The Adventure of The Speckled Band in the eighth short story in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Helen Stoner goes to visit Sherlock Holmes as she fears her life is in danger. She believes her stepfather, Dr Roylott might try to kill her, as her sister died in strange circumstances two years previously, shortly before she was to be married. Now Helen is to be married, she is scared of suffering the same fate. Since her sister’s death, her final words, spoken in terror, have haunted Helen, “The speckled band!” But she has not been able to work out what they mean. The question is, can Sherlock Holmes, before Dr Roylott is able to do away with his remaining step-daughter?
I had no keener pleasure than in following Holmes in his professional investigations, and in admiring the rapid deductions, as swift as intuitions, and yet always founded on a logical basis with which he unravelled the problems which were submitted to him.
This was a great little mystery and so very imaginative. There are so many clues and red herrings littered throughout the story that you find it difficult to pinpoint the truth of the matter, until of course, everything falls neatly into place.
The Adventure of The Speckled Band is one of my favourite Sherlock Holmes mysteries. It has everything a late Victorian story should; exotic wild animals that are free to roam, a suspect band of gypsies who keep company with the guilty party, and a damsel in distress at the mercy of her strange and greedy stepfather. Fabulous stuff! It kept me guessing until the very end.