The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 12 amazing short stories, many of which are light and predictable but still enjoyable with brilliant narration of Sherlock’s cases.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #3) by Arthur Conan Doyle
Publication Date : October 14th 1892
Genre : Classic Mystery
Pages : 448
Tea For This Book : Saffron Tea
Previous books in the series I read
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is the series of short stories that made the fortunes of the Strand magazine, in which they were first published, and won immense popularity for Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. The detective is at the height of his powers and the volume is full of famous cases, including ‘The Red-Headed League’, ‘The Blue Carbuncle’, and ‘The Speckled Band’. Although Holmes gained a reputation for infallibility, Conan Doyle showed his own realism and feminism by having the great detective defeated by Irene Adler – the woman – in the very first story, ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’.
The editor of this volume, Richard Lancelyn Green is editor of The Uncollected Sherlock Holmes and The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. With John Michael Gibson, he compiled the Soho Series Bibliography of A. Conan Doyle.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 12 amazing short stories, Sherlock’s investigations accounted by Dr. Watson, takes place in random order. Some are whodunit, some are mystery while some are just curious and baffling incidents and scandals.
It was great to read a fabulous detective duo in the history of literary fiction once again. We see many brilliant qualities of Sherlock and Watson’s loyalty to Sherlock, his curiosity, and the fantastic way he accounted all stories this collection. I’m still amazed how good Sherlock is in compartmentalizing things. We still see his egoistic, careless and emotionless nature, the way wheels of his mind work faster than normal beings and yet once again he won my heart by showing empathy, and respect towards women, giving the chance of redemption, and also understanding the situation of culprit. I absolutely loved the way Sherlock accepted he is not always successful and how many time he was defeated.
I say this is written in random order as in some stories Watson is married while some stories are from when he was newly married and some are before his marriage. Most of the stories are light mystery (I wouldn’t even say mystery for some) compared to full novels. I loved narration of cases in all stories and it is common thing in all stories. There is more description or narration than actual investigation and Sherlock’s observations and deduction (For which Sherlock teased Watson once – maybe in last story!) but it’s what makes this collection stand out most and made it more curious and enjoyable.
Here is short reviews of each story-
1. Scandal in Bohemia
No murder here but title say it all and this time his client is a King. This is about preventing a scandal and saving King’s upcoming marriage. The way Sherlock discovered the whereabouts of what the king needed was brilliant. His dramatics and theatrics are commendable.
2. The Red-Headed League
A light mystery and also little predictable. I had my doubts but for wrong reasons as I couldn’t guess the motive of hiring red-headed man for nominal work and higher pay. I liked how ‘in small crimes hide the bigger crime’ was depicted through this case.
3. The Case of Identity
Also a little predictable. I could identify the culprit from the narration of a lady whose groom went missing. It was easy to guess but I liked the way Sherlock gave proofs. It was sad to see what he decided to do with his conclusion and at the same time I get it.
4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery
Now we have a murder case in which a son is accused of murder of his father. This is the most intriguing case that reminded me of first novel but again I could guess who was the culprit what surprised me most was the story of culprit and I liked what Sherlock did after listening the culprit.
5. The Five Orange Pips
This was complex case of family paying for what happened in past. I couldn’t guess what was the meaning of letters with KKK or who sent them and why. Once it was revealed, I was surprised and shocked what the gang was made for and what they did. At first I thought this was about money and revenge but I was wrong there too. All I’ll say is I felt just like Sherlock did and wasn’t satisfied with the end.
6. Man with the Twisted Lip
This was an interesting case and I thought might be serious as it started with Sherlock investing a missing husband at an opium den but the conclusion turned out surprising. What I didn’t like is lack of explanation how Sherlock reached that conclusion. I felt like I missed the point.
7. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
This is light mystery. A case of finding man who lost his goose and hat, started as a simple case and turned into a complex and interesting one on the appearance of Blue Carbuncle. I loved the way Sherlock solved the case and his reasons at the end.
8. The Adventure of the Speckled Band
This is most sinister story in whole collection. You can guess the culprit easily but now how he carried out his act until middle of the story. Sherlock was brilliant and I liked how he worried for his client and acted fast.
9. The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb
Most interesting narration but not satisfactory ending as there is almost no investigation in this story.
10. The adventure of the Noble Bachelor
I wouldn’t call this a mystery. Again I can guess from the narration what might be the case and yet I liked reading how Sherlock found the bride. I could imagine how Lestrade of Scotland Yard (who also appeared in 4th story) won’t be happy with Sherlock being right, Again!
11. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
This is most interesting case. Now, this I couldn’t predict. I couldn’t guess how and who stole the gems of the coronet. Sherlock’s methods are amazing to read and this has most satisfactory end.
12. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
This story rang the alarm bell from the beginning and has written “This is the Culprit, the horrible man, do something” all over it. Narration is amazing and takes sinister turns when Sherlock meets his client in the second meeting. I could guess why the man hired Sherlock’s client but not the exact reason. The culprit had serious mental health issues and I still can’t get that wife of him.
Even most of the stories are light and make it easy to guess the culprit, I still enjoyed reading the narration and how Sherlock provided proof and reached the conclusion. This is most enjoyable collection I ever read even with its predictability as I never wanted to stop with these stories. I wanted to keep reading stories one after other and trust me when I say that’s rare with anthologies as I have read collections before and this doesn’t usually happen unless you’ve promised a review to author or publisher.
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