The Reigate Puzzle: A Lawyerly Annotated Edition


Annotating “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder” for the 2015 edition of the Green Bag Almanac & Reader was quite fun—enough fun that even before it was in print we’d decided to annotate another Sherlock Holmes story for the 2016 Almanac & Reader. We settled on one of the earlier stories, “The Reigate Puzzle” (aka “The Reigate Squire” and “The Reigate Squires”). And then we enlisted (as we did last year) an eminent Sherlockian to introduce the story and a gratifyingly diverse congregation of others to annotate it. What we present in the following pages is not, of course, the last word on anything about “The Reigate Puzzle.” Indeed, one of the joys of Sherlockian studies (like legal studies) is that no one ever gets the last word, just the latest. We would like to think, however, that we have collected quite a few interesting and entertaining additions to Sherlockian scholarship—including several relating to the law and legal culture—and at least as many eloquent yet compact restatements of some of the best of preexisting scholarship.