**spoiler alert** It's difficult to deny how inherently appealing Doyle's most famous detecting duo is -- and this collection of short stories shows t**spoiler alert** It's difficult to deny how inherently appealing Doyle's most famous detecting duo is -- and this collection of short stories shows them off wonderfully. In this volume, we are introduced to figures from Sherlock's past within the framework of twelve separate mysteries; we see the brilliant detective now as more of a person, with a brother, old college friends, and a whole gaggle of past clients and acquaintances. We are also introduced (albeit briefly) to the infamous Professor Moriarty, who is perfectly frightening in "The Final Problem."
For fans of Sherlock Holmes, Memoirs is really more of the same -- and I'm not complaining. The mysteries Watson and Sherlock are subjected to are just as intricate, the prose just as striking, the characters just as intriguing (with the added bonus of seeing some familiar faces introduced, like Mycroft and Moriarty). My only complaint with this collection is that its last story, "The Final Problem," feels like an anticlimax; it doesn't so much present a mystery to be solved as it feels like Doyle rushing to put a character he was tired of writing to rest. If this short story had truly been the last in the Sherlock canon - and Doyle's fans hadn't made an outcry - I feel that the series would've ended with a rather unsatisfying whimper.
All in all, however, a very satisfying collection; can't wait to read more of Sherlock and Watson's adventures!...more