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Sherlock Holmes #1-9

The Complete Sherlock Holmes

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A study in scarlet --

The sign of four --

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes : A scandal in Bohemia ; The red-headed league ; A case of identity ; The Boscombe Valley mystery ; The five orange pips ; The man with the twisted lip ; The adventure of the blue carbuncle ; The adventure of the speckled band ; The adventure of the engineer's thumb ; The adventure of the noble bachelor ; The adventure of the beryl coronet ; The adventure of the copper beeches --

Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes : Silver blaze ; The yellow face ; The stock-broker's clerk ; The "Gloria Scott" ; The Musgrave ritual ; The Reigate puzzle ; The crooked man ; The resident patient ; The Greek interpreter ; The naval treaty ; The final problem --

The return of Sherlock Holmes : The adventure of the empty house ; The adventure of the Norwood builder ; The adventure of the dancing men ; The adventure of the solitary cyclist ; The adventure of the priory school ; The adventure of Black Peter ; The adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton ; The adventure of the six Napoleons ; The adventure of the three students ; The adventure of the golden pince-nez ; The adventure of the missing three-quarter ; The adventure of the abbey grange ; The adventure of the second stain.

Volume 2. Introduction / by Loren D. Estleman --

The hound of the Baskervilles --

The valley of fear --

His last bow : The adventure of Wisteria Lodge : The singular experience of Mr. John Scott Eccles ; The tiger of San Pedro ; The adventure of the cardboard box ; The adventure of the red circle ; The adventure of the Bruce-Partington plans ; The adventure of the dying detective ; The disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax ; The adventure of the devil's foot ; His last bow --

The case-book of Sherlock Holmes : The adventure of the illustrious client ; The adventure of the blanched soldier ; The adventure of the Mazarin stone ; The adventure of the three gables ; The adventure of the Sussex vampire ; The adventure of the three Garridebs ; The problem of Thor Bridge ; The adventure of the creeping man ; The adventure of the lion's mane ; The adventure of the veiled lodger ; The adventure of Shoscombe old place ; The adventure of the retired colourman.

1796 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1894

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About the author

Arthur Conan Doyle

11.4k books21.7k followers
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born the third of ten siblings on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, a talented illustrator, was born in England of Irish descent, and his mother, born Mary Foley, was Irish. They were married in 1855.

Although he is now referred to as "Conan Doyle", the origin of this compound surname (if that is how he meant it to be understood) is uncertain. His baptism record in the registry of St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh gives 'Arthur Ignatius Conan' as his Christian name, and simply 'Doyle' as his surname. It also names Michael Conan as his godfather.

At the age of nine Conan Doyle was sent to the Roman Catholic Jesuit preparatory school, Hodder Place, Stonyhurst. He then went on to Stonyhurst College, leaving in 1875.

From 1876 to 1881 he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. This required that he provide periodic medical assistance in the towns of Aston (now a district of Birmingham) and Sheffield. While studying, Conan Doyle began writing short stories. His first published story appeared in "Chambers's Edinburgh Journal" before he was 20. Following his graduation, he was employed as a ship's doctor on the SS Mayumba during a voyage to the West African coast. He completed his doctorate on the subject of tabes dorsalis in 1885.

In 1885 Conan Doyle married Louisa (or Louise) Hawkins, known as "Touie". She suffered from tuberculosis and died on 4 July 1906. The following year he married Jean Elizabeth Leckie, whom he had first met and fallen in love with in 1897. Due to his sense of loyalty he had maintained a purely platonic relationship with Jean while his first wife was alive. Jean died in London on 27 June 1940.

Conan Doyle fathered five children. Two with his first wife—Mary Louise (28 January 1889 – 12 June 1976), and Arthur Alleyne Kingsley, known as Kingsley (15 November 1892 – 28 October 1918). With his second wife he had three children—Denis Percy Stewart (17 March 1909 – 9 March 1955), second husband in 1936 of Georgian Princess Nina Mdivani (circa 1910 – 19 February 1987; former sister-in-law of Barbara Hutton); Adrian Malcolm (19 November 1910–3 June 1970) and Jean Lena Annette (21 December 1912–18 November 1997).

Conan Doyle was found clutching his chest in the hall of Windlesham, his house in Crowborough, East Sussex, on 7 July 1930. He had died of a heart attack at age 71. His last words were directed toward his wife: "You are wonderful." The epitaph on his gravestone in the churchyard at Minstead in the New Forest, Hampshire, reads:


Conan Doyle's house, Undershaw, located in Hindhead, south of London, where he had lived for a decade, had been a hotel and restaurant between 1924 and 2004. It now stands empty while conservationists and Conan Doyle fans fight to preserve it.

A statue honours Conan Doyle at Crowborough Cross in Crowborough, where Conan Doyle lived for 23 years. There is also a statue of Sherlock Holmes in Picardy Place, Edinburgh, close to the house where Conan Doyle was born.

* Sherlock Holmes

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,737 reviews
Profile Image for adam bradford.
4 reviews24 followers
October 31, 2007
A few of the things I learned:

Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth

Never theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.

Also, I now sometimes try to analyze people based on their shoes and pants when sitting on the subway. I have yet to ask anyone if I was accurate about my predictions.
Profile Image for Rowan Wiese.
4 reviews3 followers
October 20, 2016
Time does not change great literature This was completely entertaining and no matter how old you are it's still great to read over the ones you enjoyed the first time. Several I had not remembered reading. I bought this book at special price from here:
Profile Image for Meave.
789 reviews56 followers
December 4, 2013
My copy of this book is a wreck, I have read it so often. My dad gave it to me, I can't remember if it was a birthday or Christmas gift, but regardless it's one of the best books I've ever been given. You just have to read a couple of pages and you fall right into Holmes and Watson's world; it's wonderful.
Profile Image for Luffy.
862 reviews722 followers
June 21, 2021
It's great that we got Hound of the Baskervilles right before Return of Sherlock Holmes, because, after that, the knighted author would prove to be on autopilot.

I'm afraid that the test of time has not been overly kind to the canon Sherlock lore. It was a chore sometimes, to read through these short stories that have outstayed their welcome.

Maybe the detective ought to have stayed dead. But vox populi, vox Dei. Now that the work of Doyle is in Public Domain, many more new stories keep popping up. Incredibly, I've read only one such book. That must be remedied ASAP.
Profile Image for Michelle.
147 reviews235 followers
November 29, 2018
Holmes, who loathed every form of society with his whole Bohemian soul, remained in our lodgings in Baker Street, buried among his old books, and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug and the fierce energy of his own keen nature. Holmes was still, as ever, deeply attracted by the study of crime, and occupied his immense faculties and extraordinary powers of observation in following out those clues and clearing up those mysteries which had been abandoned as hopeless by the official police.

--“A Scandal in Bohemia”

Watson's not wasting any time here. So we learn, in two sentences, that Holmes is: not fond of other people, ridiculously smart, kind of a drug addict, working unofficially to fight crime and, as if I couldn’t say it enough -- ridiculously smart!

Arthur Conan Doyle emphasizes Holmes' magnificent brain in many ways: he uses Watson's admiration to reinforce the reader's own; he gives Holmes lots of foils, including incompetent cops and the criminals he's hunting; and perhaps the best trick of all, Holmes frequently gets to show off his smarts by wowing his clients with how much he can guess about them just by looking at their outward appearances.

So it’s obvious that Sherlock Holmes is beyond intelligent, but I find this other side of him more interesting:

That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to be to me such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.

“You appear to be astonished,” he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.”

-- “A Study in Scarlet”

Holmes is, in a nutshell, single-minded in his detection. In that respect, it makes sense that all emotions, particularly love, are abhorrent to his cold, precise, but admirably balanced mind. He's basically an instrument for finding out criminal stuff. I actually appreciated this, since Doyle didn't risk all the soap opera-ish entanglements that make long-running serials hard to follow without a map. He conceived each of his stories as both united by Holmes' character, and yet still potentially interesting to people who had never read any other of his stories.

As a private detective, Holmes totally uses his powers for good. Everyone in Victorian London, from the lowliest governess to the highest nobleman, eventually comes to see him when they need help. It's reassuring to read about a guy who just goes around making sure that life is fair for the little guy. Sure, he may be in his business of private detective work mostly for the intellectual work rather than the moral judgment -- but for me, reading each of his stories is like reading “Chicken Soup for the Nerdy Soul”! He's so sure, and so good at getting things right, that reading his stories leaves you with a comfortable glow.

John Watson, the narrator, is definitely a main character in these stories. He is telling his own story, sure, but only in so far as that story relates to Mr. Sherlock Holmes. The thing is though, he is awesome in his own right. He was an army doctor in Afghanistan, he's the one who always carries the gun in his and Holmes's most dangerous encounters,and what's more -- he is actually able to sustain a job and engage in healthy human relationships with more than one person. By also making Watson a strong character, with both medical and literary proficiency, Doyle makes Watson's admiration of Holmes' intelligence even more meaningful. He fills in gaps that Holmes lack: he provides medical assistance that Holmes can't handle and he's the one who adds human interest to Holmes' stories. Above all, he makes cold, calculating Holmes…human. Sure, he keeps mentioning that Holmes despises feelings and what-not but at the same time, the clear bromance that ties the two guys together -- their mutual friendship and respect --really speaks well of both of them as sympathetic, cool human beings. Watson also manages to bring out the passionate side of Holmes' supremely intellectual work.

Watson provides a frame for each story: an introductory series of paragraphs sketching some dialogue with Holmes, or setting the scene of the investigation. His narration doesn't wander off into passages of thick description very often, which makes their impact all the more powerful when he does.

The focus of each story is on solving a central problem, and that means there's suspense, and there's resolution. So, it's probably not a shock to many of you that detective stories usually end with, you know, the solution to a mystery. That's part of the pleasure of reading them in the first place! Something that's kind of interesting about Doyle's endings though, is that the solution is not always accompanied by legal punishment. Like, a satisfying conclusion to a “Bones” episode would be an arrest, right? Or “Law and Order” and its spinoffs are all about convicting the criminals they track down. Holmes though, is a private detective above all, and because he is not part of an official police force, he gets some choice in how things are handled once he's solved a case. He's more interested in fairness than in observing bureaucratic technicalities. As our parents have told us time and time again, “life isn't fair.” But, by the end of a good Holmes story, you feel like it can be. The good are rewarded, the bad punished and each man gets what he deserves.

If these are somehow not enough to convince you that Sherlock Holmes is worth caring about, let me add that the bromance is top notch in these stories!

“Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. ”

--The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sherlock and John restored my faith in (platonic) love. I hope I will be as excited to spend time with my friends fifteen years down the line as these two seem to be during their later adventures. The guys may not be romantic partners in the least, but they are life partners --and I must admit, reading about their adventures left me a little choked up!
Profile Image for Beata.
733 reviews1,112 followers
November 3, 2018
Ten stars would be too few for A C Doyle in the interpretation of Stephen Fry ... two Masters meet ..... and give delight to readers ......
Profile Image for Arah-Lynda.
337 reviews525 followers
October 11, 2016
I have no idea how I let myself get so long in the tooth before finally settling down and reading this collection.  Suffice to say I am glad I finally came to my senses.

It is all here, every Sherlock Holmes story ever penned by Arthur Conan Doyle.  There are four complete novels and five books of case studies.  Relax I am not going to even attempt to review every one of these.  That would be tedious for me as well as you.

There is no doubt that my hands down favourite of the entire collection was The Hound of the Baskervilles, but make no mistake I loved it all.

According to Goodreads I started reading this collection on June 23 of this year and I am just now able to close off my review.  With the exception of the novels which I read straight through once I had started them, the balance of the case files I read in between other books.  I must say I truly enjoyed this approach and looked forward to dropping in to see what Sherlock was up to every now and again.  

Sadly all good things must come to an end.  It was however an experience I shall never forget and I shall certainly miss Watson and Holmes.  I may have to go back and pay them a visit again sometime.  
Profile Image for Rizwan Khalil.
332 reviews510 followers
July 15, 2021
স্কুলের শেষে এসএসসির পর পুরো 'শার্লক হোমস অমনিবাস' টানা পড়ে শেষ করেছিলাম, সম্ভবত একবসাতেই। কলকাতার তুলি-কলম প্রকাশনীর প্রকাশিত মণীন্দ্র দত্তের দুর্দান্ত অসাধারণ পূর্নাঙ্গ অনুবাদ। গভীর মুগ্ধতায় এক বিস্ময়কর ঘোরের মাঝে ডুবে ছিলাম কয়েকটা দিন । ইতোপূর্বে শার্লক হোমস কে, কি, কেন এসব সম্পর্কে তখন আবছা আবছা ধারণা বৈ আর কিছুই জানা ছিল না। এখনকার অতি বিচক্ষণ ও অভিজ্ঞ পাঠকদের মত আগেভাগেই সব জেনে যাবার কোন সুযোগ ছিল না, একেবারে আনকোরা চোখে নতুন এক জগত আবিষ্কারের অনাবিল নিখাঁদ আনন্দের সাথে প্রতিটি গল্প প্রতিটি পৃষ্ঠা উপভোগ করেছিলাম।

প্রথম উপন্যাস আ স্টাডি ইন স্কারলেট-এ প্রথমবারের মত হোমসের ক্ষুরধার বুদ্ধিদীপ্তির চমকপ্রদ প্রমাণ, মহাজটিল রহস্যকাহিনীর ভেতরেই অপ্রত্যাশিতভাবে হৃদয়ভাঙ্গা এক বিয়োগান্তক প্রেমের গল্প, নিদারুণ কঠিন প্রতিশোধপরায়ণতা। আমি বলা যায় ডয়েলের কল্পনাশক্তির এক ঘুষিতেই কুপোকাত! কিন্তু সে তো সবে শুরু, বিশ্ববিখ্যাত দ্য হাউন্ড অফ দ্য বাস্কারভিলস পড়ে প্রতিটা মুহুর্তে যে গা শিউরানো শিহরণ, রুদ্ধশ্বাস রোমাঞ্চ আর ক্ষণে ক্ষণে উচ্চরক্তচাপ অনুভব করেছি��াম তা এখনো পরিষ্কার মনে আছে । ভরদুপুর বেলাতেও ভয়াল বাদা'র (জলাভূমি) ভীতিকর পরিবেশের বর্ণনা পড়ে বাস্তবিকই আমার গা কাঁটা দিয়ে উঠছিল । এট��� আমার জীবনে পড়া ২য় সর্বশ্রেষ্ঠ রহস্যোপন্যাস (১মটি আগাথা ক্রিস্টি'র অতুলনীয় 'অ্যাণ্ড দেন দেয়ার ওয়ার নান') । দ্য সাইন অফ ফোর আরেকটি অতি অতি অসাধারণরকমের দুর্ধর্ষ রহস্যোপন্যাস; আপাতঃ অসম্ভব সিচুয়েশনে অদ্ভূত এক খুনের ঘটনা, আর পরিস্থিতির সাথে পাল্লা দিয়ে হোমসের বিদ্যুৎগতির তদন্ত ও একের পর এক বুদ্ধির ঝিলিক, দৌড়ের উপরে লন্ডনের এক অন্ধকার প্রাসাদবাড়ির খুনের ঘটনাস্থল থেকে আমাকে নিয়ে ফেলেছিল পৃথিবীর অপর প্রান্তে ব্রিটিশশাসিত ভারতের আগ্রা দূর্গের ফটকে আরেক খুনের ঘটনায়... সবকিছুর সাথে কিভাবে যেন জড়িয়ে গেল রোমাঞ্চকর গুপ্তধন-শিকারের গল্প! উপন্যাসগুলোর মধ্যে একমাত্র দ্য ভ্যালি অফ ফিয়ার পড়েই সেই মাত্রার মজা পাইনি, তারপরেও ভিন্নস্বাদের কাহিনী হিসেবে ভালই লেগেছিল, মাঝখানে আবার ওয়েস্টার্ন-ধর্মী কিছু ফ্ল্যাশব্যাকও আছে (কয়েকবার পড়ে নিশ্চিত হতে হয়েছিল যে ভুল করে অন্য গল্পে ঢুকে যাইনি!)। হোমসের ছোটগল্পও প্রতিটাই ডিজার্ভিংলি ক্লাসিক, ছোট মরিচে ঝাল বেশির মত, বিশেষত দ্য অ্যাডভেঞ্চারস অফ শার্লক হোমস আর দ্য রিটার্ন অফ শার্লক হোমস-এর সবগুলো গল্প । বলা বাহুল্য দ্য মেমোয়ারস অফ শার্লক হোমস-এরও অধিকাংশ গল্প যথারীতি দারুণ, বিশেষ ভাবে উল্লেখ করতে হয় সংকলনের সর্বশেষ গল্প 'দ্য ফাইনাল প্রবলেম'-এর কথা, যাতে প্রথম ও শেষবারের মত আবির্ভাব ঘটে হোমসের চিরশত্রু ও সবচেয়ে বিপজ্জনক প্রতিপক্ষ ডঃ জেমস মরিয়ার্টির। গল্পের শেষে রাইকেনবাক প্রপাতের গোড়ায় তাদের দুজনার দ্বৈরথ ও তার নাটকীয় সমাপ্তি এমনই ধাক্কা দিবে পাঠককে যা থেকে বোধ করি আক্ষরিক অর্থেই "ক্লিফহ্যাঙ্গার" শব্দটার উৎপত্তি হলেও অবাক হব না। লিখতে গিয়ে এখন খেয়াল হল, দ্য কেসবুক অফ শার্লক হোমস আর হিজ লাস্ট বাও-এর বেশিরভাগ গল্পই কেন জানি এখন একেবারে মনে নাই, তাই মনে হচ্ছে খুব শিঘ্রই অনেক বছর পর আবার রিভাইজ দেয়া দরকার বইটা। পড়েছি তো সেই ২০ বছর আগে!

দুই যুগ পর আজ হুট করে স্মৃতিকাতর হয়ে গেলাম শার্লক হোমসের পৃথিবীতে প্রবেশের প্রথম অনুভূতির কথা মনে পড়ায়। বর্তমান প্রজন্ম ও আগামী প্রজন্মের জন্য এখন আফসোস হয়, পৃথিবীটা হাতের মুঠোতে চলে আসায় সম্ভবত আর কখনই তাদের কেউ আমার মত কোনপ্রকার পূর্ব ধারণা ছাড়া সম্পূর্ণ নতুন দৃষ্টিতে শার্লক হোমসের জগত উন্মোচনের আনন্দ আস্বাদন করতে পারবে না। তবে একটা কথা ধ্রুবসত্য - হাল আমলে যত নিত্যনতুন সৃজনশীলতাই আনুক না কেন শার্লককে টিভিতে-মুভিতে-বইতে নতুনভাবে নতুন সময়ে নতুন প্রেক্ষাপটে উপস্থাপন করে (আমি নিজেও অবশ্য এসবের ভক্ত ভালরকম), প্রকৃত শার্লক হোমস আর তার ভিক্টোরিয়ান লন্ডনের ২২১-বি বেকার স্ট্রিটে সেইসব যাবতীয় গল্পগাঁথা আর্থার কোনান ডয়েলের লেখাতেই অমর হয়ে আছে যুগ থেকে যুগান্তরে, চিরকাল তাই থাকবে।
'When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.'
- Sherlock Holmes, 'The Sign of Four'
Profile Image for Nataliya Yaneva.
165 reviews325 followers
June 20, 2020
*Nota bene: Долуописаната сцена не е част от никоя от историите на сър Артър Конан Дойл. Всяка прилика с фикционални лица и събития обаче е напълно преднамерена.

Квартирата на Шерлок Холмс и д-р Джон Уотсън на ул. „Бейкър“ 221Б, Лондон. Холмс е погълнат от химичен експеримент, а Уотсън седи в кресло пред камината, взира се в пламъците и от време на време се оглежда неспокойно.

- Уотсън, убеден съм, че нервната Ви превъзбуда е напълно необоснована. Тихото шумолене, което така често прекъсва хода на мислите Ви, не може да бъде нищо друго, освен отгръщане на страниците на книга. Съвсем очевидно е, че някой чете за нас! Явно Вашите описания на скромните ни преживявания са привлекли публика.
- Колко смущаващо ти самият да си обект на нечие изследване… Кой ли би могъл да бъде?
- Смятам, че имаме работа с не твърде висока дама, тъмнокоса, с увлечение към викторианската литература.
- Холмс, предполагам, че за организиран ум като Вашия тези заключения са напълно логични, но бихте ли…
- Лекият аромат, който и двамата долавяме, разбира се, е на жасминов чай – съгласете се, че ако нашият наблюдател беше мъж, по-вероятният му избор би бил стипчив и силен „English breakfast“ например. За интереса на дамата към този тип четива можем да предположим по ритмичното и относително бавно отгръщане на страниците – твърде вероятно става въпрос за препрочитане на абзаци или просто за бавно наслаждаване на текста. Като се замисля може да бъде и някой слабоумен клетник със странни гастрономически навици… Но по-добре е да се придържаме към първоначалното ми предположение.
- Но откъде разбрахте, че става въпрос за дребна брюнетка, Холмс?!
- Както и сам знаете, драги ми Уотсън, представителките на прекрасния пол, които са наясно със своята… хм, физическа и метафорична висота в обществото, ако мога така да се изразя, често предпочитат по-светски занимания от книгите за двама старомодни джентълмени. Що се отнася до цвета на косата, тъмнокосите хора статистически винаги са били по-многобройни от светлите, но прибавих този детайл по-скоро за изчерпателност. Мисля, че все пак е безопасно да възприемем заключенията ми като работна хипотеза за момента.
- Но какво ще правим?
- Предлагам и този път да видим къде ще ни отведе случаят и просто да се оставим да бъдем изследвани…

Небезизвестните приключения на двамата лондонски господа се разстилат тържествено, подобно на „Болеро“-то на Морис Равел или пък са жизнерадостни и бързи като „На хубавия син Дунав“ на Щраус-син, но понякога добиват и тревожните нотки на Бетховеновата „Лунна соната“. Бих казала, че Шерлок и Уотсън са една от най-синергичните двойки в литературата, но вече не съм чак толкова малка, че да си въобразявам, че знам всичко. Уотсън винаги задава точните въпроси, които разкриват тихото величие на неповторимия детектив на Артър Конан Дойл. Добрият доктор смирено приема ролята си на втора цигулка (все пак Холмс има завидна практика в тази област на музиката) и на него неизменно може да се разчита – ако не за дедукции, то поне за допълнителен зареден револвер и много кураж. Дарбите на Холмс се простират от разпознаване на аромата на 75 различни парфюма, през 140 вида тютюн, та чак до подробности за личния живот по отпечатъка на обувката. Шерлок неминуемо има и своите слабости – подчертаният уклон към драматизъм и употребата на седемпроцентен разтвор на кокаин са част от примерите, които обаче само добавят благородна патина към мекия блясък на чистия ум.

Признавам, че съм напълно пристрастна и прочутото отвратително английско време, изтънчени маниери и високомерни обноски винаги са ми били по-близки, отколкото е допустимо, ако си зърнал Албиона за пръв път едва след като си минал двайсетте. Някой по-запознат от мен с детективските истории би казал, че заключенията на Холмс не само граничат, но и често бродят далеч отвъд границите на вероятното. Аз обаче в доста отношения съм привърженик на по-овехтелите школи, затова обичам като покорен читател да се оставям щастливо да ме водят за носа, особено по толкова словесно издържан начин. Ако сте изкушени да проследите развитието на западната детективска традиция между По и Уилки Колинс от една страна и Агата Кристи и всички останали нови попълнения на жанра от друга, непременно се отбийте на по питие и лула у Шерлок и Уотсън. Няма да съжалявате.
Profile Image for Georgia Scott.
Author 3 books155 followers
April 18, 2023
First times, it's about doing it. Get to the finish. Much like first sex. Later, reading these stories can offer other delights. The language of course. And something else. The women in these stories are not, I stress - are not, altogether the damsels in distress that their hats with veils might suggest. In one story, that veil is worn, then lifted, by a woman with incredible courage. Other women bravely risk their lives to avenge their sisters or men who have suffered, too. The women. That's what he gets right in these stories. They've got spunk. And they give it back to me when mine needs pumping.

The long sentences are like deep breaths to me. Those breaths that soothe. Conan Doyle, like another great storyteller W. Somerset Maugham, had the medical training. This trains the eye to observe. More writers would benefit from this I dare say. Observe and record. Be a witness. Be the scribe for others in their misery and joy. Become hunched over that pad of paper as a good secretary to life. Conan Doyle does this. And to read him is to follow him on his rounds so to speak. All of humanity is here. And this is what I return to read when life weighs me down and I must come up for air.
Profile Image for Michael Perkins.
Author 6 books357 followers
April 7, 2023
Having been a fan of these stories and the main characters for years, I'd like to make two observations:

1) I guess it's based on expectations, but I think some adult readers over-react when they read these stories for the first time. I think if these stories were published as something new today, they'd be classified as YA. Which is fine. I've read my share of YA and enjoyed it. We know these books are not supposed to be on the same level as Dickens, Shakespeare, or Infinite Jest in their sophistication.

2) Some attempts to adapt Holmes overemphasize the detecting methodology, which is certainly quite inadequate by modern standards. The heart of these stories is the relationship between Holmes & Watson. The reader fills the shoes of Watson and goes off on these seemingly wild goose chases and it's fun. That's the point.


I’ve read the Holmes stories many times over the years and watched all the Jeremy Brett adaptations several times, as well. Unfortunately because of Brett’s ill health, he was less and less present in the last adaptations and his death prevented him from finishing the Holmes canon

I became curious which of the Holmes stories did not get adapted and found a list at the bottom of the Wikipedia entry below.

I proceeded to read all of the unadapted stories and did not remember a one of them and found some of them quite terrible. I can say, unreservedly, nothing was lost in not adapting them.

Looking more closely, except for the novellas, A Study in Scarlet and The Valley of Fear, the unadapted, weaker episodes could be found in the last three volumes of the Holmes’ books.

This is no surprise given that in volume 3 of the Holmes stories, “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes” author Doyle killed off his main character in a story titled “The Final Problem,” where Holmes and his arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty, fall to their deaths while fighting at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland.

Arthur Conan Doyle was sick of Holmes and wanted that to be the last of him. But a prolonged hue and cry from the reading public, and some financial need of Doyle's, brought back Holmes some 11 years later . And while Doyle’s final three volumes have many excellent adventures in them, some of which have been adapted to the screen, it’s also no surprise that these volumes have all of his worst tales. Doyle’s heart was not always in it.

Although Doyle had written other adventure series, Professor Challenger and Brigadier Gerard, he considered his true calling to be an author of Medieval Romances, with knights and so forth. I read some of them and they are quite wordy and pretty bad. The short story was Doyle’s true métier. And I say, without hesitation, if not for Holmes, Doyle would now be forgotten.


The best of these short stories have had amazing staying power. They're concise and action-packed, full of romance and mystery in a setting at once old and modern. But they don't carry the baggage of Victorian verbiage that make lit from that era tough for modern readers. They're wonderfully escapist when the brain needs a rest or perhaps if you're fighting the flu.

"We must begin in Baker Street; and best of all, if possible, let it be a stormy winter morning when Holmes routs Watson out of bed in haste. The doctor wakes to see that tall, ascetic figure by the bedside with a candle. "Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot!" (Christopher Morley)


“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

"the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the every-day affairs of life it is more useful to reason forwards, and so the other comes to be neglected. There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically.”


The perfect duo....



Adapted and unadapted stories per Jeremy Brett....

Profile Image for The Books Blender.
701 reviews94 followers
July 24, 2018

Caro Arthur Conan Doyle,

So il che rapporto con la tua più famosa creatura non sempre è stato idilliaco. So che sei arrivato perfino a commettere un omicidio pur di sbarazzarti della tua onnipresente e impertinente creatura. Ma… sono contenta che ti sia ricreduto e che Sherlock Holmes, alla fine, sia sopravvissuto anche al suo peggior nemico: il suo stesso creatore.

Ora, ci sono mille altre cose che vorrei aggiungere. Ad esempio, potrei dire di come abbia cominciato con "Uno studio in rosso" che avevo ancora una decina d'anni e come, nel corso del tempo, quei racconti e quei libri mi abbiano portato ad appassionarmi sempre più alla letteratura gialla. Potrei dire di come, a Londra, mi sono fermata in contemplazione davanti alla statua di Sherlock Holmes nella famosa Baker Street, pensando al povero Watson, narratore, sempre in secondo piano, di gran parte delle storie di Holmes.

Con un certo distacco, datomi anche dalle tante letture accumulate sulle mie spalle, potrei dire che non tutti i racconti sono usciti "con il buco" e che qualche storia è più appassionante e intricata di altre. E potrei dire di come, leggendo queste storie, sia arrivata a comprendere così in profondità i meccanismi della narrazione, da arrivare alla soluzione del caso insieme a Holmes (che soddisfazione!).

Potrei dire che queste vicende rapiscono e incantano generazioni e generazioni di lettori da oltre un secolo (un sogno che ogni scrittore spera di raggiungere un giorno)! Potrei dire di come, nonostante in alcuni casi si trattasse di una rilettura, non abbia avvertito noia o insoddisfazione nel leggere storie già conosciute.

Ma dirò solo una parola: grazie.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.7k followers
March 7, 2015
For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, Le Petit Prince (14) versus The Complete Sherlock Holmes (19)

It was some time during the summer of 19__ that I received an urgent telegram from Holmes. Arriving at 221B, Baker Street, I was struck by how little he had changed. He was older, to be sure; but his eye was as keen as ever, and his enthusiasm not one whit abated by the passage of the years.

"I trust you have brought your passport, Watson?" he said, in lieu of greeting. "We depart for Algeria this evening. The cab will be here momentarily."

"But Holmes!" I protested, as he hurried me down the stairs. "What -"

"We can discuss that once we are on the train," replied Holmes firmly. And, true to his word, he said no more until we were comfortably ensconced in the First Class carriage of the Dover Express.

"Now, Watson," said Holmes, after he had carefully packed and lit his pipe, "I wonder if you have heard of a young Frenchman called Saint-E_____. An author and aviator."

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)

Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
August 4, 2012
So, I'm now done with reading this whole 2-volume 1,796-page Sherlock Holmes canon. I spent 10 months reading all the 4 novels and 56 short stories contained herein.

I really liked the experience and I am proud of this accomplishment. My first time to read a canon. Before reading this, I thought that the word canon only applied to biblical works. Well, that was the first thing I learned upon adding this book in my currently-reading folder.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote in a classy classic manner and even if his settings were not familiar to me as a Filipino, I appreciated his stories because of the universal messages in them: love of a husband to a wife, a son to a father, a father to his child, etc; the evil in greed especially when it comes to riches and money; that men can be truly friends without homosexuality getting in-between; that we have to respect the people we work with; always be wary of the people around you; and that, if used in moderation, cocaine and morphine can actually make you sharper. I cringed while typing the last one.

So, what are my takeaways from Sherlock Holmes? There are three:
1. Logical reasoning. He is a keen observer. In almost every company I joined with, there is a safety program and one of the things they teach in the training is to stop and closely look up, down, left, right, front, back for every thing that we see that can cause an accident. I think that if all of us in the company will have that power of keen observation, all factories will have zero unsafe incidents. Not only that, because Holmes has that keen observation, he uses those things that he sees to link them to his hypotheses and when he applies his knowledge in forensics (having a background on medicine), to the things he observes, it results to his power of deduction.

2. Ability to disguise. I am still to see any Sherlock Holmes television episodes or movies but this one makes the story unbelievable for a middle age man like me but interesting enough to engage me while reading. Sherlock Holmes can be anybody: a pheasant, a woman, an old man, a soldier, a dead person, etc. Not only that, some of his characters put disguises too. This fantasy element in the story is entertaining in my mind but it is the least in terms of the practical application of what I learned from Sherlock Holmes. For one, I could not freaking imagine myself dressed like a woman.

3. Forensic skills. From the first few pages of the A Study in Scarlet when the very young Sherlock Holmes told Dr. Watson how to detect blood from the scene, I was mesmerized. Oh, I thought I knew it from my medical technology readings way back 3 decades ago. However, I am not practicing that profession so at times I already forget what I learned before. Sir Conan Doyle really puts his passion into each novel and short story because he incorporated what he learned from medical books but even history, travel and other sciences such as anthropology, handwriting analysis, weaponry, zoology and botany (I still remember the giant jellyfish). He must have been a very well-read gentlemen.
My favorite novel of course is The Hound of the Baskervilles followed by The Sign of Four. My top 10 favorite stories are below. Interestingly, while typing this, I checked a website and all, except #1, of my choices are not among the Top 12 Sherlockians' choices haha.
1.The Final Problem (Memoirs) - 5 stars
2. His Last Bow (Last Bow) - 5 stars
3. The Adventure of the Retired Colourman (Case Book) - 5 stars
4. The Five Orange Pips (Adventures) - 4 stars
5. The Copper Beeches (Adventures) - 4 stars
6. The Naval Treaty (Memoirs) - 4 stars
7. The Adventure of the Empty House (Return) - 4 stars
8. The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton (Return) - 4 stars
9. The Adventure of the Three Students (Return) - 4 stars
10. The Adventure of the Devil's Foot (Last Bow) - 4 stars
Maybe I am just strange but I always enjoy stories that either "speak" to me or at least "surprise" me.

Anyway, I will definitely miss Sherlock Holmes. But I have to move on to Samuel Beckett.
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,893 reviews430 followers
August 10, 2019
I can't remember how often I've read and reread this book collection. More than 20 times since elementary school. Literally the only book that never quit on me, and it was a used book I picked up for 10 cents. Sherlock was my first crush I guess. Even now I simply cannot be objective on any level in regards to this character. It's probably a good thing I moved on to the Man From U.N.C.L.E. Well, maybe not.
Profile Image for Diana.
73 reviews
February 24, 2008
I was so sad when I finished this book. Nothing new to read ever again about Sherlock Holmes ... hmmmm *sigh*
Profile Image for Gio Listmaker .
294 reviews90 followers
June 8, 2017

Stephen Fry Narrates Sherlock Holmes

The Characters Come To Life

Image result for Stephen fry gif sherlock

The Different Voices Are Amazing

Highly Recommend
Profile Image for Martha.
13 reviews4 followers
October 25, 2008
I don't know if anyone else does this, but in times of stress or when I have exceptional trouble falling asleep, I find myself re-reading a favorite book. One of these used to be my complete Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series but alas, it *is* in fact possible to read those books too many times. Lately this book has been the Complete Sherlock Holmes.

What amazes me the most about these stories is that, despite having read through the entire collection a number of times, I seem to find something new each time I read it. Knowing the solution to the mysteries, doesn't seem to diminish the excitement at getting to Holmes' big reveal each time. The characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson become character studies, making you long for the little tidbits that provide more insight into their inner workings.

This time around I took the time to look up some of the odder Victorian words and thereby expanded my vocabulary with words like shaw (a small wood or thicket), chandler (a retailer of provisions) and extravasate (to force out from the proper vessels, as blood, so as to diffuse through the surrounding tissues).

There are other details that seem impossible to not notice: the fact that, despite Holmes and Watson being clearly hetersexual, their relationship is nevertheless odd, that Holmes was a high-functioning autistic (Asperger's, my guess), and that Watson was a terrible doctor, seeing as how he treated every patient with brandy regardless of their ailment.

But it is indeed these quirks that make the characters seem more real, and make the tales and deductions that much more enjoyable.
Profile Image for Alexis Hall.
Author 51 books10.8k followers
June 14, 2015
My impression of what a Sherlock Holmes' story is actually like.

I came down to breakfast one morning to find my dear friend, Sherlock Holmes disembowelling a gerbil with a teaspoon.

"My dear Holmes," said I, "is that really necessary?"

Barely glancing up from his gruesome task, he told me that it was. "You see, Watson," he continued, "there is matter that I believe may soon become illuminated not only to you but the whole of London society."

"Good God, Holmes!" I cried. "Whatever is this?"

"Have patience, Watson," returned he. "You will understand directly."

Two days later, I came down to breakfast to discover my dear friend, Sherlock Holmes, dressed as a goldfish.

"Ah Watson," he greeted me. "You remember the matter we spoke of the other day?"

"I do, Holmes, I do!"

"Well, it is even darker and more disturbing than even I at first realised."

The next day, I came down to breakfast to discover my friend lying disconsolately among the bacon.

"Are you quite well, Holmes?" I enquired.

"I have solved the case, Watson." He sat up, brushing a fried egg from the lapel of his dressing gown. "Allow me to elucidate."

By which I mean, everything happens very statically and in a quintessentially Victorian way.

Holmes is a prick and Watson is a sycophant. The theory of deductive is bobbins and I feel genuinely sorry for Lestrade.

However ... this is motherfucking Sherlock Holmes.

And I enjoy the hell out of it. Maybe precisely because it is completely stupid.
Profile Image for Marissa.
212 reviews177 followers
December 29, 2018
*My overall rating is 4.5 stars for the entire bind up. I do list each story and my rating individually, as well as my average rating for each collection.*

A Study in Scarlet : 4 stars

The Sign of the Four : 4.5 stars

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes : 3.9 stars
-"A Scandal in Bohemia": 4 stars
-"The Red-Headed League": 3.5 stars
-"A Case of Identity": 4.5 stars
-"The Boscombe Valley Mystery": 5 stars
-"The Five Orange Pips": 4 stars
-"The Man with the Twisted Lip": 3.75 stars
-"The Blue Carbuncle": 3.5 stars
-"The Speckled Band": 3 stars
-"The Engineer's Thumb": 4 stars
-"The Noble Bachelor": 4.5 stars
-"The Beryl Coronet": 3.5 stars
-"The Copper Beeches": 4 stars

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes : 3.6 stars
-"Silver Blaze": 3 stars
-"The Yellow Face": 3.5 stars
-"The Stockbroker's Clerk": 3.5 stars
-"The Gloria Scott": 3 stars
-"The Musgrave Ritual": 4.5 stars
-"The Reigate Squire": 3 stars
-"The Crooked Man": 3 stars
-"The Resident Patient": 4 stars
-"The Greek Interpreter": 4.5 stars
-"The Naval Treaty": 4 stars
-"The Final Problem": 4 stars

The Return of Sherlock Holmes : 3.2 stars
-"The Empty House": 3 stars
-"The Norwood Builder": 3 stars
-"The Dancing Men": 4 stars
-"The Solitary Cyclist": 3.5 stars
-"The Priory School": 4.25 stars
-"Black Peter": 3.75 stars
-"Charles Augustus Milverton": 3.5 stars
-"The Six Napoleons": 3.75 stars
-"The Three Students": 3.25 stars
-"The Golden Pince-Nez": 3 stars
-"The Missing Three-Quarter": 3.25 stars
-"The Abbey Grange": 3.5 stars
-"The Second Stain": 3.25 stars

The Hound of the Baskervilles : 4.5 stars

The Valley of Fear : 3.5 stars

His Last Bow : 3.6 stars
-"Wisteria Lodge": 3.75 stars
-"The Cardboard Box": 4 stars
-"The Red Circle": 3.75 stars
-"The Bruce-Partington Plans": 3.25 stars
-"The Dying Detective": 3 stars
-"The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax": 3 stars
-"The Devil's Foot": 3.5 stars
-"His Last Bow": 4.25 stars

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes : 3.9 stars
-"The Illustrious Client": 3.75 stars
-"The Blanched Soldier": 3.75 stars
-"The Mazarin Stones": 4 stars
-"The Three Gables": 3.75 stars
-"The Sussex Vampire": 4.5 stars
-"The Three Garridebs": 3.75 stars
-"Thor Bridge": 4.25 stars
-"The Creeping Man": 3.75 stars
-"The Lion's Mane": 3.75 stars
-"The Veiled Lodger": 4 stars
-"Shoscombe Old Place": 3.75 stars
-"The Retired Colourman": 3.5 stars

Average Rating Overall: 4.3 stars - rounded up to a 4.5 stars

This was a great collection of short stories and novels (novellas?). It had its ups and downs, but overall I really enjoyed my time reading this massive bind up of the entire series.
Profile Image for Citlalli.
101 reviews28 followers
November 1, 2021
Before anything else, I'd like to make a couple of clarifications:

First of all this is an audiobook, although for reasons unknown to me it appears as a Kindle ebook and I can't change the format. Secondly, the ninth book in the Sherlock Holmes Series (The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes) is not included in this collection. Still, the first eight books are part of this collection and it all amounts to about 68 hours of audio.

Now, I won't even try to review so much material, as the stories are many and vary widely. All I can say is that I enjoyed the whole collection in general, specially the novels, but then I'm not that keen a reader of tales and short stories.

Most of the stories are highly atmospheric and if you've ever been to England it's very easy to immerse yourself in the narrative, which I thought was marvelous.
On the not so positive side, it must be said that apart from Watson and Holmes the other characters lack depth, but then their appearance and importance is fleeting only, and we ought to take into account that these stories were delivered to the public in episodes and had therefore to keep the interest piqued and the plot had to stay dynamic.
Finally, something that surprised me was how brief the appearance of Professor Moriarty was, as I was expecting it to be much stronger since he's deemed to be Holmes's nemesis.

All in all, highly entertaining.

Profile Image for Ellis ♥.
831 reviews10 followers
June 26, 2020
Che cosa posso dire di un'opera simile? Immensa, su ogni fronte.
Va a sir Arthur Conan Doyle - oramai consacrato tra i più grandi scrittori gialli di sempre - il merito di aver dato vita ad un personaggio dalle mille ed eclettiche sfaccettature, capace di esercitare la sublime, sottile, arte della deduzione: l'eccentrico Sherlock Holmes.
Dal libro:

Lei ha portato l'arte dell'indagine ad essere tanto più vicina possibile a una scienza esatta quanto mai potrà esserlo in questo mondo.

Profile Image for Aishu Rehman.
818 reviews737 followers
August 20, 2020
Most of the stories are similar to one another, but it was nice to read about old England. In my opinion the novels are better than the shorts since Doyle had the opportunity to expand the story into other areas which gave depth and breadth to the stories.
Profile Image for Michael Perkins.
Author 6 books357 followers
February 1, 2022
I've read these stories many times over the years. My first versions, which I bought in the 70's, were a set of paperbacks as a boxed set. Often I would take one of the paperbacks along to keep me company and entertain while in waiting rooms or at a hotel for a night. Eventually the paperback pages grew yellow and began to crumble, but I still have them.

I do not usually read mysteries or thrillers, I prefer film or TV depictions, but Holmes has always been an exception. Stephen Fry is the perfect narrator and, as an accomplished writer in his own right, he has written lucid and informative introductions that he engagingly reads aloud as part of this package.

I am new to audiobooks. There is a certain point in the evenings where my eyes tire and I have no interest in watching TV, so these audiobooks keep me company in the watches of the night. I also take them to bed where they help me drop off to sleep. I know the stories so well that I don't have to worry that I will miss anything important.

As with audiobooks of Huckleberry Finn and Alice in Wonderland, I've learned to appreciate the Holmes stories in a new way. Though there is the classic dynamic of Holmes & Watson, Doyle's style is not the least bit formulaic. His is the perfect narrative voice for the short story. And it has made me realize why all attempts at imitation of Doyle have inevitably failed. Doyle was an entirely unique and gripping storyteller that one can go back to again and again.


"We must begin in Baker Street; and best of all, if possible, let it be a stormy winter morning when Holmes routs Watson out of bed in haste. The doctor wakes to see that tall, ascetic figure by the bedside with a candle. "Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot!" (Christopher Morley)


nice article on Conan Doyle....

Profile Image for Michael O'Brien.
307 reviews82 followers
November 20, 2013
This was one of the longest books I've ever read, but well worth the read. Enjoyed it thoroughly. After reading this, it is clear that Sherlock Holmes is very well the inspiration behind most of the detective/ mystery genre we have today. I remember reading a while back, for example, that the TV show "House" was intended to be a medical version of Sherlock Holmes. I especially enjoyed reading such tales as "The Hound of the Baskervilles". One of the things that stands out about Sherlock Holmes is that he is a hero who uses the power of his mind, logic, and deduction to accomplish great feats that most other authors would try to add in action, violence, or feats of strength. Truly a tour de force in English literature.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
Shelved as 'tbr'
August 12, 2020
oh my god but this thing is so thick. and I’ve only read one part of it. help.

A Study in Scarlet - TBR

The Sign of the Four - TBR

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (collection) - ★★★★★
Review to come here.

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (collection) - TBR

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (collection) - TBR

The Hound of the Baskerville - TBR

The Valley of Fear - TBR

His Last Bow (collection) - TBR

The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes (collection) - TBR

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