It's the main event of the 1890 horse racing season. All odds favour the great Silver Blaze, a descendant of the immortal Sonomy and every bit as successful as his famous ancestor. The winner receives the coveted Wessex Plate (or Cup) and a cash prize exceeding £1,000. There are only a few days remaining before the race, and national excitement and anticipation is at a fever pitch when...Silver Blaze disappears, the stable boy assigned to stand guard is drugged, and the horse's trainer is found dead on the moor with his head smashed in by a heavy weapon.
Despite diligent searching by the local constabulary, including interrogation of the gypsies who wander on the lonely moor, no trace of Silver Blaze beyond his hoofprints near the dead man's body can be found. The horse has simply vanished into thin air. A suspect, a tout named Fitzroy Simpson, has been apprehended for the trainer's murder and the local police believe they have a strong case against him. But Sherlock Holmes says that a clever lawyer could tear their case to tatters, and assures the horse's owner that Silver Blaze will mysteriously reappear in time to run in the Wessex Plate race.
What do a curious surgical knife, the stump of a burnt match, a dog that did nothing in the night-time, and an epidemic of lameness in a herd of sheep have to do with the solution to this bizarre mystery? The Hounds will course hard on the heels of the solution, and on their way will unravel false scents and trails that double back upon themselves.
In a few minutes the Mâitre de Chasse will release the Hounds, who have run swift and true on many a trail, and have not yet been denied their quarry. Dr. Watson's introduction to the Holmes case among the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes called The Adventure of Silver Blaze (Strand magazine December 1892) is succinct and impossible to improve upon: "There was but one problem before the public which could challenge his powers of analysis, and that was the singular disappearance of the favourite for the Wessex Cup, and the tragic murder of its trainer."
As the story unfolds we are taken along for a ride that is constantly on the move across moors, woods, through stables, and a landscape of characters and voices that is rich and evocative of an age of sports rivalries we can fondly recall long after they have passed from the scene. Doyle – and Brit actor/interpreter David Ian Davies – give us brief glimpses into the workings of the detective's mind. But, as always, the facts fall into line only after Holmes has pieced them properly together.
"...David Ian Davies's reading of The Tangled Skein is a full-blooded theatrical performance that does justice to his near-namesake's gripping narrative. - Roger Johnson, Editor District Messenger Newspaper, The Sherlock Holmes Society of London
"...To call this only a reading of the classic Sherlock Holmes story, would be to devalue the beauty of this performance. Although you may have heard recordings of the Sherlock Holmes work read before with distance and haughty affectation, none of that is present in Mr. Davies storytelling performance. This features one man, many voices and a hefty portion of talent. This performance is fresh, approachable and inviting. - Sam Buvala, Storyteller.net, Reviews
"Mr. Davies's reading of The Hound of the Baskervilles adds mastery to a masterpiece! Mr. Davies is an absolute virtuoso of voices and dialects. It is difficult to believe that this unabridged narration of Sir Arthur's most famous Holmes case is done only by one man and not being performed by a troupe of actors and actresses. Limited space doesn't allow us to do full justice to describe this recording, but suffice it to say that Mr. Davies's performance has received "raves" from independent reviewers. Even when you hear it, you won't believe it! - sherlock-holmes.com
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