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30 review for The Adventure of the Dancing Men (Stories from the return of Sherlock Holmes)

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    A rather good story by Arthur Conan Doyle. Here we see Holmes and Watson trundle off to Norwich regarding a case of a distraught wife and some odd symbols of ‘dancing men’. What is surprising and different about this story is that Holmes’ ego has been reigned in. When the local inspector asked Holmes if he wanted to do the case alone or a joint collaboration Holmes is keen and eager to have a joint effort which is rather nice too see.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mary Pagones

    I'll never forget how this mystery taught me at a young age that the most common letter in the English alphabet is "e," which enables Holmes to crack the code. I also love the strength and sensitivity of the woman, Doyle's refreshingly non-stereotypical portraits of Americans, and even the criminal at the end has some moments of pathos. And Holmes is both clever yet quite fallible in this one. The Jeremy Brett version ups the stakes a bit, fleshes out the characters, and Holmes is much more abras I'll never forget how this mystery taught me at a young age that the most common letter in the English alphabet is "e," which enables Holmes to crack the code. I also love the strength and sensitivity of the woman, Doyle's refreshingly non-stereotypical portraits of Americans, and even the criminal at the end has some moments of pathos. And Holmes is both clever yet quite fallible in this one. The Jeremy Brett version ups the stakes a bit, fleshes out the characters, and Holmes is much more abrasive (as is typical), and is a flawless dramatization.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Demsky

    Sherlock and his companion, Watson, are in the ugly part of London underground to solve crimes and bringing the criminals to justice. A sudden appearance of a coded message are disastrous. The other stories in the book: The Adventure of the dying Detective, The Musgrave Ritual and the Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans were also good.

  4. 5 out of 5

    DJ

    "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" is the third story in the The Return of Sherlock Holmes story collection, the sixth publication in the Sherlock Holmes series. Holmes is hired by a man who has been discovering coded messages in the form of little dancing men around his property, which his new wife is terrified by for reasons she cannot (or will not) explain. One of my favourite Sherlock Holmes stories, and definitely one of the best from The Return of Sherlock Holmes. "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" is the third story in the The Return of Sherlock Holmes story collection, the sixth publication in the Sherlock Holmes series. Holmes is hired by a man who has been discovering coded messages in the form of little dancing men around his property, which his new wife is terrified by for reasons she cannot (or will not) explain. One of my favourite Sherlock Holmes stories, and definitely one of the best from The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Crime Addict Sifat

    The sudden appearance of mysterious stick-figure drawings proves disastrous to a country squire and his bride.

  6. 4 out of 5

    George Slade

    Liked it, but it didn't blow me away. Sherlock deciphers encrypted messages with best guesses about frequently used letters in English writing and then two guys shoot at each other over a girl. Nothing revolutionary there. It's a good thing the message to be deciphered was a common one, and not something like "Extrapolate thine encyclopedias from beneath the breast of they chattel!" Liked it, but it didn't blow me away. Sherlock deciphers encrypted messages with best guesses about frequently used letters in English writing and then two guys shoot at each other over a girl. Nothing revolutionary there. It's a good thing the message to be deciphered was a common one, and not something like "Extrapolate thine encyclopedias from beneath the breast of they chattel!"

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chaplain Walle

    An other Sherlock Holmes adventure that I highly recommend.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rob Thompson

    (view spoiler)[The story begins when Hilton Cubitt of Ridling Thorpe Manor in Norfolk visits Sherlock Holmes and gives him a piece of paper with the following mysterious sequence of stick figures. Cubitt explains to Holmes and Dr. Watson that he has recently married an American woman named Elsie Patrick. Before the wedding, she had asked her husband-to-be never to ask about her past, as she had had some "very disagreeable associations" in her life, although she said that there was nothing that sh (view spoiler)[The story begins when Hilton Cubitt of Ridling Thorpe Manor in Norfolk visits Sherlock Holmes and gives him a piece of paper with the following mysterious sequence of stick figures. Cubitt explains to Holmes and Dr. Watson that he has recently married an American woman named Elsie Patrick. Before the wedding, she had asked her husband-to-be never to ask about her past, as she had had some "very disagreeable associations" in her life, although she said that there was nothing that she was personally ashamed of. Their marriage had been a happy one until the messages began to arrive, first mailed from the United States and then appearing in the garden. The messages had made Elsie very afraid but she did not explain the reasons for her fear, and Cubitt insisted on honoring his promise not to ask about Elsie's life in the United States. Holmes examines all of the occurrences of the dancing figures, and they provide him with an important clue - he realizes that it is a substitution cipher and cracks the code by frequency analysis. The last of the messages causes Holmes to fear that the Cubitts are in immediate danger. Holmes rushes to Ridling Thorpe Manor and finds Cubitt dead of a bullet to the heart and his wife gravely wounded from a gunshot to the head. Inspector Martin of the Norfolk Constabulary believes that it is a murder-suicide attempt; Elsie is the prime suspect. But Holmes, after noting some inconsistencies in that theory, proves that there is a third person involved. Holmes writes a message—in dancing figure characters—and has it delivered to a lodger at a nearby farm. While waiting for the result of this message, Holmes explains to Watson and Inspector Martin how he cracked the code of the dancing figures. The last message, which caused Holmes and Watson to rush to Norfolk, read "ELSIE PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD". The lodger, Abe Slaney, another American, unaware that Elsie is gravely wounded, arrives at Ridling Thorpe Manor and is seized as he comes through the door. Holmes had sent for Slaney using the dancing men, knowing that Slaney would believe the message is from Elsie. Slaney reveals that he had been engaged to Elsie, the daughter of the Chicago crime boss whom Slaney works for, and that she had fled to escape her old life. Slaney had come to England to get her back. When Slaney and Elsie were speaking through a window, Cubitt had appeared and shots were exchanged; Cubitt was killed and Slaney had fled. Apparently, Elsie then shot herself. Slaney is arrested and sentenced to hang, but his sentence is reduced to penal servitude because Cubitt had fired the first shot. Elsie recovers from her injuries, and spends her life helping the poor and administering her late husband's estate. (hide spoiler)] A short story, but a masterpiece of detection. Doyle is a tremendous storyteller and the plot twist was great.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Artist Cat

    Awww, almost solved this one! I figured out which little figure stood for the letter "E" and which stood for a space, but I didn't get the rest, sadly :( :) Awww, almost solved this one! I figured out which little figure stood for the letter "E" and which stood for a space, but I didn't get the rest, sadly :( :)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile

    A bittersweet mystery involving love and loss.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dan Wilson

    I'm a sucker for a mystery story involving code-cracking. The code itself is inventive, and I like Holmes' step-by-step breakdown of how he cracked it. The story, however, while well-told, covers well-worn ground for Doyle: mysterious puzzle involving loving spouse with a secret past in a foreign land where bad things happen and occasionally intrude upon the lives of English gentry with deadly results. I do get a kick out of it when Doyle's nasty foreigners are Americans, and I particularly enjo I'm a sucker for a mystery story involving code-cracking. The code itself is inventive, and I like Holmes' step-by-step breakdown of how he cracked it. The story, however, while well-told, covers well-worn ground for Doyle: mysterious puzzle involving loving spouse with a secret past in a foreign land where bad things happen and occasionally intrude upon the lives of English gentry with deadly results. I do get a kick out of it when Doyle's nasty foreigners are Americans, and I particularly enjoyed the implicit portrayal of Chicago as a crime den, and wonder whether in this he was ahead of his time, or whether I just need to learn more about pre-Capone Chicago.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amélie Boucher

    Unpredictable but a bit boring, to be honest.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Franci

    Was okay as far as mysteries go. It didn't grab me though. Still, Doyle is a wonderful storyteller and the plot twist was great. (The American telling the full story.) Was okay as far as mysteries go. It didn't grab me though. Still, Doyle is a wonderful storyteller and the plot twist was great. (The American telling the full story.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    A short story, but a masterpiece of detection. Always a pleasure.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Alhammadi

    “What one man can invent another can discover” Holmes

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    At first he had shown some disposition to assert his own position; but now he was overcome with admiration and ready to follow without question wherever Holmes led. -- Inspector Martin Watson is in awe of his friend's deductive prowess. Holmes deciphers a code. Gunfight!! We start with Holmes and Watson having a domestic moment at home, bantering in their usual way. Doyle once again gives us a glimpse into Holmes' genius in the little ways he reads the habits of one John Watson. The mystery of the d At first he had shown some disposition to assert his own position; but now he was overcome with admiration and ready to follow without question wherever Holmes led. -- Inspector Martin Watson is in awe of his friend's deductive prowess. Holmes deciphers a code. Gunfight!! We start with Holmes and Watson having a domestic moment at home, bantering in their usual way. Doyle once again gives us a glimpse into Holmes' genius in the little ways he reads the habits of one John Watson. The mystery of the dancing men is just that, a coded message of seemingly random dancing men left for an American woman at her and her husband's country estate. The husband asks for Holmes's help. We get a short story from the husband and a trip into the country where Holmes walks Watson, a local doctor, and Inspector Martin through what happened. Holmes sends for the killer using the dancing men and we are told the full story. Everything is wrapped up nicely in this story. I recommend not only that you read this one, but also attempt to decipher the code as you go.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I read this book but also listened to it on www.librivox.org for free. The audiobook (Version 3 by David Clarke) is fantastic. The third story of this collection felt more dark to me and I read that a lot of people tought it was boring. Of course I accept everybodys opinion but I found the story to be interesting, mysterious and I liked the outcome - as always. I can recommend "The adventure of the Dancing Men" and it is definitly one of my favourites (from all Sherlock Holmes short stories) so I read this book but also listened to it on www.librivox.org for free. The audiobook (Version 3 by David Clarke) is fantastic. The third story of this collection felt more dark to me and I read that a lot of people tought it was boring. Of course I accept everybodys opinion but I found the story to be interesting, mysterious and I liked the outcome - as always. I can recommend "The adventure of the Dancing Men" and it is definitly one of my favourites (from all Sherlock Holmes short stories) so far.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Muhammed Atef

    “So, Watson,” said he, suddenly, “you do not propose to invest in South African securities?” “How on earth do you know that?” I asked. “I ought to make you sign a paper to that effect.” “Why?” “Because in five minutes you will say that it is all so absurdly simple.” “I am sure that I shall say nothing of the kind.” Five minutes later Watson said “How absurdly simple!”

  19. 4 out of 5

    AhmEd MokhtAr

    This is a short story of the nicest stories I read to Sherlock Holmes and I'm enjoyed with a special enjoying . we have ended by turning the dancing men to good when they have so often been the agents of evil, and I think that I have fulfilled my promise of giving you something unusual for your notebook This is a short story of the nicest stories I read to Sherlock Holmes and I'm enjoyed with a special enjoying . we have ended by turning the dancing men to good when they have so often been the agents of evil, and I think that I have fulfilled my promise of giving you something unusual for your notebook

  20. 4 out of 5

    Wild

    This story is one of Sherlock's closest one, I've seen it a million times in Jeremy Brett's adaptation since I was a child, I practically know it by memory and I found the code of the Dancing Men very interesting and got my interested in codes. This story is one of Sherlock's closest one, I've seen it a million times in Jeremy Brett's adaptation since I was a child, I practically know it by memory and I found the code of the Dancing Men very interesting and got my interested in codes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Azuma-chan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved this story the most. Mystery is fun but even more when there's a code or symbols you have to figure out. I got really excited when I saw the figure of those little dancing men. Stuff like that always interests me but the ending of the case was tragic. I loved this story the most. Mystery is fun but even more when there's a code or symbols you have to figure out. I got really excited when I saw the figure of those little dancing men. Stuff like that always interests me but the ending of the case was tragic.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Syd

    This has been in my TBR since I read "The Code Book" by Simon Singh. Thanks to the code book, I already figured out the first few steps of the deciphering process. This was also one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes stories-short,clever,charming and captivating. This has been in my TBR since I read "The Code Book" by Simon Singh. Thanks to the code book, I already figured out the first few steps of the deciphering process. This was also one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes stories-short,clever,charming and captivating.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    This was fun, easy to follow mystery. I found it to be a powerful, evocative story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Dale Keck

    Have read all of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and probably others as well, just never bothered to put them in to amazon or goodreads, so dates wrong. Some KU some paperback some hardback some collections. Have read all of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and probably others as well, just never bothered to put them in to amazon or goodreads, so dates wrong. Some KU some paperback some hardback some collections.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Warren Nast

    I enjoyed this story tremendously. Everything I like about Sherlock was in here. Well written, fast pace and a surprise ending.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Željko Filipin

    Holmes solves a case by deciphering encoded messages.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    *3,5 stars*

  28. 5 out of 5

    Briana

    This is the first Sherlock Holmes book I've read. It was a bit boring, but I was surprised how easy it was to follow. This is the first Sherlock Holmes book I've read. It was a bit boring, but I was surprised how easy it was to follow.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Redwan Hasan

    Too much technical info might put off some people but liked it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cym

    Call me critical, but it seemed the whole short story was written to show off how Sherlock solved the code.

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