Tag Archive | the five orange pips

Review: The Five Orange Pips

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

In case you haven’t already heard the news, although I’m sure you have if you spend any time at all on the internet, NATHAN FILLION has been recently added to the guest list for Ottawa Comiccon! Thanks to that, there will now be  Firefly panel/Q&A! It just keeps getting better and better, and there are only five days left until the big weekend. I hope you’re all as excited as I am ^_^

And now we move on to today’s review of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’ mystery masterpiece; The Five Orange Pips.

The Five Orange Pips

Five Orange Pips


A mysterious envelope. The initials K.K.K. Five orange pips. A man dying under odd circumstances …. what does this all add up to? A case interesting enough to attract the attention of Sherlock Holmes, of course. Mr. John Openshaw was quite distraught upon entering 221 B Baker Street, and Sherlock even more so upon hearing his story, for he could not believe the man had not come for his expertise sooner! After the judge and jury claimed the deaths to be unrelated to these suspicious messages, Sherlock was determined to blow their simple minds, as well as the lid on this case. By combining all of the available evidence, Mr. Holmes was able to deduce that Mr. John Openshaw, as well as his deceased family members, have all fallen victim to the vindictiveness of the Ku Klux Klan society. Mr. Openshaw only has to choices; to change his ways or flee the country. You’ll just have to read and find out whether Holmes and Watson are able to protect him from either fate by seeking out the culprits and putting an end to their terrorizing ways. Quite a bit of this story is reflected in the BBC Sherlock episode “The Great Game”, where Sherlock is sent on a kind of scavenger hunt after receiving a phone call, followed by five beeps (pips). My favorite aspect of this story is that it gives some insight into the kind of information Sherlock values most, according to his best friend Doctor Watson :

Philosophy, astronomy, and politics were marked at zero, I remember. Botany variable, geology profound as regards the mud stains from any region within fifty miles of town, chemistry eccentric, anatomy unsystematic, sensational literature and crime records unique, violin player, boxer, swordsman, lawyer, and self-poisoner by cocaine and tobacco. Those, I think, were the main points of my analysis.” (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, p.110).

Another thing about this particular story which fascinates me is that although they solve the mystery in the end, the man whom they were charged with protecting did not come out of things alive. It shows that although he may be a genius, Sherlock is by no means perfect, adding a dimension of realism to his character. All in all, though, a satisfactory tale.

That is all for today. As always, feel free to leave any thoughts or questions in the comments, and if you have any books you would like to recommend, visit the “Book recommendations from You” page in the above menu and leave the title, author and a brief summary in the comments. I hope you are all taking advantage of this lovely weather – perfect for perching up in a tree with a good book – and until next time, happy reading!