The Dancing Men (Sherlock Holmes Series) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

March 5, 2014
“The Dancing Men” by Arthur Doyle

Recently in class we were assigned a project to pick a story from the Sherlock Holmes collection and write a report on it. The first on the most popular list was a story called “The Dancing Men”. Foolishly thinking that it associated with something musical, I decided to give it a try. Although it was not as I expected, I was not disappointed.

The Dancing Men takes place in a small apartment in early day England. Holmes and Watson are presented with a nonplussed man and a peculiar scrap of paper covered with what appears to be child’s markings of dancing stick men. Holmes and Watson dig deeper to not only find that the owner of these illustrations is a grown man, however that the worried mans wife has a deeper connection to the ‘artist’ than expected.
This is hand down my favorite story. I appreciated how mysterious the book is and how the outcome is unexpected so it stretches your creativity. Sherlock is so intelligent which I praise to the highest degree, especially in the part with the African securities where Holmes says, “Because in five minutes you will say that it is all so absurdly simple.”
Though very subtle, hints of women empowerment showed through the story concerning Mr. Cubit’s wife. When the mysterious man was in their shed on the lawn and Mr. Cubit wanted to shoot, she refused to let him and physically forced his arms to his side. A bit of Foreign Influences shows in the beginning with the talk between Holmes and Watson about the possibility of owning land in Africa.

This story is appealing to all ages however are only for someone who has patience and determination to finish it. My recommendation is at least 7th grade and up.

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