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The Complete Sherlock Holmes: Volume II

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World of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes -- General introduction / by Kyle Freeman -- Introduction to Volume II / by Kyle Freeman -- Note on conveyances -- Return of Sherlock Holmes: Adventure of the empty house ; Adventure of the Norwood builder ; Adventure of the dancing men ; Adventure of the solitary cyclist ; Adventure of the priory school ; Adventure of Black World of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes -- General introduction / by Kyle Freeman -- Introduction to Volume II / by Kyle Freeman -- Note on conveyances -- Return of Sherlock Holmes: Adventure of the empty house ; Adventure of the Norwood builder ; Adventure of the dancing men ; Adventure of the solitary cyclist ; Adventure of the priory school ; Adventure of Black Peter ; Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton ; Adventure of the six Napoleons ; Adventure of the three students ; Adventure of the golden ponce-nez ; Adventure of the missing three-quarter ; Adventure of the Abbey Grange ; Adventure of the second stain -- Valley of fear -- His last bow: Adventure of Wisteria Lodge: Singular experience of Mr. John Scott Eccles ; Tiger of San Pedro ; Adventure of the cardboard box ; Adventure of the red circle ; Adventure of Bruce-Partington plans ; Adventure of the dying detective ; Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax ; Adventure of the devil's foot ; His last bow -- Case book of Sherlock Holmes: Adventure of the illustrious client ; Adventure of the blanched soldier ; Adventure of the Mazarin stone ; Adventure of the three gables ; Adventure of the Sussex vampire ; Adventure of the three garridebs ; Problem of Thor Bridge ; Adventure of the creeping man ; Adventure of the lion's mane ; Adventure of the veiled lodger ; Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place ; Adventure of the retired colourman -- Introduction to Doyle's parodies -- Two parodies by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Field bazaar ; How Watson learned the trick -- Two essays by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Truth about Sherlock Holmes ; Some personalia about Mr. Sherlock Holmes.


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World of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes -- General introduction / by Kyle Freeman -- Introduction to Volume II / by Kyle Freeman -- Note on conveyances -- Return of Sherlock Holmes: Adventure of the empty house ; Adventure of the Norwood builder ; Adventure of the dancing men ; Adventure of the solitary cyclist ; Adventure of the priory school ; Adventure of Black World of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes -- General introduction / by Kyle Freeman -- Introduction to Volume II / by Kyle Freeman -- Note on conveyances -- Return of Sherlock Holmes: Adventure of the empty house ; Adventure of the Norwood builder ; Adventure of the dancing men ; Adventure of the solitary cyclist ; Adventure of the priory school ; Adventure of Black Peter ; Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton ; Adventure of the six Napoleons ; Adventure of the three students ; Adventure of the golden ponce-nez ; Adventure of the missing three-quarter ; Adventure of the Abbey Grange ; Adventure of the second stain -- Valley of fear -- His last bow: Adventure of Wisteria Lodge: Singular experience of Mr. John Scott Eccles ; Tiger of San Pedro ; Adventure of the cardboard box ; Adventure of the red circle ; Adventure of Bruce-Partington plans ; Adventure of the dying detective ; Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax ; Adventure of the devil's foot ; His last bow -- Case book of Sherlock Holmes: Adventure of the illustrious client ; Adventure of the blanched soldier ; Adventure of the Mazarin stone ; Adventure of the three gables ; Adventure of the Sussex vampire ; Adventure of the three garridebs ; Problem of Thor Bridge ; Adventure of the creeping man ; Adventure of the lion's mane ; Adventure of the veiled lodger ; Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place ; Adventure of the retired colourman -- Introduction to Doyle's parodies -- Two parodies by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Field bazaar ; How Watson learned the trick -- Two essays by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Truth about Sherlock Holmes ; Some personalia about Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

30 review for The Complete Sherlock Holmes: Volume II

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy Sturgis

    Reading the complete Sherlock Holmes canon by Arthur Conan Doyle in these two volumes has been a remarkably rewarding experience. I'm truly sorry to be finished with these stories and novels (although I know from past experience that they reward rereading). In this reading I've gained an even clearer appreciation for the links between Holmes and the traditions of Gothic and science fiction literature, and I've certainly enhanced my enjoyment of the BBC's brilliant new Sherlock series. These are Reading the complete Sherlock Holmes canon by Arthur Conan Doyle in these two volumes has been a remarkably rewarding experience. I'm truly sorry to be finished with these stories and novels (although I know from past experience that they reward rereading). In this reading I've gained an even clearer appreciation for the links between Holmes and the traditions of Gothic and science fiction literature, and I've certainly enhanced my enjoyment of the BBC's brilliant new Sherlock series. These are wonderfully crafted tales with truly compelling main characters (not to mention one of the greatest bromances of all time). Most of all, I'm reminded of Nicholas Meyer's words: "The message of Sherlock Holmes is simple," he says. "Life can be understood." My world is a better place for spending time at 221B Baker Street, and I plan to return repeatedly and often.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Kammerdiener

    It's kind of hard to write a review for this, considering it's a bind up of various short stories. I do want to say Arthur Conan Doyle is a really great writer, and every time I read his Sherlock Holmes stories, I am very impressed. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO GIVE A SHOUTOUT TO THE BBC because literally the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch is so flipping spot oh my lord. If you do watch BBC Sherlock, I would 100% recommend you read the original stories because you appreciate the show so much more, an It's kind of hard to write a review for this, considering it's a bind up of various short stories. I do want to say Arthur Conan Doyle is a really great writer, and every time I read his Sherlock Holmes stories, I am very impressed. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO GIVE A SHOUTOUT TO THE BBC because literally the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch is so flipping spot oh my lord. If you do watch BBC Sherlock, I would 100% recommend you read the original stories because you appreciate the show so much more, and you see all the little parallels, and it's just great.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes 3.96/5 total! A solid start to the second volume and a very solid volume on its own. There were some that I recognized from BBC Sherlock and I thought that Doyle presented them better than Moffat and Gatiss did. The ones that I didn't recognize were a mixed bag, I'd say. Some I really liked, some I thought used some work. There were a few duds, but none that I outright hated since I do like Holmes and Watson so they're always a joy to read. The Adventure of the Empty The Return of Sherlock Holmes 3.96/5 total! A solid start to the second volume and a very solid volume on its own. There were some that I recognized from BBC Sherlock and I thought that Doyle presented them better than Moffat and Gatiss did. The ones that I didn't recognize were a mixed bag, I'd say. Some I really liked, some I thought used some work. There were a few duds, but none that I outright hated since I do like Holmes and Watson so they're always a joy to read. The Adventure of the Empty House: 4.5/5 Reading this made me hate the adaptation BBC's Sherlock did for this one, to be honest. Moran got treated as the second most dangerous person in London, not some stupid member of Parliament or whatever they did with him. John didn't punch Sherlock, but fainted and hugged his friend, understanding what he did and why. Mary won't get ruined like she did since she's now dead for the stories. The only reason I took that half a star off was because of the stupid way Sherlock faked his death. I could tell that Doyle was pulling it out of his ass and while it was funny, it distracted me. The Adventure of the Norwood Builder: 4/5 Again, an excellent story that I had a lot of fun reading. It was an interesting one, especially giving a lot of characterization for Holmes by the tidbit in the first few paragraphs. He needs his Watson and will go to great lengths to have him by his side. (Take that however you want to.) But, the mystery itself. I caught onto it very early into the story and sort of had a suspicion how it would end. Part of me would have liked it better if it had gone on to prove Holmes wrong in some way, but I still enjoyed it as a whole. The Adventure of the Dancing Men: 4/5 Another good story, but one that I felt dragged on for entirely too long. It was just 18 pages (and I've read short stories longer than that) but I felt as if the plot could have been contained in a smaller setting. I felt a bit bored by the end and there was all of that setup. I love hidden codes, so that kept my interest up. The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist: 4.5/5 This should really be called The Adventure of the Dickhead Males. Because that basically describes it. Sort of. Well, at least half the guys in the story (excluding Holmes and Watson) are dicks. Even one of the dicks was supposed to be the good guy but my 21st-century eyes tell me otherwise. And it's super funny because my friend sent me an article from her class on oppression that had to do with topics discussed in this story. The Adventure of the Priory School: 4/5 For once, I thought the length of this short story was perfect. It was about 25 pages in my copy, but it held my attention the whole time and I found it pretty interesting. The pacing for it was spot on. The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was part of the ending. Endings should be hinted at throughout the book for me. I hate ones that don't offer any foreshadowing. This one meant that I got parts of it, but the other bit -- the part I found on the preposterous side -- went over my head. (view spoiler)[Aka when the secretary turned out to be the Duke's son... without any foreshadowing to it. (hide spoiler)] Maybe I'll get it more when I reread the story one day. The Adventure of Black Peter: 3/5 Maybe I'm too tired. Maybe I got too caught up with rewatching the end of American Horror Story: Murder House. Maybe this was just boring. But, I found it dull and couldn't get into it as much as I would have liked since I typically find murder interesting. I mean, look at my choice in shows for right now. Literally rewatching a season I've seen a million times. Another one I'll need to revisit someday to see if it was my mood or it just wasn't a good story. The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton: 5/5 Finally, another 5/5! All for Magnussen Milverton. While I wasn't a fan of season three of BBC's Sherlock, I did really like Magnussen as a bad guy. He had a complete disrespect for people and a rationality (he was very rational) that put him the closest to a psychopath that the show got to after trying with three different characters. But, back to the actual short story, not the show. I did really enjoy this. It was fantastic and interesting. Since I knew the show's rendition of the story, I knew what was going to happen. And that ending. So much more satisfying than the show's. It was ten times better and definitely how it should have ended. (view spoiler)[Aka that a boss ass bitch took him out rather than a man saving the day like always. (hide spoiler)] The Adventure of the Six Napoleons: 4/5 It's funny since I read this at the point where I'm super close to finishing Napoleon: A Life. The moment I saw the title, I wondered what it meant. I mean, it could have meant that people were faking being Napoleon and wreaking havoc with it. There could have been people thinking they're Napoleon due to some sort of mental illness. It caught my attention. While I think the story got a bit too long and the whole ending should have been hinted at more, it was good. I totally guessed the premise of the ending, but there was no way to get the full thing. The Adventure of the Three Students: 4.5/5 This one's burgeoning on 5 stars for me. Maybe because I'm a college student and I get the whole temptation of stealing test answers. Maybe because I found the story really interesting for reasons other than that. Maybe because I'm pretty tipsy right now. Either way, I liked this story a lot. It was short and to the point, and also not focused on something outrageous like a burglary or murder. Simply put, it was a story about what student tried to steal answers to pass an exam. A tale as old as time. And solved/summed up in a way only Holmes/Doyle could do. The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez: 3.5/5 Sometimes I'm five, so when he used the phrase of Holmes ejaculating with impatience, I completely lost it and all of my focus went to painting that scene in my mind. And then shared it with Chantel to share in the joy. Anyways, it was a decent story. A bit far fetched for me, but still decent. I wish more had been hinted at, yet again, for the wrap-up since it just sounded preposterous and stereotypical how Brits thought of Russians. The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter: 4/5 Yet another unique one. Admittedly, I don't get sports so that part was lost on me for the most part and I only half-get the title. Either way, great story. I really enjoyed the way it was told and how it was involved with the loyalty of various people. Then, trying to keep something hidden in order to keep family. It's a classic story and one that I've seen played out in many different ways, but I still really enjoyed it since I didn't have an idea of what was going to happen until the reveal. The Adventure of the Abbey Grange: 3.5/5 While I found the beginning of it absolutely dull (probably because I was tired and also kind of watching American Horror Story) it caught up when I finally had an idea what happened. I didn't get it completely right, but I was on the right track with it. The story was good and realistic. Probably happened more often than we know now. Definitely, one I'd like to reread. The Adventure of the Second Stain: 3/5 What is it with people sending letters that put them in a bad way? I mean, seriously. If you have a question about whether the letter's going to come back to haunt you, maybe don't send it. Plus, this is the second story to use that device, the third I've read of Doyle doing himself. It just gets boring. I get it. The modern parallel are nude pictures; you trusted the person and they broke it. But, anyways, the story was interesting but I found it overdone. The Valley of Fear: 4.5/5 Remember that whole meme with the person showing up late with coffee? That's me and this novel. I should have read it back in October, then life got busy and I didn't feel like reading Sherlock Holmes. However! I'm done with it now! And I really liked it! The only other of the Holmes novels I've liked was Baskerville, just because it was so unique and well-done. This one was well-done as well and it borrowed elements from past books. There's a flashback sequence like in The Study in Scarlet, but so much more well done. Then, you have the weird obsession Doyle has with America and how shitty they are at crime but how lawless the place was. Overall, I enjoyed the flashback more. It was far more entertaining than them wandering around. And now I finally get the reference that was made in Sherlock's The Great Game. I'll reread this one at some point since I did enjoy it and would like to see if my opinion changes on the first part. His Last Bow The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge: 1/5 Meh. Literally couldn't be bothered with this one. It really didn't interest me at all and I felt bored the whole time. Then the whole reveal was lackluster since, again, things we needed to know to solve the mystery were kept from us to make it more interesting. I don't need to decide if a deduction is brilliant based on information not given to me. The Adventure of the Cardboard Box: 2/5 This one held my interest until I lost sight of the mystery and had no clue what they were talking about. Seriously not impressed with the stories in this book so far. Hopefully they pick up soon because I don't want this collection to ruin my read of these. The Adventure of the Red Circle: 1/5 Here is where I DNF this one. I got bored. The short stories are sub-par. Much like with the BBC show, it all goes downhill post-Reichenbach and there's pressure to keep coming out with amazing plots. Maybe one day I'll finish this. But maybe it'll just look nice on my shelf. The Adventure of Bruce-Partington Plans: /5 The Adventure of the Dying Detective: /5 The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax: /5 The Adventure of the Devil's Foot: /5 His Last Bow: /5 The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes The Adventure of the Illustrious Client: /5 The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier: /5 The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone: /5 The Adventure of the Three Gables: /5 The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire: /5 The Adventure of the Three Garridebs: /5 The Problem of Thor Bridge: /5 The Adventure of the Creeping Man: /5 The Adventure of the Lion's Mane: /5 The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger: /5 The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place: /5 The Adventure of the Retired Colourman: /5 Two Parodies by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: /5 Two Essays by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: /5

  4. 5 out of 5

    Yibbie

    This is an interesting collection. Normally you don’t read these stories together. They are some of the most well known though, so it is very enjoyable. You get to see Holmes solve gruesome murders, comic mix-ups, and locked-room mysteries. Edward Hardwicke makes an excellent narrator. I have enjoyed the Holmes TV series he played Watson in. Having him read all the stories was really enjoyable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

    I enjoyed the first audiobook in the series that I immediately downloaded the next one from the library and loved it just as much.

  6. 5 out of 5

    An Odd1

    For Wiki, I check, correct, verify, add, such as synopsis for Mazarin Stone, so slow progress here. Summaries have spoilers, so here I'll extract teasers, enough to remind me, postpone opinions to after cogitation. I prefer plots outside set format. I first thought I'd rather skip Baker Street and starts with what he's given, dive right into the clues he finds, then wrap-up. But consistent openings do increase our familiarity with the setting - sips of tepid tea, crumbs of crisp crumpet, morning For Wiki, I check, correct, verify, add, such as synopsis for Mazarin Stone, so slow progress here. Summaries have spoilers, so here I'll extract teasers, enough to remind me, postpone opinions to after cogitation. I prefer plots outside set format. I first thought I'd rather skip Baker Street and starts with what he's given, dive right into the clues he finds, then wrap-up. But consistent openings do increase our familiarity with the setting - sips of tepid tea, crumbs of crisp crumpet, morning newspapers, wreathed puffs of aromatic pipe - we are right in there all the way. Doyle doesn't go out of print because he wrote right. Full-length novels have second part backstory, 20 year-old trigger for crime, based on real events: Mormon vigilantes (Study in Scarlet), Pinkerton undercover ops (Valley of Fear). Timeline for Holmes is tricksy; Doyle drops false identities for 'confidentiality'. Fascinating. Gutenberg says keep author spelling, yet changes Wistaria to Wisteria. Intro by Kyle Freeman adds to my understanding of how Doyle's life, age, and events, influenced his styles. Other extras: a brief Bio, World - listing of important years for Doyle: events, publications, Note on Conveyances - still leaves questions I've researched since my first "historical" romances, so I'll write my own Carriage Comparison, maybe for Wiki. End extras, two each parodies and essays, are, like the back cover, black print on dark purple background, not worth the effort. In Further Reading, internal dates and minute detail attracts me to a two-volume The Annoted SH set, edited by William Baring-Gould. pub Clarkson NY 1968, one source for Brad Keefauver 2001. http://www.sherlockpeoria.net/Who_is_... Keefauver is too precise for me. "August 20, Saturday -- "The Retired Colourman" (Y-S)" I'd set more generally to "summer" ("within 2 years" after marriage "early 1897" is 1898). Plot Details (some enlarged in Wiki): The Return has 13 cases. See my review of "The Illustrated 2nd Volume" for Valley of Fear, His Last Bow (except Cardboard Box), and Case-Book sets. Return (13 cases): Added Synopsis for: and corrected other cases http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adve... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adve... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adve... Empty house across from Baker St flat has clear shot of wax Holmes, bait for Colonel Sebastian Moran, surviving lieutenant of villain Moriarty. When widower Watson checks Park Lane, where gambler Ronald Adair was shot in closed room the week before, a wizened book-seller bumps into him and follows him home. Norwood Builder, Jonas Oldacre, reclusive retired bachelor, could not be found when the lumber in his yard caught fire in a tremendous conflagration. Signs of struggle, object dragged from safe to woodpile then burned, and blood on an oak cane belonging to late-night visitor, junior lawyer John McFarlane. Dancing Men are stick figures representing letters for coded messages, found by Hilton Cubitt. The notes terrify his wife of one year, Elsie, who warned that she had a troubled past she wished left behind in America. Solitary Cyclist is a bearded dogged follower of young Violet Smith on a lonely stretch of the route home to her mother on weekend visits. She consults Holmes, then vanishes. Priory School headmaster Thorneycroft Huxtable is distraught over the disappearance of ten-year old Lord Saltire, only son and heir of recently estranged Duke of Holdernesse, left fully dressed, no sign of force, along with the resident of the opposite room, quiet German teacher Heidegger, no shirt or socks, by bicycle. There are cow tracks, but no cattle evident. Black Peter was for the beard and nature of Captain Carey, seal and whale fisher retired after a voyage to Norway, known for attacking his wife and daughter after drinking, found harpooned in the ship-style cabin where he slept. Charles Augustus Milverton advertises for compromising letters, then blackmails without remorse, until "the most beautiful debutante" Lady Eva Blackwell, to be married in two weeks, asks Holmes to intercede and mediate. Three Students are suspect when Mr Hilton Soames, lecturer and tutor in Greek, sees next day's exam papers disturbed after he departed for tea, door key left in the outer lock by his servant Bannister asking about tea. Golden Pince-Nez were found gripped in the hand of the well-liked Willoughby Smith, secretary to invalid Professor Coram. As he died from a neck wound stab by a small sealing-wax knife, he said "it was she". Three Quarter is Godfrey Staunton, "crack" young Varsity International football player, crucial to an upcoming game against Oxford, heir to "one of the richest men in England", who vanishes in the company of an older worried "rough" man. friend". Abbey Grange owner, violent drunkard Sir Eustace Brackenstall, had head bashed in by fireplace poker, after Lady Mary née Fraser, wife of one year, says she was tied up and gagged by burglars. Second Stain is the blood on the wooden floor set differently than on the covering rug, beneath the knifed corpse of Eduardo Lucas, one of only three spies bold enough to steal a foreign potentate's regretted rant, rash enough to cause war if disclosed. Last Bow: Cardboard Box holds two ears, a lady, and a man (presumably a sailor by the earring hole) preserved in salt, addressed to Miss S. Cushing. Meek Susan hasn't heard from sister Mary or her naval steward husband Jim Browner, for weeks, since sister Sarah quarrelled with all and moved out.

  7. 4 out of 5

    MC

    Sherlock Holmes has had many adventures, but in this second volume of stories, he may have met his match, that of an author who was apparently weary of his resurrected character, and out of ideas. Tongue-in-cheek statements aside, it is well-known that Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, wanted to write other books, and that is why he killed off the famed detective in the story, “The Adventure of the Final Problem”. Of course, pressure was brought to bear from the public, publishers, and his ow Sherlock Holmes has had many adventures, but in this second volume of stories, he may have met his match, that of an author who was apparently weary of his resurrected character, and out of ideas. Tongue-in-cheek statements aside, it is well-known that Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, wanted to write other books, and that is why he killed off the famed detective in the story, “The Adventure of the Final Problem”. Of course, pressure was brought to bear from the public, publishers, and his own mother. After a decade, Doyle gave in and resurrected Holmes. At first, no truly discernible difference was apparent in the quality of the writing, but near the end of the “official canon”, the stories took a decided nose-dive in terms of said quality. The stories began to be predictable. No longer was Holmes the brilliant forerunner of modern forensic science and criminology, but his tales became mere “logic puzzles” that mysteries are accused of being. The sad part is that Doyle had earlier ridiculed, through his character of Holmes, such stories, but now the great detective's adventures were becoming exactly what he disdained. On top of this, Holmes became more and more coarse, and, at times, cruel and haughty. Instead of a gentleman, he began to show signs of enormous conceit and arrogance toward those lower than himself in terms of intelligence and wealth. All of this increasingly poor writing culminated into what many “Sherlockians” (as more knowledgeable fans (of which I admittedly am not) call themselves) absolutely hate, which is The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes. Though all evidence seems to clearly indicate that Doyle did, indeed, write these stories, many of these more committed fans refuse to believe this. I can kind of understand why. My reading of this second volume of the Holmes canon ended early. I couldn't bear to read all of the tales in this Case Book, which thankfully came at the end of this two volumes of collected stories, so I still read the other adventures outside of the few I missed from said book. Seeing how badly written these later stories were, was too much for me. Before I am accused of an out-and-out bashing of these later stories, let me give some praise of the worth-while ones. There were such quiet, but very good tales, such as “The Problem of Thor Bridge” and “The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger”. The latter isn't a grand adventure, but a quiet story in which Holmes convinces a suicidal woman not to take her life. The poignancy of that is not lost on the reader. When one considers that Doyle lost close friends and relatives in the Great War, this story takes on some significant meaning. There is also a tale where Holmes narrates, on a challenge from Watson, which is a delight for the simple fact that Holmes states his contention that Watson plays down his own talents and plays up Holmes' talents. That is a terrific aspect to the canon, to see Holmes state unequivocally how talented and useful Watson is. And of course there is His Last Bow, where Holmes deals with cases and crises of an international scope, culminating in capturing a brilliant German spy on the cusp of World War I. These stories are strangest of all, because they are high-quality tales, but are so different from the typical fight against criminals for which Holmes is known. It's strange to see the great detective as a counter-intelligence agent, but it works, so who am I to argue? Most of the tales in this volume, including the earlier tale of The Hound of the Baskervilles are well worth reading. Baskervilles, along with the earlier mentioned tale, showed that Watson is no slouch, and is highly intelligent. For a fan of the good doctor such as myself, that story was a masterpiece. If the reader ignores the infernal Case Book (with the exception of the “Thor Bridge” and “Veiled Lodger” entries, as well as the Holmes' narrated tale, “The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier”), I can easily recommend this volume.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    The world’s most revered and famous fictional detective first appeared from the pen of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle almost a 130 years ago, but the author did not finish with his greatest creation until almost 40 years later even after unsuccessfully killing him off. In this second volume of all the collected works that feature Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. John Watson, the reader gets reacquainted with the great detective and his friend through 33 short stories and a short novella with the added The world’s most revered and famous fictional detective first appeared from the pen of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle almost a 130 years ago, but the author did not finish with his greatest creation until almost 40 years later even after unsuccessfully killing him off. In this second volume of all the collected works that feature Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. John Watson, the reader gets reacquainted with the great detective and his friend through 33 short stories and a short novella with the added bonus of two Doyle written parodies as well as two essays by the author. The second volume of the original works of Conan Doyle, in the American publication order, begins with Holmes return to life in “The Empty House”. The opening story of The Return of Sherlock Holmes is just an okay start to the detective return to practice before the story quality through most of the collection improves—“Priory School”, “Three Students”, “Solitary Cyclist”, and “Dancing Men” being the best—until the final three stories. The novella The Valley of Fear begins a noticeable drop in quality throughout the rest of the works, the first half the novella is Holmes at his best but then Conan Doyle repeats his great since with his first Holmes novella Study in Scarlett in which the second half is all flashback of dubious narration or not. In the collections His Last Bow and The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, only four of the 20 stories could be considered close to the same quality of the earlier Holmes stories. In “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”, Holmes finds competing with a county Inspector who’s methods of deduction gain Holmes’ respect while “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans” is a well-written twist of an earlier Holmes story. The Holmes narrated “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane” is the better of the two Holmes ‘written’ stories while “The Adventure of the Dying Detective” was Conan Doyle writing a wonderful counter-formulaic story. Yet while those four stories stood out as the best of the late Holmes stories, the others were of subpar quality and included two of the worst. The third person narrative of “Mazarin Stone” doomed the story from the start and details within the study defied the reader’s suspicion of disbelief. The very next story was in my opinion the worst of all Holmes stories, “The Adventure of the Three Gables”, mainly due to the fact that the Sherlock Holmes presented in that story was not the Holmes in all previous stories and all those that followed. Although the majority of the volume saw for the most part the quality of Conan Doyle’s storytelling fall, one cannot fail to notice that the author who at one time loathed his creation would do ensure that his—both Sherlock’s and his own—legacy endure with as best writing as he could produce. Within the collected 34 original works, there are many diamonds in the rough that any reader will enjoy reading whether they have read other Holmes works or not.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bear

    It was very good, although I think the first book was better. The more I read, the less shocking the reveals became. I was able to predict a number of the stories' conclusions. This may have been a result of reading over a thousand pages of Holmes mysteries, however. But I think Doyle also started to burn out a little. The mysteries became less mysterious, the adventures became less adventurous, the crimes became less criminal (seriously, a great number of the stories involve no criminal behavio It was very good, although I think the first book was better. The more I read, the less shocking the reveals became. I was able to predict a number of the stories' conclusions. This may have been a result of reading over a thousand pages of Holmes mysteries, however. But I think Doyle also started to burn out a little. The mysteries became less mysterious, the adventures became less adventurous, the crimes became less criminal (seriously, a great number of the stories involve no criminal behavior or police involvement). It seems Doyle was a bit limited in his imagination regarding the motives people use, because he basically repeats the same 3 or 4 motives (mainly inheritance, revenge, love/infidelity) which generally makes it easier to predict the outcome. Nevertheless, the book is an excellent read because of the great characters of Watson and Holmes and their complicated relationship. Doyle keeps the immeasurably satisfying irony and sarcasm at a high level even if he can't maintain a high level of intrigue. I recommend reading both volumes, but do so gradually over n extended period of time. Marathon reading of these books will only result in minimized suspense.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    After 1400 pages of Holmes, I'm still not tired of him. After 1400 pages of Holmes, I'm still not tired of him.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna Larson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a collection of short stories about how Sherlock Holmes, a famous detective, solved a multitude of mysteries. It is narrated by John Watson, Holmes friend and sidekick. Since this is a collection of shorter stories, I’ve chosen to summarize one of the longer and more complex stories: The Tragedy of Birlstone. In this story, Holmes is asked by British detectives to assist them with the murder of Mr. Douglas of Birlstone. The crime scene makes it appear that Douglas was shot in the face b This was a collection of short stories about how Sherlock Holmes, a famous detective, solved a multitude of mysteries. It is narrated by John Watson, Holmes friend and sidekick. Since this is a collection of shorter stories, I’ve chosen to summarize one of the longer and more complex stories: The Tragedy of Birlstone. In this story, Holmes is asked by British detectives to assist them with the murder of Mr. Douglas of Birlstone. The crime scene makes it appear that Douglas was shot in the face by a robber, and the robber, realizing he had raised alarm, fled the house. Holmes, however, upon investigating the scene, finds many flaws in that theory, and begins to discover what really happened. He questions the wife, family friend (Mr. Barker), Butler, and maid, and finds that the wife and Mr. Barker must be hiding something. Holmes, being more reserved, leaves Watson in the dark as Holmes evolves his theory. Finally, Holmes invites Watson and the British detectives with him one night to the house. Holmes and his company wait to see if Holmes experiment prove results. Holmes had given Mr. Barker false information in order to prove his theory, which he has yet to tell anyone, wishing to make it more dramatic when he reveals the truth. When Mr. Barker appears at a certain window as Holmes predicted, he led them into the house, and laid bare the entire mystery except for the motive. What truly happened in the Tragedy of Birlstone was that an unknown enemy of Douglas's came to murder him. Douglas had caught this person, and, in an act of self defense, had shot the intruder in the face, making him mistakable for himself. He then took Barker and his wife into his confidence of his past secrets, and together they faked Douglas's death. Holmes had figured all this out, and brought Douglas out of his hiding. Douglas then gave Watson a papers telling about his past and motive for hiding. Douglas was Birdy Edwards, a retired American detective responsible for the collapse of a serial killer gang. Though Edwards broke up the gang, not all the members were convicted, including some who wanted Edwards dead. So, Edwards changed his name and travelled to California, where he met Barker, but his enemies discovered him, and he moved to England. There he married Mrs. Douglas and settled at Birlstone, but even there his life was attempted, leading to the murder of his pursuer. This story and many of the others in this collection followed a similar plot. The themes, however, changed depending on the motive for the crime, which added diversity to what would otherwise be a repetitive version of events throughout the book. This book has appealed to me in a very logical way. It is a organized line of thought once Holmes explains his thinking. It challenged me in more than just the reading level, but in trying to figure out the crime as I read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert Bisbing

    I admit that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle outdid himself on volume 1 and the second volume was a change from the Sherlock we became so fascinated by. However, I still recommend both volumes 1 & 2 for any reader of detective works. After all, there are reasons he is referred to as the world's greatest detective. I admit that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle outdid himself on volume 1 and the second volume was a change from the Sherlock we became so fascinated by. However, I still recommend both volumes 1 & 2 for any reader of detective works. After all, there are reasons he is referred to as the world's greatest detective.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Spencer

    I will say I think the later Holmes stories lack the same charm the earlier ones do, but still, what an enjoyable way to spend time with a book. The entire Holmes collection is something I like to re-read every few years, and for good reason. Quick, gripping detective stories are a nice little thrill, and I like this spot in the middle of the road between cozy and dark. Great place to start if you want to read more classics but find them to be intimidating.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Still fun to see the ways this has been adapted. I enjoy the adaptations more because they leave out the elements that haven't aged well. Still fun to see the ways this has been adapted. I enjoy the adaptations more because they leave out the elements that haven't aged well.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Favorites in this one are probably Devil's Foot and The Dying Detective. I did not care for the Three Gables at all. Favorites in this one are probably Devil's Foot and The Dying Detective. I did not care for the Three Gables at all.

  16. 4 out of 5

    An Odd1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td2Zjd... Preview Sherlock Holmes 2 Downey-Law film. http://annetoronto1.blogspot.ca/2013/... #2 Review http://aneyespy.blogspot.ca/2011/12/s... #1 Review http://aneyespy.blogspot.ca/2011/12/d... Cumberbatch-Freeman Review This humorous, dangerous, very British 2010 BBC UK version updated with internet and mobile phones revived my interest in Doyle's classic Victorian murder mysteries promoting early forensics and deductive solutions. Surprisingly, old and new Watson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td2Zjd... Preview Sherlock Holmes 2 Downey-Law film. http://annetoronto1.blogspot.ca/2013/... #2 Review http://aneyespy.blogspot.ca/2011/12/s... #1 Review http://aneyespy.blogspot.ca/2011/12/d... Cumberbatch-Freeman Review This humorous, dangerous, very British 2010 BBC UK version updated with internet and mobile phones revived my interest in Doyle's classic Victorian murder mysteries promoting early forensics and deductive solutions. Surprisingly, old and new Watson (Freeman) are both injured veterans of Kandahar, Afghanistan. The city of London is still an old character. Cumberbatch has a lighter, less swoopy tadara interpretation than Jeremy Brett, and not caught in explosions like Downey. Study in Pink is loosely based on Study in Scarlet (view spoiler)[ having a choice of pills, placebo or poison, and a hack-cab driver hiding in plain sight (hide spoiler)] . 1930 Doubleday Vol 1 has Study in Scarlet, Sign of Four, and 23 short stories in 480 pages. Preface assures us that some cases referenced were never published. With a toothbrush and gun, meticulous research, observation, and deduction, we learn how to solve puzzles, and chase evil across Victorian London and world. I recall many cases, yet enjoy reruns. (Because quotation marks glitch in Goodreads, I start each summary with the case title.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_of... Capsules (try to) remind me without giving away full answer. p15 Study in Scarlet 1887 trails minatory bloody thread to American Western, Mormon Avenging Angels based in fact and folklore. p87 In Sign of the Four 1890, Watson falls for Mary, recipient of fine pearls from a guilty Bombay valetudinarian who knows how her father vanished years ago in a conspiracy of four thieves. Adventures (first pub 1891-2) In p161 Bohemia, their king asks Sherlock to retrieve incriminating evidence from the beauty Irene Adler, his equal at ingenuity and intellect (changed onscreen). p176 Red-headed foolish pawnbroker gives his new assistant free run of the basement. p190 Identity remains hidden, when Holmes decides the prosperous sheltered daughter would not believe where her suitor vanished on the verge of their wedding. p202 Also for Boscombe Valley, he hides the confession, to protect a couple - the father who made his fortune in Australia supports the other, now murdered. p217 Five Orange Pips warn of KKK assassins who slip the noose. p229 Twisted Lip is professional beggar, last to see a missing husband. p244 Blue Carbuncle is jewel hidden in Season of Forgiveness goose, tracked to thief. p257 Speckled Band are the last words of latest family female to succumb, leave wealth to step-father Doctor from India. p273 Engineer's Thumb is severed fleeing from repairs for a secretive German. p287 Noble Bachelor seeks rich American goldfield bride who vanished just after ceremony. p301 Beryl Coronet taken home by a banker lost stones after being twisted and broken by his gambler son, who loves vanished ward. p316 Copper Beeches is estate where newly hired governess suspects nefarious employers who ask her to cut her hair, sit so, wearing such, for extravagant wages. Memoirs 1892-3 p335 Silver Blaze, missing winner racehorse when "the dog did nothing in the night-time", and the trainer was killed. p350 Yellow Face mask in the window is an innocent, not a blackmailer of remarried Atlanta widow. p362 The Stockbrocker's Clerk was hired away before he started. p373 Gloria Scott, his first case, was an Australia-bound convict ship, the loss explained by posthumous record from his college friend's father. p386 Musgrave Ritual was a family rhyme leading to treasure found and lost by a learned butler. p398 In Reigate, a manservant is shot apparently preventing a second neighborhood burglary. p411 Crooked Man from India reveals end of career soldier and role of too pretty wife. p422 "Resident Patient" Blessington funds doctor's startup, hanged when protection fails. p435 Greek Interpreter is abducted to strange house with tortured victim and surprised girl (introduces brother Mycroft at Diogenes Club where talking is forbidden, unlike onscreen). p447 Naval Treaty needs recovering after accused thief recovers. p469 The Final Problem is the fatal confrontation with arch-evil Professor Moriarty. http://www.sorbie.net/old_occupations...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kim Savage

    An excellent collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. I think I’ve read them all now. Reading the entire volume at once is a little daunting, but I will always reread a novel or a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Darinda

    A great collection of Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume II contains one novel, three books of short stories, two parodies, and two essays. Novel: 1. The Valley of Fear Short Stories: 1. 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 Augus A great collection of Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume II contains one novel, three books of short stories, two parodies, and two essays. Novel: 1. The Valley of Fear Short Stories: 1. 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 2. His Last Bow - The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge - The Adventure of the Cardboard Box - The Adventure of the Red Circle - The Adventure of 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 3. 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 Parodies: 1. The Field Bazaar 2. How Watson Learned the Trick Essays: 1. The Truth about Sherlock Holmes 2. Some Personalia about Mr. Sherlock Holmes

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nikita Nandanwad

    I've read this book before after hearing about the TV show based on the books. When I started the second volume, I was struck, as before, by the curious character of Sherlock Holmes. He is unemotional and unempathetic close to the point of being a sociopath. However, I deeply admire his deductive and observational skills. The book is based on various crimes occurring in England, big and small. Each of them have an unusual aspect to them that catches Holmes' fantasy. He takes cases solely for enj I've read this book before after hearing about the TV show based on the books. When I started the second volume, I was struck, as before, by the curious character of Sherlock Holmes. He is unemotional and unempathetic close to the point of being a sociopath. However, I deeply admire his deductive and observational skills. The book is based on various crimes occurring in England, big and small. Each of them have an unusual aspect to them that catches Holmes' fantasy. He takes cases solely for enjoyment, something to keep his brain busy; and once solved, will immediately drop it from his mind. I'm also intrigued about his refusal to take the credit for solving cases and instead letting the police take the credit; therefore rejecting fame and recognition. He's quite arrogant, however interestingly enough, refuses to take credit for solving cases. He also enjoys praise from his companions, notably Dr Watson, and likes to keep them in suspense by not revealing any of his deductions. His character has a curious lack of empathy which has led to many people speculating about the possibility of him being a sociopath or having some other personality disorder. However, I disagree because although he is definitely an extremely unemotional character, he still cares about people he's close to: in this instance, Watson, his loyal sidekick. And I also think that the books wouldn't be as interesting if he had been shown to have a caring and friendly nature.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary Anne

    It makes me very pleased to be able to say I've read all of Sherlock Holmes. Thank goodness for these awesome classics collections. I found myself really interested in what changes I'd encounter in this volume, especially after reading the warning in the introduction. Indeed. Sherlock Holmes seemed to have changed in some subtle and not-so-subtle ways, but I think that tends to happen, especially when a writer gets downright tired of the protagonist. While it's likely that none of the stories will It makes me very pleased to be able to say I've read all of Sherlock Holmes. Thank goodness for these awesome classics collections. I found myself really interested in what changes I'd encounter in this volume, especially after reading the warning in the introduction. Indeed. Sherlock Holmes seemed to have changed in some subtle and not-so-subtle ways, but I think that tends to happen, especially when a writer gets downright tired of the protagonist. While it's likely that none of the stories will become my favorites (and not a huge fan of The Valley of Fear), I very much liked reading this collection. I was looking forward to reading the stories that Holmes himself narrated, and I couldn't help but be amused that Holmes saw that he needed to use Watson's format in order to keep the tale accessible to readers. I was expecting the writing to be a bit more esoteric, but all the same, I'm glad it wasn't. I feel a bit off in that I didn't really care much for the parodies at the end, and the essays were interesting to be from Doyle's own writing, though the material is sufficiently covered in the introduction. All in all, this was a great read, and I'm so glad I took on this task.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    Moreover than the actual stories, the superior writing style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is what really draws me to the Sherlock Holmes series. Doyle was an expertly skilled writer, whose attention to detail and ability to weave together tantalizing clues into the solution of a mystery are to be envied. His character development is also exemplary, as there is much to mystify one about Sherlock Holmes; his aversion to women and distance from his family, his lack of friends save one physician who se Moreover than the actual stories, the superior writing style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is what really draws me to the Sherlock Holmes series. Doyle was an expertly skilled writer, whose attention to detail and ability to weave together tantalizing clues into the solution of a mystery are to be envied. His character development is also exemplary, as there is much to mystify one about Sherlock Holmes; his aversion to women and distance from his family, his lack of friends save one physician who seems to be considered more as an assistant that a friend, these attributes combine to make the character of Sherlock Holmes even a greater mystery than the crimes he solves. The short stories are extremely easy reads, especially suited for our ADHD-prone, instant gratification seeking modern culture. Despite the 19th century English setting, still a enjoyable read, even for modern times.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Savannah Riestenberg

    I didn't enjoy this quite as much as I did the first volume. I don't know if I wasn't as focused or what, but I couldn't recall any of the stories the day after I had read them. Perhaps the stories weren't as interesting, or they all started to blend together when read in such quick succession, not sure. My one complaint about these volumes, this one in particular is the ordering of the stories. Though it is interesting to read them in the order Doyle wrote them, I was often very confused. I woul I didn't enjoy this quite as much as I did the first volume. I don't know if I wasn't as focused or what, but I couldn't recall any of the stories the day after I had read them. Perhaps the stories weren't as interesting, or they all started to blend together when read in such quick succession, not sure. My one complaint about these volumes, this one in particular is the ordering of the stories. Though it is interesting to read them in the order Doyle wrote them, I was often very confused. I would have prefered to have them as Holmes and Watson experienced them, because sometimes characters were magically alive again with no explanation. I will say though, reading through all of these has only deepened my love for the various TV and movie adaptations. Holmes and Watson are truly interesting characters and their cases are never ending.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leila Anani

    BBC full cast dramatization of 4 Sherlock Holmes stories from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Five Orange pips, The man with the twisted lip, The adventure of the blue carbuncle and the adventure of the speckled band. Clive Merrison and Michael Williams voice Holmes and Watson here in some of my favourite stories. Excellent audio version. The Blue Carbuncle is particularly well done. Highly recommended.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mikko

    Read all of these as a young lad and now in my 50's, went back to an audiobook to listen to every single case on my long commute to work. Sir Arthur to this day is such a great writer and a genius in setting up and solving each crime, no wonder Mr. Holmes is still so relevant today. Special props to the narrator of these audiobooks, they were a true pleasure to listen to. Have a long commute? Then give Mr. Holmes a chance to met away the miles. Read all of these as a young lad and now in my 50's, went back to an audiobook to listen to every single case on my long commute to work. Sir Arthur to this day is such a great writer and a genius in setting up and solving each crime, no wonder Mr. Holmes is still so relevant today. Special props to the narrator of these audiobooks, they were a true pleasure to listen to. Have a long commute? Then give Mr. Holmes a chance to met away the miles.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    In Vol. 2, the short stories are superior to the one novel, with the best ones in the 2 collections: Return of S.H., and His Last Bow. The Case Book stories are not of the same quality as Doyle's earlier writing, but are still entertaining. This edition contains 2 interesting essays by the author discussing the origin/formation of Holmes, and a very funny and spot-on parody written by J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. It's refreshing to finally say I have read every original S.H. work. In Vol. 2, the short stories are superior to the one novel, with the best ones in the 2 collections: Return of S.H., and His Last Bow. The Case Book stories are not of the same quality as Doyle's earlier writing, but are still entertaining. This edition contains 2 interesting essays by the author discussing the origin/formation of Holmes, and a very funny and spot-on parody written by J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. It's refreshing to finally say I have read every original S.H. work.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This has been a favorite collection since high school. I could read these stories over and over! They are unique and intricate, and that's probably why I never tire of them. Holmes is perpetually beset either by boredom or fascination with a puzzle, and not much in between. It makes for dynamic stories. This has been a favorite collection since high school. I could read these stories over and over! They are unique and intricate, and that's probably why I never tire of them. Holmes is perpetually beset either by boredom or fascination with a puzzle, and not much in between. It makes for dynamic stories.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy Sturgis

    No matter how many times I've reread these stories, I always find something new to admire and appreciate each time I revisit them. No matter how many times I've reread these stories, I always find something new to admire and appreciate each time I revisit them.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Beckie

    Again, love listening to these stories! About 1 hour long, and intriguing. I love the narrator, too.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Waltham

    A must read; especially with Kyle Freeman comments.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Devon Flaherty

    The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volumes 1 and 2, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and compiled by Barnes & Noble Classics. The material was originally published between 1887-1927. This version, with an introduction by Kyle Freeman, appeared in 2003. For a collection of works, this one is tremendously steeped in history and widely adored. Therefore, to enhance your experience should you choose to read any of it, I would like to give you a little history and background. I went in blind and researched as I w The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volumes 1 and 2, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and compiled by Barnes & Noble Classics. The material was originally published between 1887-1927. This version, with an introduction by Kyle Freeman, appeared in 2003. For a collection of works, this one is tremendously steeped in history and widely adored. Therefore, to enhance your experience should you choose to read any of it, I would like to give you a little history and background. I went in blind and researched as I wondered, and found some very enhancing things out. And I adored the footnotes in the Barnes & Noble edition (I only wish there had been a little more). So here it is: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived a very full and interesting life. He was born in Scotland in 1859 and had a childhood of trials and hard work, among nine siblings, a determined mother, and a drinking father. He had some Jesuit schooling before going to Edinburgh University to study medicine. He became a ship’s physician, from a whaler to West Africa, and settled in England, where he established a medical practice and started writing. The first Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, was published in 1887. Conan Doyle continued to practice medicine and to write, and wrote another Holmes novel and twenty-four stories–published in periodicals–before killing Holmes off in “The Final Problem,” at Reichenbach Falls, in 1893. He continued to write, this time historical novels and medical themes, and traveled to South Africa as a war time physician. He wrote a treatise on the Boer War and was knighted for it, then wrote another Holmes novel, which was to have taken place before the untimely death of the hero. In 1903, however, Conan Doyle brought Holmes back to life and wrote another couple series and another novel about him (totaling 52 stories and four short novels). Meanwhile, he wrote other works on history, nonfiction, and spiritualism. He did some work to exonerate wrongly accused criminals, and served as a war correspondent across Europe. From that point until his death, he traveled and lectured on spiritualism. When Conan Doyle started writing about the private detective, Holmes was a self-proclaimed anomaly, something that didn’t exist anywhere in the world or at any point in history. However, there was already groundwork laid for the detective novel, most notably by Edgar Allan Poe and Emile Gaboriau. Some say that detective novels may have started as early as One Thousand and One Nights or even Ming dynasty China, but the detective story as we would recognize it really didn’t surface until the 1700s. It was those eighteenth century writers who would influence Edgar Allan Poe to create the detective, C. Auguste Dupin. And shortly on his heels, Emile Gaboriau created Monsieur LeCoq. Between them and Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, Sherlock Holmes–perhaps the most famous of all fictional detectives–was born, and then fed into the Golden Age of Detective Fiction in the 1920s and 30s. One of the interesting facts always worth mentioning about Sherlock Holmes, is that his creator thought he was barely worth while. It is the reason Conan Doyle tried more than once to end the series. He thought his time and effort would be much better spent writing historical pieces and, eventually, about the afterlife. Many of the Holmes stories were written because of a clamoring fan base. Because that is part of this story, too: Holmes was intensely popular from the very first story. People begged for more Holmes. They still do. And another interesting tid-bit: serious fans and Holmes academics treat Sherlock as a historical figure. It is done in jest, on some level, but it is a common convention which began as early as the series’ genesis. I mean, let’s think about it. Holmes lived in a real place, full of real details and even some real characters. The stories were “written” by the character’s likewise fictional friend and helper, Dr. Watson, who “published” the exploits in periodicals as case notes for the clamoring public. The stories themselves played to all these conventions. It was a sort of genius, really. And between that, the scientific complexity of his methods of detection, and some extremely well-drawn and fascinating characters, a tour de force was born. I walked into the complete collection of the Holmes stories from the BBC’s totally awesome Sherlock series, after the third season. In no way could I completely separate what I read, therefore, from what I had so admired on my TV screen. Basically, the Sherlock of the books looked, in my head, like Benedict Cumberbatch, and Watson looked like Martin Freeman. And so on and so forth. Seems the whole world is having a Sherlock revival, lately. Between Sherlock and Elementary and the Robert Downey Jr. movies, one can hardly avoid them. So here is, first of all, what I have to say about the 1200+ pages of Holmes. After only one or two stories, I found the beginnings obnoxious and cloying. For one, Watson is always a little too in awe, a little too like, “Tell me again, Holmes! I’m a complete idiot!” Which has been interesting for the franchise, because actors often interpret him at one of two ends of the idiot spectrum. But I said we were talking about the books, and we are. Watson aside, the introductions got super-super old, and if I had to read “this is perhaps the most fascinating or complex or scintillating case we ever had” one more time… Another thing that got me every time: reading into people’s natural appearance. Now I know that life is just never as simple as a detective novel, and this cleanness is part of what draws people to read the stuff. But I have never been able to determine from the shape of someone’s nose that he is cruel, and I don’t suggest that anyone try it. It’s borderline bigotry. And it’s just weird. But even beyond their appearance, every single character wore their heart on their sleeve, right on down to the brain fever. Something bad happen at 221B Baker Street? You can bet there was going to be a run through town in disheveled clothes, a poorly-jotted note, and brain fever. No stoics and no mystery there. And the dead faces! Must everyone die with horror stuck on their face and a note clasped in their hand?!? So when I first picked up these books, years ago, I was so discouraged by the artificiality of the deductions that I put it back down. While I’m sure many people admire the reasoning, I was distracted by the cleanness. Everything always fits together. A spade is always a spade. The clues are always clues and never just a pile of ash or a dropped ring. At the time, though, I think I was missing the point of what I would come to love about the Holmes stories: the characters. Holmes and Watson. Even Mycroft and Moriarty (in a more chilling way). But really just Sherlock Holmes. He is one of the most interesting characters ever written. I’m just telling it to you straight. Somewhere between the genius and the quirks, the drug use and the autism, lies a riveting personality that seems anything but fake, everything but fictional. And really, the stories and novels are well-written. There are passages of beauty, moments of suspense, and many, many quotables. In fact, it’s basically addictive. And it creeps into your own reality. You become a your-life detective. Now, you want to recall that these stories were written and published over a lifetime. That does create some inconsistencies, and there are pinnacles to the collection (like The Hound of the Baskervilles) and low points (like “The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone” and “The Adventure of the Three Gables”). Reading from the Barnes & Noble collection, however, Freeman keeps you abreast of some of these issues in the introduction and in the footnotes. All in all, then, I recommend reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes. Not like while you’re laying out on a beach blanket, perhaps, because it’s going to take you some time. But still, read it. If you are a fan of detective fiction, then definitely. If you are not, then even so. _______________ Yeah, so there are a lot of Holmes knock-offs, fan fiction, and entertainment. As for movies and shows, I narrowed it down to this: Sherlock, the BBC series with Benedict Cumberbatch, season 1, 2, and 3 (so far). Of course, I love it. It’s why I picked up Conan Doyle in the first place. It’s rated at like a 9.8 on IMDB, so I’m clearly not the only one enjoying it. Check it out, if you haven’t already. Sherlock Jr., the silent move with Buster Keaton. So, I almost turned it off when I realized that it was silent film. Then I almost turned it off when I realized it wasn’t really about Sherlock Holmes. But I’m glad I stuck with it for the forty minutes it took to expose myself to a gem of silent cinema. Turns out, it’s a bout a regular ol’ guy who gets framed for robbery and loses his sweetheart, and when turning to detective novels doesn’t help, he falls into a dream world where he is Sherlock Jr. In the end, it’s a romantic comedy, and I thoroughly enjoyed the early acting, special effects, innovations, etc. How Sherlock Changed the World, from PBS. Sorry, I really like PBS, but this was terrible. Actually, I can’t say that with finality, because I couldn’t even finish it. Just a repetitive opinion piece. Murder by Decree, 1979. Pretty sure this is a classic. It blends fiction with reality, and I’m not sure that I like the idea. I mean, Jack the Ripper was a real disgusting guy, he was never apprehended, and the people who died were also very real. To put all this in a glass with a fictional detective and stir? I dunno. It’s not the only time is was done, or even the first. But considering that Jack the Ripper was killing during the publication of Sherlock Holmes (which was serialized), is interesting. If you want to see a classic? Fine. Otherwise, ehn. Sherlock Holmes and A Game of Shadows, 2009 and 2011, starting Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. Yeah, fine. OK. Within the first five minutes, my husband, who has never read a Holmes story in his life, said, “I’m pretty sure Holmes wasn’t an action hero.” That’s about it in a nutshell. Whereas Sherlock and Elementary plop Holmes into a modern setting, these two movies keep it historical… and yet, the whole thing is more modernized than any of the other ones. You know, they sexy it up, make it violent and Kung Fu-y, and blow up everything the camera crosses. So it’s entertaining, I guess. And I actually think Downey and Law do a decent job at acting. But, yeah. Fine. OK. I have yet to watch and review: Young Sherlock Holmes The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes Elementary, season 1, 2, and 3 _______________ QUOTES Volume 1 “‘What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence,’ returned my companion, bitterly. ‘The question is, what can you make people believe that you have done?'” (p93, A Study in Scarlet) “Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth” (p102, The Sign of Four). “…it is difficult for a man to have any object in daily use without leaving the impress of his individuality upon it in such a way that a trained observer might see it” (p102, The Sign of the Four). “I have a curious constitution. I never remember feeling tired by work, though idleness exhausts me completely” (p146, The Sign of the Four). “Dirty-looking rascals, but I suppose every one has some little immortal spark concealed about him. You would not think it to look at them” (p160, The Sign of Four). “My dear fellow…. life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence” (p225, “A Case of Identity”). “Circumstantial evidence is a very tricky thing,’ answered Holmes, thoughtfully. ‘It may seem to point very straight to one thing, but if you shift your own point of view a little, you may find it pointing in an equally uncompromising manner to something entirely different'” (p241, “The Boscombe Valley Mystery). “There is nothing more to be said or to be done to-night, so hand me over my violin and let us try to forget for half an hour the miserable weather and the still more miserable ways of our fellowmen” (p269, “The Five Orange Pips”). “There is nothing so important as trifles” (p283, “The Man with the Twisted Lip”). “I have seen too much not to know that the impression of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical reasoner” (p284, “The Man with the Twisted Lip”). “On the contrary, Watson, you can see everything. You fail, however, to reason from what you see” (p293, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”). “In the larger and older jewels every facet may stand for a bloody deed” (p297, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”). “Results without causes are much more impressive” (p433, “The Stock-Broker’s Clerk”). “Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms” (p517, “The Greek Interpreter). “Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers… Its smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from in flowers” (p541, “The Naval Treaty”). “I have known for some time,’ said I, ‘but I never knew him do anything yet without a very good reason” (p551, “The Naval Treaty”). “‘There is no danger,’ said he. ‘It is inevitable destruction'” (p561, “The Final Problem”). “…him whom I shall ever regard as the best and the wisest man whom I have ever known” (p570, “The Final Problem”). “And I would have you believe, my sons, that the same Justice which punishes sin may also most graciously forgive it” (p581, The Hound of the Baskervilles). “That which is clearly known hath less terror than that which is but hinted at and guessed” (p583, The Hound of the Baskervilles). “The devil’s agents may be of flesh and blood, may they not?” (p593, The Hound of the Baskervilles). “The rattle of our wheels died away as we drove through the drifts of rotting vegetation–sad gifts, it seemed to me, for Nature to throw before the carriage of the returning heir of the Baskervilles” (p614, The Hound of the Baskervilles). “The past and the present are within the field of my inquiry, but what a man may do in the future is a hard question to answer” (p695, The Hound of the Baskervilles). Volume 2 “It appears that I must have fainted for the first and the last time in my life. Certainly a gray mist swirled before my eyes, and when it cleared I found my collar-ends undone and the tingling after-taste of brandy on my lips” (p8, “The Adventure of the Empty House”). “The first faint winter’s dawn was beginning to appear, and we could dimly see the occasional figure of an early workman as he passed us, blurred and indistinct in the opalescent London reek” (p191, “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange”). “Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius” (p238, The Valley of Fear). “He loved to lie in the very centre of five millions of people, with his filaments stretching out and running through them, responsive to every little rumour or suspicion of unsolved crime” (p381, “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”). “What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable. But what end?” (p397, “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box). “‘I know you could if you only would,’ / Holmes was accessible upon the side of flattery, and also, to do him justice, upon the side of kindliness” (p397, “The Adventure of the Red Circle”). “Of all ruins, that of the noble mind is the most deplorable” (p437, “The Adventure of the Dying Detective”). “Amid the crowded millions of London the three persons we sought were as completely obliterated as if they had never lived” (p453, “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax”). “To let the brain work without sufficient material is like racing an engine. It racks itself to pieces. The sea air, sunshine, and patience, Watson–all else will come” (p467, “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”). “Tut, my dear sir, we live in an utilitarian age. Honour is a medieval conception” (p482, “His Last Bow”). “…the axiom that the only safe plotter was he who plotted alone” (p509, “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client”). “It is said that the barrister who crams up a case with such care that he can examine an expert witness upon a Monday has forgotten all his forced knowledge before the Saturday” (p509, “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client”). “I see no more than you, but I have trained myself to notice what I see” (p517, “The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier”). ***REVIEW WRITTEN FOR THE DEVON TREVARROW FLAHERTY BLOG.***

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