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The Strand Magazine (special offer)
"A psychological account of a crime"--that's how Fyodor Dostoyevsky described his novel Crime and Punishment, which tells of two horrific axe murders in St. Petersburg. It becomes much more than a mere “account,” however, when a pair of dead bodies turn up in London’s East End, their heads split open by an axe-blade. To Scotland Yard, the crimes are murders to solve. To Sherlock Holmes, they present an intriguing puzzle. But to the literary man, Dr. John H. Watson, they seem a deliberate re-staging of the brutal murders depicted in Dostoyevsky’s narrative. If Watson is right, what can be the purpose behind an actual recreation of the fictional killings? Blocking the answer to that question is a mysterious assortment of English and Russian eccentrics, and one can only wonder if the startling revelation at the end will be dramatic enough to set matters straight.