This is a cracking old tale – the second novel of the Sherlock Holmes series.
It’s an intriguing mystery: Mary Morstan’s father disappears one night after he’s returned from India. Out of nowhere, she gets an anonymous pearl through the post each year. With the final pearl, she gets a note saying from the anonymous sender asking to meet… only to find out that the sender had died six years ago.
There’s a lot to like about this, but without doubt, the bit that makes your jaw drop is when Holmes starts injecting cocaine from the off, because he’s bored. No really, he does, this is the opening paragraph, look:
I’d say this is better than a Study in Scarlet; the plot has more twists, turns, poison darts, and chases down the Thames and the background to the characters builds up a little more too. Even the Baker Street Irregulars make their first appearance.
Still though, all that cocaine, eh?