Nenia Campbell's Reviews > The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
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Mar 06, 14

Read from February 22 to 23, 2012

Sherlock Holmes in bite-size installments? Yes, please. The Adventures contains 12 - that's right, ladies and germs, twelve - short stories illustrative to Holmes' ingenious deductive detective work. Mr. Doyle's writing is as cold and crisp as a winter apple - and, I think you'll find, just as sweetly satisfying when you get to the twist at the end of each story with a nice, hard crunch.

The stories are pretty formulaic to a point. Each opens with Holmes and Watson sitting in Holmes' parlor like good chums doing all the finer pleasures in life, smoking smelly cigars, playing the violin, and snorting cocaine and reminiscing about previous cases. Suddenly, a panicked individual in desperate need of assistance begs Holmes to help them find their AWOL spouse/stolen gems/get revenge. Holmes listens to the case and instantaneously has a pretty good idea who did it. Sometimes Inspector Lestrade is present as well, and in spite of Holmes' long list of achievements, he's like, "Ha! Ha! Ha! You think you can solve this case? INCONCEIVABLE!"

And Holmes is like:

But Lestrade just never learns...

Plus, where is a Holmes novel without making fun of everyone else's inferior abilities of deduction - or even of belonging to the genus "sapiens" in general. As Holmes is far more sapiens than you, or I, or even M.D. House, can ever hope to be. (Though can you imagine House and Holmes in the same room? I think they'd hate each other on sight. There is no room for two people to be the GREATEST IN THE WORLD. Especially not of Holmes' and House's caliber.)

And with that said, let's take a look at these brilliant cases:

A Scandal in Bohemia ☆☆☆☆
The King of Bohemia ("I'm just a poor boy from a poor family") is being blackmailed by a devious ex-lover who has a compromising portrait that poses a threat to his up and coming marriage - which she will do, unless he dances to her tune ("will you do the fandango?"). Holmes is determined to steal this painting at all costs...but the villainess is about to teach him that being a member of the fairer sex doesn't require playing fair ("very very frightening! send a bolt of lightning!").

The Red-Headed League ☆☆☆☆
This one is funny! Well...I thought it was funny. A new business has opened in town offering a handsome salary to boot. The only requirement is that applicants must have red hair. Non-gingers need not apply. Holmes thinks there's something screwy going on. Obviously. Everyone knows that gingers have no souls.**

A Case of Identity ☆☆☆
A beautiful young lady is abandoned by her lover on the day when they are to be married and has not been seen since. She is worried - especially since he gave her a rather odd parting phrase to remember him by. She entreats Holmes to help her find her missing beau...and he learns that this isn't a beau so much as a knot.

The Boscombe Valley Mystery ☆☆☆☆
A son is accused of the murder of his father but Holmes, in spite of the police's (a.k.a. that know-it-all know-nothing-at-all bastard Lestrade) convictions, is determined to prove his innocence...even if it means wading through years' worth of bad blood.

The Five Orange Pips
A boy comes to Holmes for protection from a family curse of bigotry and persecution that is resulting in his relatives being killed off one by one. Hated this story. Crappy, miserable ending and pretty boring. Especially since he throws the culprit at us right off the bat.

The Man with the Twisted Lip ☆☆☆☆
Another funny one. Opium dens create the perfect spawning grounds for crime and London is no exception. When a prosperous man is witnessed being kidnapped by his wife, Holmes and Watson comb through the derelict neighborhood looking for both man and motive...only to discover that drugs aren't the only addiction that caters to man's downfall.

The Blue Carbuncle ☆☆☆
Holmes comes across his own personal golden goose when an abandoned piece of pilfered poultry turns up a flawless blue ruby. Also, the most hilariously obviously guilty perpetrator that you will probably ever see.

The Speckled Band ☆☆☆☆☆
A girl comes to Holmes distraught after the passing of her sister - who has appeared to have been frightened to death! She fears that she's next...and right she is. Unless Holmes can save her first. One of the best in this collection. I love me some high-tech steampunk gadgetry.

The Engineer's Thumb ☆☆☆☆☆
Dr. Watson finds himself treating a hydraulic engineer with a missing thumb. He's been the victim of a criminal conspiracy...and he's not the first, either. He refers his patient to Holmes who has determined to help the poor man get his revenge. Eye for an eye? No, thumb for a thumb.

The Noble Bachelor ☆☆☆
A marriage of convenience turns into a marriage of disaster when the bride panics and leaves her lordly fiance jilted at the alter. Woman! Where the hell do you think you're going? The kitchen is in the other direction. I didn't like this story very much. It was too similar to "A Case of Identity," except with the genders swapped.

The Beryl Coronet ☆☆
A banker gives one of his clients a hefty loan. As a sign of good faith, the client leaves him his priceless coronet as collateral. The banker takes it home to keep it safe and wakes to find his son with the broken coronet in his hands and three gems missing. Caught beryl-handed? Not if Holmes has anything to say about it!

The Copper Beeches ☆☆☆☆
Meet the creepiest family in all of 19th century London. How creepy do you ask? Well. They make the Addams family look like the Brady Bunch. Holmes is perplexed when one of his acquaintances rushes off to accept an offer that has to be too good to be true. The family's sinister nature is enough that Holmes decides to poke around and see what bites back.

Definitely fun! It's amazing that Arthur Doyle's mysteries can still hold people in suspense over one hundred years later. So many of his techniques are surprisingly modern (even if I winced at all the physiognomy/phrenology references - UGH. thank goodness that it was on the wane at this time and wasn't mentioned as much as the earlies). And not only is Holmes smart, he's ripped. In one of those stories (I forget which), he bends an iron fire poker back into shape after one of his nemeses marches in to intimidate him and breaks it. I swooned on the spot.

And guess what ladies? He's single... ;)

**Apologies to gingers. And their souls.

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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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♍ichael Ƒierce "Excellent!" I cried.

Just started reading it today.

Nenia Campbell Michael Fierce wrote: ""Excellent!" I cried.

Just started reading it today."

I hope you enjoy it! I thought this whole collection was great.

♍ichael Ƒierce Nenia wrote: "Michael Fierce wrote: ""Excellent!" I cried.

Just started reading it today."

I hope you enjoy it! I thought this whole collection was great."

I've been wanting to read this since I was just a wee lad. I bought like 10 Sherlock Holmes books (mostly supernatural in nature) along with this one, and have already read Hound of the Baskervilles (of which I really need to write a review) so looking fwd to getting into this.

As always, I DVR'd and bought several Sherlock Holmes movies to go along with my Sherlock Holmes adventures.

Vane LOL xD Sherlock Holmes is AWESOME. Too bad he doesn't date anyone :/

Nenia Campbell Vane wrote: "LOL xD Sherlock Holmes is AWESOME. Too bad he doesn't date anyone :/"

I think he would probably date the lady from the first story. ;)

Vane Who? i don't remember...

Nenia Campbell The one who tricked him. (view spoiler)

Vane (view spoiler)

Nenia Campbell YES! That is exactly who I am talking about. :)

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