In a workshop at Dartmoor Prison a prisoner is making music boxes. He tells another prisoner that he will serve his full sentence rather than tell the authorities what they want to know. Three music boxes are put up for auction at Gaylord Art Gallery in London and are bought by an elderly gentleman, a young brunette and a Scottish father. An anxious latecomer, Colonel Cavanaugh, who is working for Hilda Courtney, enquires about the boxes after the auction is over. He obtains two of the purchasers' addresses after bribing the auctioneer.
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The elderly gentleman, Julian Emery, is a collector of music boxes. He shows his charming collection to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, including the box from the auction, bought for its unusual tune, which he plays for them. Later the glamorous Mrs Courtney visits Emery and tries to buy the box, but as a collector he is unwilling to sell. While she is flirting with him her jealous chauffeur kills him with a throwing knife. She is furious, as the murder is bound to draw unwelcome attention, and indeed Sherlock Holmes immediately deduces a connection with the music box and visits the auction house. Mrs Courtney, disguised as a charwoman, obtains the Scottish box, but arrives at the brunette's shop, Clifford's Toys, only to find the box has been sold - to Sherlock Holmes.
When Holmes hears that John Davidson made the boxes in Dartmoor, he realizes that they somehow contain a clue to the location of the duplicate set of Bank of England £5 plates which Davidson stole months earlier. X-rays reveal nothing, so the clue must be in the tune, which varies slightly between the three boxes. Holmes has only one music box, while the criminals have two. Who will figure out the location first?
The review of this Movie prepared by Maureen Evans