

Also, on a side note, I do enjoy coming across some of the more unusual names of the period.  In the last story, The Red-headed League, there was a “Jabez”.  In A Case of Identity, there is a “Hosmer”.


I’ve been readin The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle via Wattpad

5 thoughts on “Short Story Review: A Case of Identity by Arthur Conan Doyle

  1. Pingback: Bookish Reflections – August and September 2017 | Sammi Loves Books

  2. Great quote, and I was amused by the idea of Sherlock praising Watson and then criticizing every specific detail. It reminds me of some writing critiques I’ve been involved with. 😉 I know what you mean about the mystery being too easy to solve and wondering why the characters don’t figure it out. Of course, the other ones that bother me are the ones that were impossible to figure out and the answer comes out of nowhere, so I suppose it’s a fine line. And one reason I don’t write mysteries!

    Liked by 1 person

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