The first in the lineup for our Sherlock Holmes challenge is a flashback to Holmes's college days, where he was a solitary student studying chemistry. He made a total of (surprise) one friend, as he tells us: Victor Trevor.
He was a hearty, full-blooded fellow, full of spirits and energy, the very opposite to me in most respects, but we had some subjects in common, and it was a bond of union when I found that he was as friendless as I.
I like this bit; it makes Trevor to be a sort of proto-Watson - opposite personality to Holmes, but lonely like him. Trevor also genuinely likes Holmes's conversation, to the point he asks him down to his house for a visit during break.
The actual mystery, involving Trevor's father, is a grisly start for our challenge! Yet I think it summarizes many key points to the Sherlock Holmes series. It has the mysterious note, the sympathetic villain or anti-hero, and a somewhat lengthy flashback dialogue. More importantly, it reconfirms Holmes's belief in himself, and those adventures tend to be amongst his best.
I was a little sad to read that he spent the last seven weeks of the holiday at the college, "working out a few experiments in organic chemistry." It seems to imply either Holmes had no family to go home to, that he was extremely obsessive about his studies (most probable), or that home was not a good place for him.
Can't wait to read all of your thoughts on this one!