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The Five Orange Pips and Other Cases

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  668 ratings  ·  50 reviews
'He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson ... He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them'

Sherlock Holmes, scourge of criminals everywhere, whether they be lurking in London's foggy backstreets or plotting behind the walls of an idyllic country mansion, and his faithful co
Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 30th 2012 by Penguin Books (first published 1892)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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A great collection of Sherlock Holmes stories that Arthur Conan Doyle put together for a newspaper contest where readers had to guess which of his short stories Conan Doyle himself considered to be the best. One reader got 10 out of the 12 stories right and won!
It was really interesting to see why the author thought the stories in this collection were his best work and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them!
I definitely recommend this for people who want to start reading Sherlock Holmes.
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
Second read of the 2020 Reading Rush and it was MUCH better than my first pick, thankfully, and I really enjoyed reading these cases! Very enjoyable, though obviously some of the opinions and stereotypes were a bit yikes. Anyway, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would!
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reading slumps are a pain.
That being said I finally picked myself back up and finished this and really enjoyed it. It maybe just a bias to anything Sherlock Holmes but these stories for me are fast and easy to read and very fun. I definitely found myself laughing out loud a few of Holmes's antics and I'm pretty excited to get another collection and continue my journey through his cases (I'll probably continue on to the Mary Russell books after that as I've heard they're just as good). I highl
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sherlock Holmes works a lot better in short story form. I'm listening to the Stephen Fry audio books alongside reading. Makes for a truly unique experience.

Favourites - The Adventure of the Final Problem, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, The Musgrave Ritual.
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Scandal in Bohemia, The Speckled Band and the Dancing Men are some of my favourite Holmes stories, and I was delighted to find out this collection included them all. This collection has the 12 stories Conan Doyle considered the best ones, and thus I must say he had good taste.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Doyle‘s stories were essential in paving the way for the genre of crime fiction and murder mysteries. His way of pairing up two very different characters (tall-small, clever-dumb, sarcastic-mild, thin-fat) has been copied hundreds of times and has become a quintessential trope for TV-series, movies and books dealing with detective/ police duos or teams.

This was my first time reading Doyle‘s stories in their original language. Of course, one is acquainted with them; through hear-say and movies or
Hanie Noorhelmee
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Payel Kundu
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was actually my first foray into the Sherlock Holmes world, and I think it was a good one to start with as the stories in the collection were chosen by Doyle himself as the best of the Holmes stories (the end of the book includes a section detailing why he chose each story). I found them quite engaging, often quite funny. It's a credit to the author's finesse that the stories don't start to read as too formulaic when read in a row. I did think a couple of the leading clues seemed too p ...more
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sherlock Holmes short stories are always fun, but also they feel just a touch like the author didn't actually know how to pepper in the hints needed to make them believably solvable. In truth though, you don't go into these stories thinking that there is any way that you'll be able to figure it out until it's explained (I mean sometimes you can guess the villain based on stereotypes and tropes, but not the how/why)

At first when reading this edition I couldn't figure out /why/ they picked the sto
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars!

An excellent collection of Sherlock Holmes cases :D It has everything that I adored in The Hound of the Baskervilles: the clever mysteries, the straightforward narratives, and the precious character that is Sherlock Holmes himself. As custom with any short story collections I read, I pick my favorites. For this one The Adventure of the Speckled Band, The Adventure of the Dancing Men, and The Adventure of the Devil's Foot were among my favs. I couldn't get enough of these stories. The
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. The cases, although brief, were still mystifying and complex enough to keep me intrigued, and always had that satisfying but infuriating kick-yourself-for-not-solving-it quality. Also, since it was a collection of short story cases, there was no pressure to keep at the book! I started in January, read about half, then finished up in December! Lovely to still know exactly what is going on.
Jan 04, 2021 rated it liked it
Whilst I did enjoy parts if this book, I felt like I was reading the same story over and over and over again (with a few exceptions). My favourites were The Adventure of the Red-Headed League as it was so outlandish and The Regiate Squires as it didn’t feel Holmesy. It is undoubtedly a coever book however Holmes’ monologues at the end of each tale were overly verbose, stalling the narrative too much and therefore I got bored of reading his surmises.

(This is a 2.5* read rounded up to a 3)
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow...3 months!?
I guess my only two excuses are the following:
1. I read it between other books and the 2. I didn't want it to end. Sherlock Holmes is one of my favorite character in all of literture and his mind is extraordinary and beautiful and these short stories are The best of Sherlock Holmes!
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
with the numerous adaptations of sherlock holmes, both over the years and especially within recent years (please make some new movies y'all), it's always very entertaining to actually go back and read the originals. they'll probably remain my favourite version of holmes. ...more
Gordon Watson
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Classic ACD. Have read before, but not this particular edition, thoroughly enjoyable.
As I have read all short stories except one I will mark this as read. I am collecting all the Penguin Library editions concerning Sherlock Holmes.
Jessica Greve
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Razvan Banciu
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Quite a poor one, even for Doyle's standards. The story is less than credible and Holmes is lazy enough to have his conscience guilty of the death of an innocent young man. ...more
Jul 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good selection of Novels by Arthur Conan Doyle
Molly Fifi
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Every bit as good as the modern TC adaptations
Gripping crime at it's best !
Roberto Mattos
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a very well written story with a very interesting and captivating plot: A young Sussex gentleman named John Openshaw has a strange story: in 1869 his uncle Elias Openshaw had suddenly come back to England to settle on an estate at Horsham, West Sussex after living for years in the United States as a planter in Florida and serving as a Colonel in the Confederate Army.
Not being married, Elias had allowed his nephew to stay at his estate. Strange incidents have occurred; one is that althoug
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
sherlock holmes stories are always very fun, and i found these short stories to be great! they were all quick, fun and entertaining, and as a compilation, probably my favourite of what i have read so far!
As a standardised rule, I don’t like short stories. I don’t get them. I get to know the ins and outs of a story. Then POOF. Ten pages later, the story “ends” and we’re expected to get to know the characters for a different story, before we’d got a chance to meet the characters of a previous story. I had so many tolls with Scott F. Fitzgerald’s ‘A Diamond as Big as the Ritz’ for that very reason. I just find it so difficult to like short stories.

That was before Sherlock Holmes came into my life,
3,5 stars
The twelve Sherlock Holmes stories that Arthur Conan Doyle thought were his best are bundled in this little book.
These stories were highly entertaining, but not amazing. Some of them were a bit too farfetched for my liking, others a bit too predictable (though this may be because they have become so well-known that they’ve completely permeated popular culture, in which case it is a lot more laudable than I make it out to be). Also, I would have liked it if Penguin had decided to print t
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was my first introduction to any type of Sherlock Holmes text and I was a bit apprehensive at first, as I’m not really interested in mystery and detective novels. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed this book! Holmes and Watson are both loveable characters that work well together, even though Holmes has his quirks, but that just makes him more interesting.

Each case that Holmes and Watson take up fit into a chapter each, so the book is split into many small stor
Sean Donohue
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a great book to introduce you to the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes Series. It made me an immediate fan. I only bought the book because it was part of the Penguin 100 year editions, and i very much like the covers(I know buying a book for it's cover), but i am glad i did. There's a lot of good books in those editions that i wouldn't have even bothered with if i didn't choose so vainly. Vanity 1, common sense 0. ...more
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
I loved this compilation! I read some of these before but some I hadn't, especially the Reichenbach falls... It was so sad. One another hand I thought that most of these cases were sometimes funny and that they were almost all in the TV show(not the BBC one). It's always a pleasure to read a Sherlock novel. I also loved the cover with the pipe symbol of Sherlock Holmes and the gun symbol of John Watson. ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mystery is deffinitely not my type - I did everything to avoid reading this book for as long as possible. The fact that it's a collection of short stories didn't help either.
But oh, was I wrong! It was my first introduction to Sherlock and I must say what a great choice of cases were bundled up in this book! Suspenseful and engaging, that's the Baker Steet duo for you. There was such a great sense of intimacy captured and was very humorous indeed. Loved it!
Hanna Westerberg
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
7 months later and I finally finished it!
It was a really good collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. The language is a little bit old and sometimes to hard as I'm not a native english speaker, but I still found this collection really enjoyable.
The reason it took me so long is because it is just a collection of stories, so it is easy to stop reading after one, it does by no means mean that I didn't like it!
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This Penguin English Library edition is an excellent collection of Sherlock Holmes short stories, selecting the best from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes & The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

The only downside is the printing quality of the illustrations, I find it to be lacking.
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Sir Arthur 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 u

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