In many ways this is a typical Sherlock Holmes story. A very upset husband, Grand Munro, calls in our near-omniscient protagonist because he is worried about his secretive American wife. Together with an awestruck Dr Watson, Holmes follows Mr Munro to the countryside to solve the little problem.
Another typical feature is the description of a churlish servant, “a tall, gaunt woman with a harsh, forbidding face” and the good, little wife who cannot tell a lie without trembling and fidgeting. The mysterious cottage and the old secret that seems to haunt Mrs Munro are other well-known aspects.
Two things are unusual, however. Sherlock Holmes is not exactly proud of his own performance, and we meet a foreigner who is both handsome and intelligent!