Board Game Review: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Case 5: The Cryptic Corpse
Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is a solo or co-op board game that is ideally played by 1-4 players. It takes place in Victorian London (the 1880s-1890s) and you are trying to solve mysteries alongside Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson. The goal is supposedly to beat Holmes – solve the mystery with fewer clues than he does – but the real fun is if you follow all the clues, and get a picture of the entire mystery, including the parts Holmes doesn’t touch upon.
I previously reviewed the first four cases in this collection: The Munitions Magnate, The Tin Soldier, The Mystified Murderess and The Lionized Lions.
The fifth case is called The Cryptic Corpse, and it sure is a cryptic case.
In this case, Holmes is summoned to the morgue, where a rather peculiar murder victim has been autopsied by the coroner. The victim was stabbed in the neck and killed instantaneously, right in the middle of a theater performance he was spectating. No one noticed anything until after the play when his dead body was uncovered. The man’s identity is a mystery, his murder is an even bigger mystery, but the biggest mystery of all is the cryptic note the man was carrying with him, which is obviously written in code and can be cracked using a particular cipher.
Since we wanted to beat Holmes at all cost, we figured the only way to do so was by cracking the code. Of course, the master detective would no doubt crack the mystery in five minutes, but it took us the better part of an hour to crack the code. We quickly figured out how to solve it – at least we thought so – but then doing it for each syllable took quite some time. And in the end unfortunately what we had uncovered were actual words in the English language, but not a message that made any sense at all.
Murray told us some clues when we visited him, but nothing that rang any bells with us. Maybe we’re just not great at cracking codes. Even when visiting Sherlock, he only gave us a few cryptic hints, but we were nowhere closer to solving the code. Meanwhile, clues came piling in as to the dead man’s identity and despite the cryptic clues left on his body, solving his death felt a little anti-climatic because it was so straightforward and obvious.
We were worried that the cipher would completely change the meaning of the case, but – spoiler warning – it doesn’t!
When searching through reviews online, a lot of people seem frustrated by not finding the boarding house, which gives a lot of clues, but we figured when going to the hotel since the victim only spent one night there and not any of the other nights, that he had to be staying somewhere else, and then following the original hints, we found the boarding house as our second clue right away. I can imagine the case gets a lot more frustrating if you don’t find the boarding house, since the most important hints are dropped there.
Despite not being able to crack the cipher, this was one of my favorite cases so far because it allowed me to think outside of the box: with the cipher, with finding the boarding house, with coming to the conclusion of the mystery, and more. Definitely one of the more challenging but also most rewarding cases in this box set.
If you like Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, then I recommend…
A Study in Shifters (The Adventures of Marisol Holmes Book 1)
Seventeen-year-old Marisol Holmes wants to live up to the family legacy; after all, she is the great-great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes. What’s more Holmesian than a grisly murder? The Conclave, an underground organization of detectives solving supernatural cases, is giving her just one chance to catch a killer and join them. After all, as a half-blood jaguar shifter, Marisol is uniquely qualified to solve this murder—since every scrap of evidence points toward the culprit being a fellow jaguar shifter.
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”
There’s more to this than just evidence. Is one of her own people really involved, or is this all a ploy to kick Marisol’s mother off the shifter throne?
When Marisol discovers her handsome best friend, Roan, is missing, she realizes Roan may be the killer’s next target. The stakes just got higher than political intrigue.
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Just when things couldn’t get worse, Marisol’s ex-boyfriend-turned-nemesis, Mannix, starts leaving sinister clues for her. In her last case, Mannix broke her heart and ruined her case, and Marisol isn’t sure which is worse. Marisol fears this case too might be far more personal than she could’ve imagined.
It’s time for Marisol to prove her worth, or her people could fall into chaos while her best friend loses his life.
This book is perfect for fans of: shapeshifters, steampunk, paranormal, high school drama, teen romance, Sherlock Holmes and deadly intrigue.
Purchase from Amazon.