“The Boscombe Valley Mystery”

Note: the tab marked "Explanation" reveals the ending of the story. Do not view that if you are reading the story for the first time and do not want to spoil your enjoyment.
Title: The Boscombe Valley Mystery Collection: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Year published: 1891 (October) Year set in:
Mystery: Who murdered a farmer?
Apparent crime: Murder Actual crime: Shown below (possible spoiler)
Summary: A man is found dead by an isolated lake but the apparent murdered protests his innocence.

Two men who had met in Australia return to England, one rich (Turner) and the other (McCarthy) a tenant on his land. The latter is seen walking to an isolated lake, followed shortly afterwards by his son. They are seen arguing and, later on, the father is found dead.

The son, however, protests his innocence but refuses to say what they quarrelled over.

Actual crime
Explanation (spoiler alert)

McCarthy, the murdered man, had been the driver of a gold convoy that was held up by a gang involving Turner. The two returned to England separately but, when they eventually met, McCarthy blackmailed Turner and lived rent-free on his land.

The two argued over their children - McCarthy wanting them to marry but Turner refusing. Turner ends up killing McCarthy.

Holmes manages to use weaknesses in the evidence to free the son who marries Turner's daughter,

Quotations in this story (2)
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact," he answered, laughing.
"We have got to the deductions and the inferences," said Lestrade, winking at me. "I find it hard enough to tackle facts, Holmes, without flying away after theories and fancies."
"You are right," said Holmes demurely; "you do find it very hard to tackle the facts."

Characters in this story (6)
Surname First name Title
Holmes Sherlock
Lestrade Inspector
McCarthy Charles
McCarthy James
Turner John
Watson John Doctor

Locations in this story (1)
Location Town/City County
Boscombe Valley Near Ross Herefordshire

Other notes


John Alice Turner Charles James McCarthy Australia William Crowder Patience Moran Lestrade Boscombe Valley Pool Ross Hatherley cooee Victoria barmaid Bristol Ballarat diabetes Black Jack gold