I don’t have much to say about this case. That tends to happen for the ones where half of the story is the client narrating their experiences. I appreciate a good mystery on occasion, but I’ll be honest, I’m just here for Holmes and Watson.
I was fully prepared to dislike this case. I remembered enough from reading this story years ago to know that Holmes’ guess about blackmail was wrong, but I’d forgotten the whole issue of the child being multiracial. That - and Watson’s soppy description of the scene - won me over. Racial issues! Social commentary! Broken families accepting each other!
Of course, I’m still annoyed that the entire “mystery” was easily solved by - wait for it - COMMUNICATION. I might be a hypocrite because I am often reluctant to speak my mind, but one of my least favorite tropes in fiction is when a significant conflict exists because a character decides not to communicate their thoughts, feelings, or an important piece of information with another character, and then drama ensues. Usually it’s pretty obvious that withholding this information will cause more problems in the long run. (Why would you marry someone you haven’t told about your child from a previous marriage because you think they would judge you? If you never tell, you’ll be miserable because you can’t see your child and you’re keeping secrets. If they do find out, they’ll either break it off like you thought they would from the start, or they won’t judge but you’ll have shown that you don’t trust them. Win-win right?)
…I wrote the above paragraph and then found out there’s a page on TV Tropes called Poor Communication Kills. So yeah.