So far, theories about the woman in London have mostly run to:
1. Irene Adler and it was a romance.
2. Irene Adler and she beat him.
4. Maud Bellamy (I threw that one in, and, although it would be cool, I doubt it).
But there is one I really want it to be, with appropriate changes in the modern era. But let us pause for a moment before we get to that and examine some other things. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson both try to present Holmes as somewhat lacking in emotion in the stories, but if you watch Holmes, what he does, how he behaves and reacts, you will see that this isn’t true. He gets angry, his feelings are hurt, he cares about people. He is quite emotional and fights to keep that under the thumb of logic.
In The Sign of Four, Watson tells Holmes, “You really are an automaton–a calculating machine … There is something positively inhuman about you at times.”
He smiled gently.
“It is of the first importance,” he said, “not to allow your judgment to be biased by personal qualities. A client is to me a mere unit, a factor in a problem. The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning. I assure you that the most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance-money, and the most repellent man of my acquaintance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor.”
“[T]he most winning woman” Holmes “ever knew” (at the point of this story, that is, which is important to remember in reference to some other stories as well) poisoned three little children for the insurance money.
And Holmes, from the sound of it, wasn’t able to save them, was he?
5. The most winning woman Holmes ever knew.