Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • During WWII several murders occur at a convalescent home where Dr. Watson has volunteered his services. He summons Holmes for help and the master detective proceeds to solve the crime from a long list of suspects including the owners of the home, the staff and the patients recovering there.

  • The three Musgrave siblings - Geoffrey, Philip and Sally - have opened the doors of their family estate, Musgrave Hall, to convalescing military officers during World War II. As his contribution to the war effort, Dr. Watson has been donating his services and treating several of the men there, some of whom are suffering from shell shock and as a result behave oddly. When one of Watson's colleagues, Dr. Sexton, receives a knock on the head, Watson asks his good friend Sherlock Holmes to investigate. Just as they arrive, they find Geoffrey Musgrave dead. Soon after, Philip is also killed and Holmes is convinced that it's somehow related to a poem the next heir to the family estate must recite when someone dies. Known as the Musgrave Ritual, it is a long poem that is gibberish to most but the great detective is convinced it holds the clue to solving the murders.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Dr. Watson () is staying at Musgrave Manor to assist with several ex-soldiers suffering from different battle psychoses who are rooming there. When the owner of the manor Dr. Sexton () is attacked and wounded by an unknown assailant, Watson summons Sherlock Holmes () to the house to detect who the culprit is, and as soon as they arrive another dead body turns up. As Holmes and Watson uncover more clues Sally Musgrave () is required by family tradition to recite the Musgrave Verse for a ritual performed at a funeral. Believing that the clue to the identity of the murderer is located in the Musgrave Verse, Holmes finds language referring to Chess among the rhyming lines and pulls together the inhabitants of Musgrave Manor to determine what the secret of Musgrave Manor is and what it means to the murderer. When another dead body is discovered in a cavern deep beneath the main floor of the house Holmes makes a bold move to draw the killer out into the open and defeat him.

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