This was a freebie from Audible.com. I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was a kid, but I don't remember much about them individually, so it was fun to revisit Holmes and Watson for this light-hearted story of a Christmas goose that swallowed a stolen gemstone.
One thing that struck me was that the vaunted "deductive reasoning" of Holmes is really kind of laughable at times.
"I have no doubt that I am very stupid, but I must confess that I am unable to follow you. For example, how did you deduce that this man was intellectual?"
For answer Holmes clapped the hat upon his head. It came right over the forehead and settled upon the bridge of his nose. "It is a question of cubic capacity," said he; a man with so large a brain must have something in it."
Yup, "big head" = "intellectual." Okay, be fair, this is what the Victorians thought, and Holmes was a detective, not a physiologist. Still, I noticed a lot of his other "deductions" were more like educated guesses that he brushes with the shiny imprimatur of absolute conviction. These lead him, of course, to the true culprit, in a low-key mystery rather full of improbable twists. But it's fun and kind of Christmasy in a secularish way, which is cool by me, and Alan Cummings's jovial reading is perfect.