The plot of the novel is based very loosely on the real-life activities of the Molly Maguires and, particularly, of Pinkerton agent James McParland.The novel is divided into two parts: in the first, Holmes investigates an apparent murder and discovers that the body belongs to another man; and in the second, the story of the man originally thought to have been the victim is told. --Wikipedia
s that there is some mischief afoot."
"If you said 'hope' instead of 'fear,' it would be nearer the truth, I'm thinking, Mr. Holmes," the inspector answered, with a knowing grin. "Well, maybe a wee nip would keep out the raw morning chill. No, I won't smoke, I thank you. I'll have to be pushing on my way; for the early hours of a case are the precious ones, as no man knows better than your own self. But--but--"
The inspector had stopped suddenly, and was staring with a look of absolute amazement at a paper upon the table. It was the sheet upon which I had scrawled the enigmatic message.
"Douglas!" he stammered. "Birlstone! What's this, Mr. Holmes? Man, it's witchcraft! Where in the name of all that is wonderful did you get those names?"
"It is a cipher that Dr. Watson and I have had occasion to solve. But why--what's amiss with the names?"
The inspector looked from one to the other of us in dazed astonishment. "Just this," said he, "that Mr. Douglas of Birlstone Manor House
Another great Holmes story, goes on for a while in the middle, but the background is a necessary part of the story, and with a nice twist at the end. As with all of the other Holmes tales, this is a 'must read'. Conan-Doyle is amongst the greats of English literature.
Another great Sherlock Holmes novel, one of my favorites.