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Sherlock Holmes #3

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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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'.
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.

389 pages, Paperback

First published October 14, 1892

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About the author

Arthur Conan Doyle

11.2k books21.6k followers
Sir Arthur Ignatius 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 uncertain. His baptism record in the registry of St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh gives 'Arthur Ignatius Conan' as his Christian name, and simply 'Doyle' as his surname. It also names Michael Conan as his godfather.

At the age of nine Conan Doyle was sent to the Roman Catholic Jesuit preparatory school, Hodder Place, Stonyhurst. He then went on to Stonyhurst College, leaving in 1875.

From 1876 to 1881 he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. This required that he provide periodic medical assistance in the towns of Aston (now a district of Birmingham) and Sheffield. While studying, Conan Doyle began writing short stories. His first published story appeared in "Chambers's Edinburgh Journal" before he was 20. Following his graduation, he was employed as a ship's doctor on the SS Mayumba during a voyage to the West African coast. He completed his doctorate on the subject of tabes dorsalis in 1885.

In 1885 Conan Doyle married Louisa (or Louise) Hawkins, known as "Touie". She suffered from tuberculosis and died on 4 July 1906. The following year he married Jean Elizabeth Leckie, whom he had first met and fallen in love with in 1897. Due to his sense of loyalty he had maintained a purely platonic relationship with Jean while his first wife was alive. Jean died in London on 27 June 1940.

Conan Doyle fathered five children. Two with his first wife—Mary Louise (28 January 1889 – 12 June 1976), and Arthur Alleyne Kingsley, known as Kingsley (15 November 1892 – 28 October 1918). With his second wife he had three children—Denis Percy Stewart (17 March 1909 – 9 March 1955), second husband in 1936 of Georgian Princess Nina Mdivani (circa 1910 – 19 February 1987; former sister-in-law of Barbara Hutton); Adrian Malcolm (19 November 1910–3 June 1970) and Jean Lena Annette (21 December 1912–18 November 1997).

Conan Doyle was found clutching his chest in the hall of Windlesham, his house in Crowborough, East Sussex, on 7 July 1930. He had died of a heart attack at age 71. His last words were directed toward his wife: "You are wonderful." The epitaph on his gravestone in the churchyard at Minstead in the New Forest, Hampshire, reads:


Conan Doyle's house, Undershaw, located in Hindhead, south of London, where he had lived for a decade, had been a hotel and restaurant between 1924 and 2004. It now stands empty while conservationists and Conan Doyle fans fight to preserve it.

A statue honours Conan Doyle at Crowborough Cross in Crowborough, where Conan Doyle lived for 23 years. There is also a statue of Sherlock Holmes in Picardy Place, Edinburgh, close to the house where Conan Doyle was born.

* Sherlock Holmes

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Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
401 reviews3,495 followers
February 2, 2023
Dreaming of London, I simply had to pick this up. Plus, it is FREE with my Audible subscription so a double bonus!

This was part of the 100 Books to Read Before You Die According to the BBC: https://www.listchallenges.com/bbcs-t...

To date, I have read 39 out of the 100, and I am determined to read them all. Send me a friend request if you want to see my progress or follow along.

First of all, if you haven't seen the TV Series, Sherlock, it is AMAZING! I was really curious though what was from Arthur Conan Doyle or what was a bit of literary license. I was simply shocked to discover that Sherlock actually did have a drug problem! That part was not made up!

The book consisted of 12 short stories with each story taking approximately one hour to read. Sherlock Holmes is not on the police force or with Scotland Yard but is a very bright man who seems to aid those in need. There is usually laid out a very interesting turn of events, and then Sherlock will exclaim that he solved it and then he will explain how he arrived at that conclusion. Some of the stories were better than others. My favorites were The Adventure of a Scandal in Bohemia, The Adventure of The Red Headed League, and The Adventure of A Case of Identity.

It was a bit eerie reading this book during the pandemic because it gave new meaning to "do not take it amiss if your visitor wears a mask."

There were also some very good quotes in this, and I enjoyed this exchange very much:
"You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. For example, you have frequently seen the steps which lead up from the hall to this room."
"How often?"
"Well, some hundreds of times."
"Then how many are there?"
"How many? I don't know."
"Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. That is just my point. Now, I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed."

Gut punch. Note to self: Pay attention. You are missing important clues.

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Federico DN.
351 reviews618 followers
March 14, 2023
A collection of adventures.

A short story collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. After two full length novels, this is the first short story collection. A mixed bag, as always with collections goes, Sherlock Holmes being no exception to the rule. Half of them good or very good, the other half not so much. Very interesting to know the origins of Irene Adler, and hoping to see more of her in the future. And quite an amazing surprise to see the ever invincible Sherlock Holmes lose a case for the first time. Highly remarkable.

Go for the Best, consider the Good, whatever the Meh.

The Best :
★★★★★ "A Scandal in Bohemia."
★★★★☆ "The Copper Beeches."
★★★★☆ "The Man with the Twisted Lip."

The Good :
★★★☆☆ "The Boscombe Valley Mystery." [3.5]
★★★☆☆ "The Speckled Band." [3.5]
★★★☆☆ "The Engineer’s Thumb."
★★★☆☆ "The Blue Carbuncle."

The Meh :
★★☆☆☆ "The Five Orange Pips." [2.5]
★★☆☆☆ "A Case of Identity."
★★☆☆☆ "The Red-Headed League." [1.5]
★☆☆☆☆ "The Beryl Coronet."
★☆☆☆☆ "The Noble Bachelor."

Still remaining, the BBC series.

It’s public domain, you can find it HERE.

[1892] [389p] [Collection] [Partly Recommendable]

Una colección de aventuras.

Una colección de cuentos cortos por Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Después de dos novelas de completa longitud, esta es la primera colección de cuentos cortos. Una bolsa mixta, como siempre se da con las colecciones, Sherlock Holmes no siendo la excepción a la regla. La mitad de ellos buenos o muy buenos, la otra mitad no tanto. Muy interesante conocer los orígenes de Irene Adler, y esperando ver más de ella en el futuro. Y una sorpresa bastante impresionante ver al siempre invencible Sherlock Holmes perder un caso por primera vez. Altamente destacable.

Ir por lo Mejor, considerar lo Bueno, loquesea lo Meh.

Lo Mejor :
★★★★★ "Escándalo en Bohemia."
★★★★☆ "El Misterio de Copper Beeches."
★★★★☆ "El Hombre del Labio Retorcido."

Lo Bueno :
★★★☆☆ "El Misterio de Boscombe Valley." [3.5]
★★★☆☆ "La Banda de Lunares." [3.5]
★★★☆☆ "El Dedo Pulgar del Ingeniero."
★★★☆☆ "El Carbunclo Azul."

Lo Meh :
★★☆☆☆ "Las Cinco Semillas de Naranja." [2.5]
★★☆☆☆ "Un Caso de Identidad."
★★☆☆☆ "La Liga de los Pelirrojos." [1.5]
★☆☆☆☆ "La Corona de Berilos."
★☆☆☆☆ "El Aristócrata Solterón."

Queda pendiente, la serie de BBC.

Es dominio público, lo pueden encontrar ACA.

[1892] [389p] [Colección] [Parcialmente Recomendable]
Profile Image for Robin Hobb.
Author 342 books97.5k followers
February 26, 2017
Nothing compares to the original. If you really want to know Holmes and Watson, this is what you read. The characterization and pacing is, for me, delightful. The insights into a London of trains and mail more than once a day, the manners of the time, the dialogue . . . this is a feast.

Very honestly speaking, none of the movie or television adaptations have ever given me the sensation of 'being there' at Baker Street, with Holmes and Watson, that I get from the original stories.

Read them. You owe it to yourself!
Profile Image for Adrian.
558 reviews199 followers
July 14, 2020
June 2020
So this is a Group read for "English Mysteries", where we shall be reading all of the Conan Doyle Holmes short stories and Novels over the next 18 months finishing on Dartmoor for Christmas 2021.

Interestingly, I have to say the version I am now reading has 12 short stories compared to the 10 in 2018. I can only guess that different editions (and I have many) for different countries have different sets of stories.
For this re-read there will be 12, 12 is the number of stories, there shall be !!
So in order read:-
The Redheaded League 5⭐️
A wonderful example of Holmes capabilities. What is The Red Headed League and why does it want pawnbroker Mr Wilson to join their ranks.
A Case of Identity 4⭐️
Where has the intended of Miss Mary Sutherland disappeared to ? In fact why did he vanish on the way to their wedding ?
The Boscombe Valley Mystery 5⭐️
Who else but his son could have killed Mr Charles McCarthy, but if so, why did James not say what their argument had been about or why make up the story about his father saying "a rat" with his last breath
The Five Orange Pips 4⭐️
Who keeps sending members of the Openshaw family 5 Orange Pips. And what papers should be put on the sundial in the garden ?
The Man with the Twisted Lip 5⭐️
A wonderful story in which Holmes is for a while stumped, how could the beggar have killed the fit London businessman and disposed of his body out of the window into the Thames so quickly. And then a night of pipe smoking contemplation allows him to solve the crime.
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle 5⭐️
A fabulous story, demonstrating Holmes ability to delve into a problem and follow it to a conclusion. So who was the man who was attacked late one night as he staggered home with a goose. Peterson the commissioner, saw the man attacked and rescued his hat and goose. Holmes manages to discern a large amount of information about the gooses owner just from his hat much to Watson's amazement.
The Speckled Band 5⭐️
Probably one of the most famous short stories, and very atmospheric. Why did her twin die, and what is the whistling ?
The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb 4.5⭐️
A story that focusses on an injury done to a hydraulic engineer who had been called out late at night to repair a hydraulic press. Offered an extortionate fee for his assistance it ends in him being taken to Dr Watson's surgery for treatment.
The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor 4.5⭐️
The upper crust Lord Robert St Simon calls on Holmes when his American (very rich) wife of just a few hours mysteriously disappears
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet 5⭐️
Alexander Holder, co-owner of a private bank, arrives in a terrible state at 221B. His honour could be in shreds as he has taken a well known fabulously expensive bejewelled coronet in exchange for a monstrous loan of £50, 000. And then that night he catches his son with the coronet in his hands and jewels missing, ruination beckons.
The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
Why as a governess would you be offered 3 times your asked for salary, be asked to occasionally wear certain dresses, and asked to cut your hair short. Violet Hunter visits Sherlock to ask if she accept a job with those conditions. Sherlock says she should keep in touch if she accepts the position, but he would not let his sister accept that position if he had one.
A Scandal in Bohemia
So this is story 1 in the book but as part of the group read, I am reading it last in this anthology simply because although interesting, it is also reliant on people already knowing about Holmes. Needless to say it is all about That Woman . enough said.

February 2018 5 Stars
This was a personal re-read , (I'm guessing for the 4th or 5th time ) and it was as fabulous as ever.
It comprises 10 short stories :-
A scandal in Bohemia --
A case of identity --
The Boscombe Valley mystery --
The five orange pips --
The adventure of the blue carbuncle --
The adventure of the speckled band
The adventure of the engineer's thumb
The adventure of the noble bachelor
The adventure of the beryl coronet
The adventure of the copper beeches

These stories are all well written, with wonderful characterisations and great settings. As with Miss Marple or Poirot, I see a certain actor whenever I read a Sherlock Holmes book and that is Jeremy Brett. To me he is the epitome of Sherlock-ness.
In this collection we see Sherlock and Watson involved with royalty to beggars, from geese to snakes, from central London to the suburbs (when they were suburbs) to the South Wset, from bank robbers to murders to "The Woman".

If you've never read any Holmes, this is a great place to start and will give you an insight into his amazing abilities, his relationship with Watson and fantastic descriptions of Victorian London.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
February 4, 2022
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3), Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of twelve short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. It was first published on 14 October 1892; the individual stories had been serialised in The Strand Magazine between July 1891 and June 1892.

The stories are not in chronological order, and the only characters common to all twelve are Holmes and Dr. Watson. The stories are related in first-person narrative from Watson's point of view.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سوم ماه اکتبر سال2016میلادی

عنوان: ماجراهای شرلوک هولمز کارآگاه خصوصی؛ نویسنده: آرتور کانن دویل؛ مترجم: کریم امامی؛ تهران؛ طرح نو؛ چاپ نخست سال1372خورشیدی تا سال1377؛ در چهار مجلد؛ فروست: مجموعه کتابهای سیاه؛ عنوان جلد نخست: رسوایی در کشور بوهم و پنج داستان دیگر؛ عنوان جلد دوم: برق نقره ای و پنج داستان دیگر؛ عنوان جلد سوم: سیمای زرد و پنج داستان دیگر؛ عنوان جلد چهارم: عینک دور طلایی و پنج داستان دیگر؛ چاپ سوم سال1387؛ موضوع داستانهای کارآگاهی از نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده19م

عنوان: شرلوک هولمز؛ نویسنده: آرتور کانن دویل؛ مترجم: محمد قصاع؛ تهران؛ شهر قلم؛ سال1394؛ در112ص؛

دوازده داستان کوتاه نگاشته‌ شده، با خیال سحرانگیز «سر آرتور کانن دویل»، درباره ی «شرلوک هلمز»، کارآگاه نامدار آفریده شده ی ایشان است؛ این داستان‌ها، نخستین داستان‌های کوتاه «شرلوک هلمز» بودند، که برای نخستین بار از ماه ژوئیه سال1891میلادی، تا ماه ژوئن سال 1892میلادی، در مجله ی «استراند» چاپ شدند؛ سپس به صورت کتاب، در روز چهاردهم ماه اکتبر، سال1892میلادی، در «انگلستان» به چاپ رسیدند؛

عنوان داستانها در کتاب اصلی: «رسوایی در بوهم»؛ «انجمن موسرخ‌ها»؛ «مسئله هویت»؛ «راز دره بوسکمب»؛ «پنج هسته پرتغال»؛ «مرد لب کج»؛ «ماجراهای یاقوت کبود»؛ «ماجراهای نوار خال خال»؛ «ماجراهای انگشت قطع شده مهندس»؛ «ماجراهای مجرد نجیب‌زاده»؛ «ماجراهای نیم تاج یاقوت»؛ و «ماجراهای آلش‌های مسی»؛ این دوازده داستان، به همراه هشت داستان دیگر از «ماجراهای شرلوک هلمز» نخستین بار توسط جناب آقای «کریم امامی» برگردان و در چهار مجلد چاپ شده اند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 06/11/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 14/11/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Trevor.
1,293 reviews21.7k followers
December 9, 2008
I’ve been listening to Sherlock Holmes stories in the car and think I’m going to go through and listen to all of them now. I’ve started with The Adventures and have enjoyed it immensely.

There must have been any number of psychological studies performed on Mr Holmes. There is, of course, that wonderful line by Borges in his lectures on Verse in which he says that he believes in the Character of Sherlock Holmes without actually believing in any of the stories in which that character appears. That is such a clever thing to say and I think it is also remarkably true. Although, as with most other true things, I never seem to have too much trouble ‘believing’ in the stories as they are being told.

If I was doing a psychological analysis of Mr Holmes (something, obviously, I’m grossly underqualified to perform – but I feel quite safe, given he never actually existed and even if he did he would be well dead by now and so would be quite unlikely to be adversely affected by any nonsense I might come up with) it would probably have a lot to say about the beginnings of these stories. There is a bit of a pattern to how these stories start. Either a client or, all too often, Dr Watson is presented to Holmes and he makes some remarkable logical deduction about these invariably astonished characters from a seemingly insignificant detail he notices via an article of clothing or their hat.

What I find so psychologically interesting about him doing this at the start of each story is that I can’t help but feel he does this to present himself as the intellectual superior to those around him. The relationship between Watson and Holmes really isn’t the same as that between Boswell and Johnson, despite the constant reference to the similarities. Watson may be the dutifully biographer, but his role is also that of the slightly foolish, but endlessly appreciative audience. It is as if it is only through his reactions that we learn when to gasp and when to applaud with awesome wonder. Watson is the laughing track of his day. But Holmes repeatedly asserting his intellectual superiority at the beginning of each story is fascinating as it also hints at insecurities in his character. He requires reassurance.

He is a flawed character, our Holmes. Rational, empirical but also all too often only interested in ‘people’ for the complex ‘cases’ they present him with. There is also the problem of his drug addiction which he invariably turns to out of sheer boredom - and invariably that is intellectual boredom.

I can’t begin to tell you how surprised I was to find that Doyle was a spiritualist. It is something I found myself remembering as Holmes performs his tricks. Because there is something terribly similar about the tricks Holmes performs and the ‘cold reading’ performed by a spiritualist. His ‘explaining’ often results in his audience saying something like – now it is explained I can see how easy it all is, which then has Holmes complaining he should keep his methods to himself. Except I think there is a deeper significance to him doing these performances – and that is to constantly have his audience wondering what else there is about them he can ‘see’ - what other secrets has he access to?

A lesser character would have ‘mystical powers’ – Holmes achieves the same thing through the force of his intellect. The only wonder is, given our culture’s clear distrust (if not active loathing) of the intellect, how he ever came to be quite so loved in the first place. Perhaps his 'coldness' explains this - perhaps it is because he is the model of the detached scientist that it is alright to like him.

Now, talking of love. My eldest daughter became particularly fond of Mr Holmes about five years ago. So much so that she read all of his stories after we watched many of the BBC TV shows of his works made in the 1980s. One day she had been reading one of the stories in this book and Watson mentions, in an off-hand way, that one can calculate how tall someone is from the length of their stride. And so Fi actually tried this, taking various measurements and doing a series of calculations. It is hard to exaggerate the utter joy children bring into one’s life. They come highly recommended – as do the wonderful stories in this collection.

Oh, and there are a couple of stories where it is mentioned that someone is reading a book with a yellow cover – a mystery/detective story. In Italy detective stories are still referred to as ‘Yellows’. I wonder why these stories tended to be printed in books with yellow covers? I must wiki it at some stage.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
January 17, 2023
I bought this at a library sale essentially on the principle of 'well, I should read it'. Expectations of actually enjoying it? Hm… low. Reality? I’m obsessed.

The appeal in these stories comes in their brief nature. They’re easy to read before bedtime, each night, if you want to be incredibly cheesy (I did). Each one sets up and interesting premise, and builds to an ending that you hardly ever see coming, but always find satisfying.

In his epic video Sherlock Is Garbage and Here’s Why (a masterpiece), hbomberguy pointed out that Irene Adler is, in this story, a protofeminist figure, and I’m inclined to agree. Having a woman outsmart Sherlock in one of the first stories, upon which he learns and grows, was both unexpected and deeply satisfying. It’s fun in general that Holmes, occasionally, fails.

There is very little I can say about Sherlock Holmes that has not been said before. I do think, however, that the dynamic of John and Watson is particularly brilliant. As is pointed out in the introduction to the Complete Sherlock Holmes (which I just started as of the writing of this review), the idea of having an everyman to Sherlock Holmes’ incredible detective is honestly inspired.

My favorite stories included:
A Scandal in Bohemia → featuring Irene Adler
The Speckled Band → I guessed the ending of this, but it did not impact how much I loved it.
The Adventure of the Copper Beeches → arguably the eeriest one, and featuring some interesting commentary on gender

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Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
December 1, 2019

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, published in 1892, and available for free online reading or downloading here on Project Gutenberg (or many other places), is a collection of twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories. Doyle's formula for his Sherlock stories gets a little bit worn and visible after you read several of them back to back. But there are some jewels in this collection, and they all have something to offer the interested reader, even if it's only an insight into Sherlock's or Dr. Watson's characters or Victorian society.

My full reviews for these stories are at the links, but I've posted my star ratings and brief comments here:

4* - "A Scandal in Bohemia" - Notable mostly for the appearance of Irene Adler, probably the best and most intelligent female character Doyle ever created.

3* "The Red Headed League" - Reading about a massive crowd of redheads was fun, but otherwise this is a fairly standard Sherlock Holmes story.

2* "A Case of Identity" - The rare swing and miss, it's lightweight and predictable, with a patronizing Victorian view of women that thoroughly irritated me.

3.4* "The Boscombe Valley Mystery" - A son is accused of his father's murder ... understandable since he was found at the scene covered in blood, but of course there's more to the story than that.

3.5* "The Five Orange Pips" - Five dried-up orange seeds in an envelope are ... a serious threat? Apparently so, when they're accompanied by the letters K.K.K. and followed by death. This one is atmospheric and compelling reading, but I'm dinging it for Doyle's complete disregard for actual historical facts about the KKK. This story is also notable for .

3.5* "The Man with the Twisted Lip" - This disappearing husband case is worth reading for the insights into Dr. Watson's character and for the evocative description of Victorian era drug abuse and opium dens.

4* "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" - A missing blue jewel and ... a goose. Doyle slips up again on his research (Sherlock would be ashamed) because carbuncles are, by definition, red jewels (rubies), but that aside, this was a really fun jewel thievery escapade.

5* "The Speckled Band" - A dying young woman, with her final breath, gasps "The speckled band!" And now her twin sister fears for her own life. The best mystery in this collection! Don't miss it.

3.75* "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb" - This mystery about an injured engineer involves not only thumbs but a sinister hydraulic stamping machine. I mean, if one of these could take out the Terminator, clearly there's some grave danger here!

3* "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor" - This story is interesting for its dealing with the once-popular social practice of American heiresses marrying British nobility, Downton Abbey-style. Otherwise, sadly, it's pretty forgettable.

4* "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet" - A desperate banker tells Sherlock that a valuable gold and beryl coronet has been stolen from his keeping, and the main suspect is the banker's son. A subtler and better mystery than I expected.

4* "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" - A red-headed governess becomes embroiled in a very odd situation. There's a strange employer, a giant dog that prowls the premises looking for people to eat, and a servant with a surprising story.

These stories are easy to pop down like so many potato chips, but I found I enjoyed them more when I spaced them out a little. Just a suggestion!

Profile Image for El Librero de Valentina.
266 reviews18.8k followers
May 31, 2022
Sherlock es un gran personaje y en estos relatos se confirma, intuitivo, observador, divertido. Watson un gran narrador se historias y el complemento perfecto de este investigador.
Mi favorito: Escándalo en Bohemia.
Profile Image for Fabian {Councillor}.
231 reviews476 followers
May 25, 2019
As a rule, the more bizarre a thing is, the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.

Who doesn't know Sherlock Holmes these days? Even if not everyone might be familiar with the original version invented by Arthur Conan Doyle, Mr. Holmes has become such a legend in his own right, a development fed and supported by numerous stage, screen and radio adaptions, that it is nearly impossible to hear the word 'detective' without immediately associating Sherlock Holmes.

'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' is a collection of altogether twelve short stories, published as the third part of the Sherlock Holmes series following Doyle's novels "A Study in Scarlet" and "The Sign of Four". Not without reason do many readers consider this collection to be Doyle's masterpiece, myself included. It simply was no masterpiece which absolutely thrilled or stunned me. Blame it on me or my inability to read all the stories from this collection in less than four months, but a lot of the fun about Holmes' and Watson's adventures was deprived from the novel by repeating exactly the same concept in each and every one of those stories.

Let's take a look at the short stories itself, which may very well represent the very essence of Doyle's works in the Sherlock Holmes canon. Beginning with A Scandal in Bohemia and concluding with The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, Doyle invented two famous female characters frequently associated with the stories about Holmes: Irene Adler and Violet Hunter. Both may be considered ahead of their times, surprisingly independent and brave. The other characters Doyle brought into play during the other ten stories were not quite as memorable, however. The Red-Headed League turned out to be a sweet little short story which isn't very outstanding in the Sherlock Holmes series because of its predictability, but still includes some interesting quotes and follows a suspense-packed plot with a conclusion which will keep you turning the pages ... just as The Boscombe Valley Mystery, an interesting mystery story about a man being suspected of having murdered his father, consisting of fast-paced dialogues and an exciting turning point. Everyone seems to have guessed the ending correctly before reading it - everyone except for me -, which may be the reason for why I liked it so much.

A Case of Identity was far off being nearly as intriguing - I have written a full review for this story here - while The Man with the Twisted Lip emerged as a really good short story with an interesting twist I would never have figured out on my own. In addition, Arthur Conan Doyle included some interesting material surrounding Sherlock's drug addiction here, and once again, he masterfully explored the friendship between Sherlock and Watson. Afterwards, a story about the influence of the Ku Klux Klan, The Five Orange Pips, eloquently narrated by Watson as usual, once again followed the pattern of a classic Holmes tale with an interesting plot and new layers of depth to the character of Sherlock Holmes. Sadly enough, it wasn't as unique as Doyle wanted the story to appear.

Another rather interesting little story, but not outstanding or mind-blowing was The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, enjoyable, but nothing more. Therein, Holmes has to deal with a stolen carbuncle appearing in the throat of a Christmas goose, entering on the search for the real culprit. The Speckled Band is one of the most well-known stories in this collection, and the hype this short story received is understandable due to its complex mystery and the stunning conclusion. I liked the story myself. However, never before has Doyle confronted us with so many plot holes, which ultimately disappointed me. A story full of potential which was stripped from its credibility for the sake of cutting it short - the story certainly provided home for more potential than some of Doyle's full-length novels. The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb deals with an engineer whose thumb is chopped off, stinging Sherlock to work out the background of this new case.

The Noble Bachelor focuses on the disappearance of a Lord's bride immediately after the wedding ceremony. Quite an entertaining story with snarky Sherlock Holmes at his best, and a stunning conclusion which once again made the reader feel as dumbfounded as John Watson about Sherlock's investigative talents. The second-last story, The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet, deals with the damage mysteriously inflicted to the coronet of a British earl, and, finally, during the conclusion of the collection Doyle rises to fresh heights of his writing with The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, breathing life into a suspenseful story surrounding a woman who assumes work at the mansion of a strange couple with dark secrets.

While most of these stories are independently enjoyable and memorable on their own, added up on each other they amount to a collection of great mysteries Doyle could have been proud of. However, for me, the problem in getting through the anthology proved to be the similar execution of each and every story. All of them started with Sherlock and Watson sitting or conversing in Sherlock's home, right before the case's new victim appeared - in most cases on the story's second page. After elaborately recounting their experiences in a way so explicitly formulated that they might have been the starting-point of a story without Sherlock or Watson being present, the second part of all the stories mainly consisted in Sherlock and Watson calling upon the location of the occurence, right before the third part was used to allow Sherlock to narrate the real events leading up to the upcoming of the mystery based on his investigations. Now and then, the second step was even skipped if Sherlock started the investigation without Watson (who was the first-person narrator, which resulted in us only being allowed to look at Sherlock's approach if Watson was present as well), and it just bothered me to read the same concept over and over again, only embedded in different plotlines. And, just as a footnote, someone should have told Sherlock not to consider every single one of his cases as the greatest challenge of his career. It became repetitive after a certain point.

However, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" remains a great work and can be seen as a tribute to the wonderful and world-wide famous characters of Holmes and Watson. My only disappointment results in my shattered hopes that Mycroft - Holmes' brother - or Moriarty - Holmes' archenemy - might be introduced during one of these stories, but my anticipation of meeting them obviously needs to wait slightly longer. Up next on my Sherlock Holmes quest: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.
Profile Image for Ola Madhour.
28 reviews
May 1, 2022
The art of analysis! I love it. I do it all the time. Not very well, I mostly pretend to be smart. But to be able to step outside the immediate physical universe, and to uncover a hidden (yet obvious) order through sheer intellect is one of the most exciting human experiences. I’m not preaching. I’m talking about the premise of the detective story.

Watson often confesses that the conclusion which Sherlock Holmes reaches is evident and most simple. Yet he remains baffled by the reasoning itself. His crime: he doesn’t observe. He sees, but he doesn’t observe. The answer is always just right there, but few can grasp it. Subtlety is key. Randomness be damned.

Of course, Doyle’s writing remains quite limited and clumsy at times and many of those he will inspire (like Joseph Conrad or Henry James) will outdo him in expanding his commitment to reasoning. There is, however, a lot to learn from the way Doyle carefully constructs his world (in a degenerative, fin de siècle, too-large-to-understand London) and how every short story in this collection aims to make sense of the senseless. I have never been drawn to fiction that celebrates the senseless. I am drawn to writers who pick up the fragments, study them and find lost connections. Are you surprised then, that T.S. Eliot once confessed to being a Sherlock Holmes admirer? Impressive, since Eliot didn’t like many things—but there are elements of modernism in Doyle’s fiction, especially in the way it calls for order, deduction and science within a realm of chaos, murder and eccentricities.
Profile Image for Namratha.
1,071 reviews233 followers
July 29, 2020
To have a slight measure of the pleasant chills that race up and down your spine when you delve into a meaty Holmes mystery, do read the introduction passage by Mark Gatiss (co-creator of BBC Entertainment’s Sherlock). Amidst a host of admirable emotions, Gatiss’ one nostalgic paragraph captured my fancy.

It goes thusly,
“I’d never read any of the original stories until one fateful Saturday when, recovering from German measles, I was given a treat : a trip to WH Smith, and the purchase of any book I wanted. There, nestling amongst all the possible contenders for my shiny fifty-pence piece was a gorgeous, plump, purple Pan paperback, with a colour-tinted Sidney Paget illustration on the cover: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Everything about it promised the thrill of mystery and the faintly queasy allure of Victoriana with which I was already and headily in love. But first came the introduction. I can’t remember much about it now, except that it ended with the moving sentiment: I wish I were reading these stories for the first time.“

*I wish I were reading these stories for the first time*

Never has a statement so effectively captured the sheer bliss of nose-diving into an old and much cherished spot of literature. What prompted me to revisit the series was BBC Entertainment’s hugely popular and marvellously brilliant show : *SHERLOCK*. A fellow fan, sharp reviewer and possessor of the prodigious talent to pick the perfect book (Yes, Mith....I am talking about you) and yours truly were jamming up our Tumblr dashboards with the magnificence of a certain Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch. Said Cumberbatch has done a splendid job of yanking Mr.Holmes into modern day London and playing him with aplomb. It doesn’t hurt that he’s very easy on the eyes too.

Ergo, when Cumberbatch (he of the cupid curls, vertiginous cheekbones and manic eye-glint) with his trusty bro-mate, Watson (Martin Freeman) graced the cover of yet another Sherlock edition, I had to lay my hands on it. All the foaming-at-the-mouth fans (and I mean that in the nicest way possible since I unashamedly head the pack) can be forgiven for labouring under the misconception that this book here, is a TV Series adaptation. It’s not.

Sadly...well, not really (because, *KNOCK KNOCK*, it’s Sherlock Holmes, the O.R.I.G.I.N.A.L.)...the book is a reprint of the twelve original mysteries as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
So when Holmes is not marvelling over the cleverness of Irene Adler, he’s scratching his head over the sudden collapse of the Red-Haired League. Whether it’s the trivial case of the Blue Carbuncle or the horrifying finale of the Speckled Band, Holmes is striding about with a befuddled Watson in tow. Dignities are being restored....genteel ladies are being chivalrously rescued.....and pages are being fraught with drama, deceit and old-fashioned danger. In short, everything that you would expect from the most famous detective of all fictional times.

What could I write in my review that would add anything new to the reams that have been dedicated to the snarkiest sleuth of them all? How do I delve into a character that’s a delightful blend of humility and egotism? How do I gush and fawn over a mind that could dissect an individual down to the tiniest speck of dust on the tip of his frock-coat?

From the moment a knock falls at the door of 221B Baker Street, you know that you are in for a treat. From the pithy to the sensational, no case escaped the interest of Holmes and his partner in crime-solving, Dr.Watson. Holmes would settle down before the roaring fireplace, light his pipe, give the despairing individual a clinical onceover, draw his (almost always correct)conclusions and then just as quickly, proceed to unravel mysteries on the strength of observation, infallible logic and that essential spark of genius cloaked in eccentricities.

In the times of darkly dreaming Dexter and stiletto wearing Detective Kate Beckett, Holmes may pale in comparison. And then again....maybe he won’t. In the cold of Victorian London, amidst the ladies who sniffed into their lacy kerchiefs and the gentleman who blustered around in their breeches, Holmes cut a dashing figure. With his dry wit and baffling disguises, he plundered the murky underbelly (ah, how I love my clichés) of crime, and almost always got his man/woman/murderous cult.

Yes, we love our modern day detective-dramas and high-octane police chases. We love the forensics lab with it’s meticulously laid out tools. We love the fact that a well-worded Google search might just catch that horrendous serial killer by the end of the one hour episode.

But, as Steven Moffat (co-creator of BBC Entertainment’s Sherlock) puts it:
"Conan Doyle's stories were never about frock coats and gas light; they're about brilliant detection, dreadful villains and blood-curdling crimes – and frankly, to hell with the crinoline. Other detectives have cases, Sherlock Holmes has adventures, and that's what matters."
Profile Image for Steven Medina.
189 reviews842 followers
February 13, 2020
Interesantes relatos. Se pueden leer en orden o al azar.

Las Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes es una recopilación de doce relatos independientes escritos por Watson, en el que se nos narra la historia, el desenlace y los métodos de deducción empleados, que usa Sherlock Holmes para resolver cada misterio. Si bien son muy cortos, eso no quita que no sean buenos. Al contrario, hay algunos que son tan buenos e incluso mejores que Estudio en Escarlata o El Signo de los Cuatro. Todos los relatos tienen la misma redacción, el inicio es parecido en su mayoría y los temas principales también se repiten en algunas ocasiones. El que me gustó más fue “La diadema de berilos” y el que me gustó menos fue “Las cinco semillas de naranja”.

El libro en general me gustó mucho, aunque como los relatos eran tan cortos, no logré disfrutarlos de la misma manera como con una historia larga y completamente desarrollada. Sin embargo, quedé satisfecho con lo que leí. Algo curioso es que al leer Las Aventuras de Sherlock Holmes, involuntariamente empecé a intentar deducir como Sherlock en mi vida cotidiana, como por ejemplo ser más observador, ver lo extraño, lo diferente, conectar todo, fijarme en los pequeños detalles, etc.

Desde el inicio cuando empecé a leer este libro, pensé en realizar un pequeño análisis y una calificación individual por cada relato, porque siento que cada uno merece una observación especial. Además de mi opinión, he decidido colocar una pequeña moraleja en cada caso, ya que es muy importante que los relatos tengan una enseñanza. Así que a continuación, está lo que pienso sobre cada relato:

1. Escándalo en Bohemia – Calificación 5/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: Un rey le pide a Holmes que lo ayudé a recuperar una foto, en la que aparece con Irene Adler y que lo puede comprometer en su matrimonio.
Opinión: Cuando vi las películas, hubo un personaje que me encanto y fue Irene Adler. En este relato ella es protagonista y no decepciona. De hecho, para que Sherlock la llame “ella”, demuestra lo importante que llega a ser. Es un relato, que nos muestra a Sherlock usando sus mejores armas para resolver un misterio, es interesante y aunque es el primero del libro, claramente es uno de los mejores. Aquí empezamos a entender que no se necesita un crimen, para que Sherlock entre en acción. Muy bueno e interesante.
Moraleja: La competencia hace más interesante las circunstancias.

2. La liga de los pelirrojos 4/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: Jabez Wilson va a consultar a donde Sherlock Holmes sobre un empleo que recientemente ha conseguido.
Opinión: La verdad este relato me causo fue risa. Imaginarme una fila de personas específicamente con el cabello pelirrojo, buscando desesperadamente un trabajo, es algo que me produce risa por lo extraña que podría parecer esa situación. En cuanto a la historia, nuevamente Sherlock hace ver todo sencillo y como las autoridades nunca sospecharían de esta clase de delitos, los deja con una imagen de ineptitud. Buen relato.
Moraleja: No todo lo que brilla es oro. Además, siempre existirán personas que se aprovecharán de la ingenuidad de las personas.

3. Un caso de identidad 3/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: Mary Sutherland le pide ayuda a Sherlock Holmes para encontrar a Hosmer Angel, su comprometido.
Opinión: Es el primer caso que se expone sobre la suplantación de identidad. Sherlock lo resuelve fácilmente, pero aquí lo verdaderamente importante es dar el mensaje, que por la avaricia las personas son capaces de traicionar incluso a su propia familia. Un buen caso.
Moraleja: Cuando se manejan temas de dinero, hay que desconfiar hasta de la propia familia.

4. El misterio del valle Boscombe 3/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: Esta vez quien le pide ayuda a Holmes para resolver un misterio es el inspector Lestrade, quien necesita averiguar el asesino del señor Charles McCarthy.
Opinión: Al igual que en Estudio en Escarlata y en El Signo de los Cuatro, un acontecimiento en el que después de conocer la historia del asesino, le damos la razón al verdugo. En este relato hay de por medio chantajes, manipulación y secretos. Aunque es un poco obvio conocer quién fue el asesino, no deja de ser una buena historia. También vemos que Sherlock, a pesar de ser un detective, usa su libre albedrío para decidir si acusar al culpable o dejarlo en libertad. Él toma sus propias decisiones.
Moraleja: La enseñanza en este caso, es que cuando intentamos ocultar la verdad, siempre sentiremos la presión de que sea descubierta.

5. Las cinco semillas de naranja 1/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: John Openshaw le pide ayuda a Holmes porque teme por su vida.
Opinión: A pesar de la calificación, debo reconocer que el relato por parte de John Openshaw, el protagonista, fue bueno. Sin embargo, creo que el final es tan malo, que perjudica por completo todo el relato. Tanto así, que siento que no merece ni calificarlo con dos puntos.
Moraleja: A pesar de ser muy buenos en lo que hacemos, también podemos equivocarnos.

6. El hombre del labio torcido 5/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: La señora Clair está preocupada por la desaparición de su esposo, el señor Neville St. Clair, y por ello requiere la ayuda de Sherlock Holmes.
Opinión: Excelente. No es un caso predecible y desde el inicio ya marca la diferencia. En la mayoría de relatos, Watson siempre se dirige a la casa de Sherlock y desde allí inicia todo, pero en esta ocasión se lo encuentra por casualidad en medio de la investigación. Este relato, es una gran crítica hacia los mendigos que se aprovechan de la caridad de la gente para no salir nunca de esa condición. También es una crítica sobre el orgullo. Antes de que se resolviera el caso, cuando ya me faltaba poco por leer, y logré deducir el misterio, sentí una gran sorpresa por todo. Adicionalmente, la importancia que tiene en este relato una simple esponja es increíble.
Moraleja: Hasta con el detalle más pequeño se puede resolver una incógnita.

7. El carbunclo azul 3/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: Es robado un carbunclo azul que le pertenece a una condesa.
Opinión: Aquí lo más destacable es la habilidad de Holmes para deducir tantos detalles con un simple sombrero. Sherlock, aquí nos explica que no todos los culpables son peligrosos, porque a veces son solo equivocaciones y que no vale la pena que se consuman esos seres en una cárcel. Adicionalmente, Sherlock reafirma que no tiene que solucionar todas las fallas de la policía. El misterio fue muy predecible en este caso.
Moraleja: La avaricia puede corromper a cualquiera y ocasionar que cometa muchas estupideces.

8. La banda de lunares 2/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: Helen Stoner está a punto de casarse, pero temé por su vida y acude a Sherlock Holmes.
Opinión: No fue interesante porque fue bastante predecible y parecido a “Un caso de identidad”. Nuevamente, todo el problema es por una herencia y al final se resuelve todo por coincidencia. No hay mucho que decir sobre este relato.
Moraleja: La enseñanza también es la misma que en “Un caso de Identidad”: Cuando se tratan temas de dinero, hay que desconfiar hasta de la propia familia.

9. El dedo pulgar del ingeniero 3/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: Victor Hatherley se corta el dedo y llega a donde Watson para que lo curé. Luego le cuenta la historia a Sherlock Holmes.
Opinión: También, es una historia relacionada con un trabajo muy lucrativo que aparece de la nada. Aquí, la participación de Sherlock es casi nula, porque prácticamente todo se trata de una narración contada por Victor. Fue una narración interesante, pero sin la activa participación de Holmes, se convierte en un texto muy simple. De haber contado con una participación seria, incluso pudo ser uno de mis relatos favoritos del libro.
Moraleja: La enseñanza es la misma que en “La Liga de los Pelirrojos”: No todo lo que brilla es oro.

10. El aristócrata solterón 2/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: Hatty Doran ha desaparecido y su esposo acude a Sherlock para que le ayude a buscarla.
Opinión: Otro caso demasiado sencillo para Sherlock. Aunque no logré sospechar lo que iba a ocurrir, al resolverse el misterio no me produjo ningún impacto, ni ninguna emoción. Simplemente, un relato más.
Moraleja: Debemos conocer a la persona con la que pretendemos casamos muy bien, antes de comprometernos.

11. La diadema de berilos 5/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: Alexander Holder, que es un prestamista, pide desesperadamente la ayuda de Sherlock por una diadema de berilos que ha sido dañada.
Opinión: Mi relato favorito. Todo, absolutamente todo estuvo genial. Los personajes estuvieron muy bien desarrollados a pesar de las pocas páginas, el relato todo el tiempo estuvo interesante, las escenas con acción fueron brillantes e incluso la forma como Sherlock siguió las pistas y resolvió todo también fue perfecto. Para mí, el mejor de los doce por mucho.
Moraleja: El amor y la confianza a veces nos puede cegar.

12. El misterio de Copper Beeches 4/5 ⭐️
Sinopsis: Violet Hunter pide asesoría a Sherlock para decidir si tomar o no un empleo.
Opinión: Interesante por los sucesos extraños que suceden alrededor de la historia. Aquí Sherlock incluso llega a plantearse siete posibilidades sobre el extraño misterio, y si Sherlock hace eso, es por lo anormal que resulta la situación a la que se enfrenta Violet Hunter. Allí hay secuestros, excentricidades, etc. Una curiosidad de este relato, es que Sherlock critica a Watson por sus relatos, porque le dice que sus textos son sensacionalistas y que en vez de darle tanta importancia al delito, debería darle más importancia a la lógica, porque es lo que a él le gustaría mostrar.
Moraleja: La verdad no se puede mantener oculta por siempre.

Y bien eso ha sido todo. Aunque hay varios detalles y más moralejas que contar de cada historia, creo que ya me he extendido demasiado, por lo que lo dejaré hasta aquí. Ahora, continuaré con las Memorias de Sherlock Holmes, llevando a cabo el mismo método de calificación que en este libro, para calificar cada relato independientemente.
Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews780 followers
April 22, 2018
After “reading” lengthy audiobooks like Vanity Fair I just wanted to read/listen-to something short. Then I saw the movie The Imitation Game (highly recommended) and I thought “Of course! Sherlock!”

I suspect reviewing an anthology by listing all the stories and commenting on each of them is probably inelegant and amateurish, but I never said I was a pro. So the game is afoot! Let the jollification begin:

A Scandal in Bohemia - Irene Adler is not Holmes' girlfriend OK? Stop shipping "Sherene" already! (sorry for this bout of Tumblrism). One of the best known SH stories ever, one with a great twist. Irene Adler is simply awesome. She is possibly the inspiration for Catwoman. Without spoiling anything I can tell you that she was never in any danger of being beheaded in the Middle East. Actually Holmes probably fancies her a bit, mostly for her brain.

The Red-Headed League - Holmes vs The Deadly Gingers! This is “a three pipes problem” according to Holmes. This story is subtly funny in places, Holmes and Watson even have a good laugh at his dimwitted client's expense.

A Case of Identity - One of the more comfy cases which Holmes can solve from his armchair. Funny thing about this story is that while it is good, when I looked at the title of the story a couple days later in the Contents page I had no idea what it is about. It's just too elementary. Note to self: This one is about a missing fiancé who leaves his nice but dim bride at the altar, he is not what he seems...

The Boscombe Valley Mystery - Murder (al)most foul. Number of pipes not specified, probably not more than four as the case involves a bit of traveling. Holmes says something surprisingly religious here: “You are yourself aware that you will soon have to answer for your deed at a higher court than the Assizes."

The Five Orange Pips - A bit of an epic fail for Sherlock, it's a great story and Holmes did solve the case but the conclusion of the case is not one of his shining moments. If you receive five orange pips in the post

The Man with the Twisted Lip
Holmes vs a master of disguise! Great story with a surprisingly sweet ending. Holmes solves this one by “sitting upon five pillows and consuming an ounce of shag.” LOL! Mr. Holmes you are too many for me.

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
In which Holmes wouldn't say boo to a goose. Underneath the cold exterior he can be quite kindly and forgiving to newbie criminals. It's a gem!

The Adventure of the Speckled Band - Holmes assists a Stoner in a most serpentine tale! This is the most thrilling and sinister story so far in the book. Definitely a favorite.

The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb - Another case where Holmes does not have to do a lot of work. The poor engineer and his ex-thumb though. The climax is quite thrilling, .

The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor The titular Noble Bachelor turns out to be an upper class twit. Doyle is doing a bit of a social satire with this story I think. A relatively inconsequential story but still a lot of fun. The wedding scene reminds me of the movie The Graduate a little bit.

The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
A tale of thievery and familial trust issues. Holmes can be quite paternal and sentimental when he chooses to be, though here he does that stuff "off screen".

The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
“They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're all together ooky”

It’s Holmes vs The Addams Family! Well, not quite but it’s not too far off. Marvelous story, featuring Violet Hunter, a resourceful and competent young lady, who is almost as awesome as Irene Adler. If Irene is Catwoman, Violet is surely Batgirl.

No Shit Sherlock* - Holmes battles his deadliest enemy, constipation! Dr. Watson to the rescue with a suppository.

Every story in this book (except that last one about constipation) is a gem. Gems come in different sizes of course, but the entire collection is definitely a treasure. Holmes is probably my favorite fictional character of all time. His intellect is practically of superhero proportion, he is also wonderfully inscrutable yet caring and staunch defender of the less well to do. Watson is an extremely important support for Holmes, his courage and loyalty to Holmes saves the sleuth’s bacon on many occasions. He is also definitely not an idiot as portrayed in some dramatization. He can be quite quick witted and observant, and of course he is our trusty narrator.

Of course it takes an actual genius to create such a vivid and convincing fictional genius. From the reader’s point of view it may seem easy to think up a crime and then retroactively create clues that will lead Holmes to solving them, but when you read these stories Holmes’ problem solving just seem so organic and natural. His reading of people’s background from observing the minutiae of their appearance is mind boggling even though we know the author create the observations to fit the characters’ appearance. The ingenious part is that Doyle makes it all so believable, and he writes with such wit, style and elegance.

If you never read any Sherlock Holmes before shame on you! I recommend starting with this collection, then go on to the novels and other collections.
* OK, I totally made this one up!

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Librivox audiobook read – nay performed – by David Clarke. Awesome job Mr. Clarke!
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,194 reviews9,457 followers
December 11, 2012
Sherlock Holmes is one of the great characters of literature - who can resist the aloof arrogance and limitless self-satisfaction which stems from that intellectual superiority with which he squishes all the dodgy baronets and rum foreign coves that turn up in the mysteries presented to him by the clients who never fail, when recounting their tangled tales, to speak in perfect paragraphs full of precisely recollected speech in a style exactly like a Conan Doyle story? I love the love story between Holmes and Watson - they may or may not be closet cases, but yes it is rather interesting how in "The Man with the Twisted Lip" when Watson stumbles over Holmes in disguise in an opium den from where Watson is retrieving the erring husband of his wife's friend late one night, without a second thought, Watson packs the stoned husband into a cabriolet and sends him home whilst he goes off with Sherlock to spend the night – never mind what a fretting wife will be thinking! Watson is of course the Boswell to Sherlock's equally-eccentric Dr Johnson and just as the great doctor got rather aggravated at Bozzy at times and swatted him like a fly, so we get this rather grim pronouncement from Sherlock - they are discussing the accounts Watson writes and publishes of Sherlock's cases, the very accounts we have been reading in this book, yes, rather postmodern of Conan Doyle:

"You have erred perhaps in attempting to put colour and life into each of your statements, instead of confining yourself to the task of placing upon record that severe reasoning from cause to effect which is really the only notable feature about the thing."

"It seems that I have done you full justice in the matter," I remarked with some coldness, for I was repelled by the egotism which I had more than once observed to be a strong factor in my friend's singular character.

"No, it is not selfishness or conceit," said he, answering, as was his wont, my thoughts rather than my words. "If I claim full justice for my art, it is because it is an impersonal thing – a thing beyond myself. Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell. You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales."

That's telling him.

But Sherlock, these are beautifully written tales! For instance, I love the pause which allows some conversation before the moment when the next agitated client twangs the Baker Street bell with another very unlikely tale. A pause where Sherlock makes some random, unexpected observations about London life or makes of tobacco or the problems of succession in Schleswig-Holstein. And then, in comes the client shaking an umbrella - Sir, a foreign gentleman cut off my thumb last night. Mr Holmes, my wife disappeared thirty minutes after we were married. Mr Holmes, they believe I killed my father. Sir, a person sent my father five orange pips through the mail, and he died shortly thereafter. Now I have received five orange pips through the mail.

The unlikeliness of the mysteries and their resolutions are delightful in many ways. Sometimes it turns out no crime has been committed. Sometimes Sherlock turns out to be the criminal! He has to break a law to obtain justice. And he dishes out summary punishments too. Sometimes the police never get involved, often they're flat-footed stooges or simply noises off. The stories become the vehicle to make many comments on England and the English – here's one I liked. Holmes and Watson are driving out into the Surrey countryside on a beautiful Spring day :

"You look at these scattered houses and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation, and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there."

"Good Heavens!" I said, "who would associate crime with these dear old homesteads?"

"They always fill me with a certain horror. It is my belief, Watson, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside."

Always fascinating, glinting with intelligence, ascerbity and occasional indirect humour, and human affection, all these stories surpassed my dim memories of them and made me very happy that there are another four volumes to go.
Profile Image for Stephanie Anze.
657 reviews112 followers
July 20, 2018
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

Sherlock Holmes is a detective consulted upon by royalty and commoners alike. Where crime is concerned, Sherlock Holmes is the key. Relying on minute information Mr. Holmes is able to solve cases that Scotland Yard cannot. Wether a murder or a disapperance, a grand mansion or the streets of London Mr. Holmes is on the case. With his trusted partner and friend Dr. John Watson by his side, Mr. Holmes takes crime by storm.

My interest for British detectives was first piqued by one Agatha Christie last year. My brother suggested that since I like Miss Christie's work, I should give Sir Doyle a go. I absolutely love this collection of short stories starring Sherlock Holmes. Residing in 221B Baker Street, Mr. Holmes takes on cases that the police are unable to solve. Kings and commoners ring his doorbell when confounded by difficult situations. His partner and biographer, Dr. John Watson accompany Holmes as he tackles crime with his keen eye. Relying on deduction and observation, Holmes seeks out the most intriguing crimes. The craftsmanship of this work is impeccable. The prose well wriiten and quite entertaining. The meting out of clues perferctly paced. So many times I felt like Watson when upon hearing the same information, was astounded that Holmes had all but solved the case. I have no qualms whatsoever about this book. It was great in regards to the setting, characterization and every case was unique and intriguing. There will certainly be more Sherlock Holmes for me.

Sherlock Holmes was first introduced in 1887, in 'A Study in Scarlet' (a work that is already on my shelves). While its believed that there are multiple sources of inspiration, one of the main ones is Joseph Bell. Joseph Bell was a real Royal Infirmary surgeon for whom Doyle had worked for as a clerk. It took some time for Holmes to become widespread but once it did, it spread like wild fire. Sherlock Holmes is now a British Cultural Icon. He is a beloved literaure character that has been portrayed on screen more so that any other fictional character. An interesting fact I have learned is that the phrase "Elemtary, my dear Watson" was not actually said by Sherlock Holmes. Yet, its one of the most attributed to him. Having now read about Holmes, I can see how his popularity only seems to increase with time. A fantastic read!
Profile Image for Teresa.
Author 8 books781 followers
December 16, 2019
It’s been fun zipping through one of these stories each night for the past twelve nights. I’ve felt rather clever after guessing correctly on a few of the outcomes, even without counting “The Speckled Band," a story I remember well from grammar school. I’m not sure why I remember it after such a long time, except for it being one of several short-stories we read that year that opened up a new world for me--thanks to a favorite English teacher. (Other stories I remember from then were by Guy de Maupassant and, of course, O. Henry, as well as the very sad “The Scarlet Ibis,” which I didn’t remember was written by one James Hurst.)

However superficially clever I might’ve felt, my guessing the outcome is not the attraction for me with these stories: It’s seeing the original elements that have since become the stock-in-trade for works about two very different buddies, working together as their personalities clash.

I also enjoy Doyle’s disparaging remarks on his own (Watson’s) stories through the mouthpiece of Sherlock. The last story of this set (“The Copper Beeches”) starts off with Watson feeling ‘cold’ toward Sherlock after the latter has noted that Watson has embellished his published statements of Sherlock’s deductions instead of sticking to a record of severe reasoning from cause to effect, going on to admonish Watson that he has degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales. Doyle then goes on to pen his most sensationalistic tale yet. (Sort of meta, isn’t it?)
Profile Image for Francesc.
391 reviews192 followers
February 22, 2021
He ido desmenuzando y degustando cada uno de estos casos.
Los casos me parecen interesantes, pero son casos menores dentro de la vida de Sherlock Holmes. Algunos casos se cierran apresuradamente y se nota que fueron publicados en revistas, aunque he de decir que aportan datos sobre la vida del gran detective. Por ejemplo: en uno de los casos Irene Adler y Holmes se conocen y esto será importante.
Los casos no son lineales en el tiempo. Saltan entre los años ya que en algunos de ellos Watson está casado y vive con Mary y, en cambio, en otros, Watson vive en el 221b de Baker Street.
Es un libro para quien desee conocer casos más pequeños en la historia de la gran pareja.

I have trashed out and tasted each of these cases.
The cases seem interesting to me, but they are minor cases in the life of Sherlock Holmes. Some cases are hastily closed and it is noticeable that they have been published in magazines, although I must say that they provide data on the life of the great detective. For example: in one case Irene Adler and Holmes meet and this will be important.
The cases are not linear in time. They jump between the years because in some of them Watson is married and lives with Mary, while in others Watson lives at 221b Baker Street.
It is a book for those who wish to learn about smaller cases in the history of the great couple.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
518 reviews412 followers
December 8, 2020
This short story collection on the adventures on Sherlock Holmes set the famous fictitious detective at his best and Mr. Doyle himself at his best as well, save except in the Hound of the Baskerville. All twelve short stories in this collection are well written and varied between 3 stars to 5 stars in my opinion on them.

A Scandal in Bohemia **** - I really liked it. It was one instance that famous detective was outwitted, and that too by a woman!

The Red-headed League *** - This was a clever mystery where Holmes finally apprehend a most wanted criminal.

A Case of Identity *** - A simple mystery but nevertheless an enjoyable read.

The Boscombe Valley Mystery **** - An interesting mystery though the culprit was pretty predictable. Still, I liked it very much.

The Five Orange Pips *** - I wish the end of this mystery was made more satisfactory.

The Man with a Twisted Lip **** - I was really surprised at the end result to his mystery. Never for a moment guessed what it would be.

The adventure of the Blue Carbuncle *** - The famous detective shows the world that under a
detached analytical self, a kind and compassionate man lives, by pardoning a thief and giving him another chance in life.

The Adventure of the Speckled Band ***** - A great mystery, a sinister villain, the exceptional
analytical skill of Holmes combines in creating a great adventure. Simply, an amazing read.

The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb *** - The mystery was interesting enough. My only regret
was that the villain were not apprehended.

The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor **** - This is the one story out of the twelve pack in which I found a comic relief. I had a hearty laugh over the way this story was presented.

The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet ***** - This is my most loved mystery out of the lot. Apart from Holmes and the dear doctor, I found an admirable character in Arthur Holder.

The Adventure of the Copper Beeches **** - Again we come across a sinister villain and how Holmes, a governess, a servant and a lover rescues an injured victim.

Overall, it was a enjoyable read. Highly recommended to those who would enjoy some quick adventures with our most beloved detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes!
Profile Image for Jan-Maat.
1,547 reviews1,821 followers
October 30, 2018
Fun. The crimes in this book are more along the lines of puzzles to work out rather than realistic depictions of crime in late Victorian- early Edwardian England. Contrived, but enjoyable.

My favourite moment, I am not positive it is in this collection, is when Holmes and Watson are on a train steaming through the countryside and Watson makes an observation about the peaceful looking pretty cottages for which Holmes rebukes him 'no one knows what dark crimes are committed behind those doors' - reversing a view of the country as peace and the city as locus of iniquit,y instead the countryside is the place of dark Hardian misery (where engineers' thumbs may be cut off with impunity, and daughters forever imprisoned) while in the busy teeming city every crime will be found out and the brutal, or dishonest perpetrator brought to justice. Enjoyably I love in the story of "The man with a twisted lip" the ever green urban legend that beggars are secretly rich men - hamming up their incapacity for work while earning piles of money by sitting on a street corner.
Profile Image for James.
425 reviews
November 23, 2017
Classic Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle at his finest.

If you've read and enjoyed any books in the Sherlock Holmes series - then read them all, they are all consistently great. Sherlock Holmes must be one of the greatest literary characters ever created and the stories are so very well written.

Intriguing, compelling, intelligent, exciting, page-turning fun of the highest order.
Profile Image for Michael || TheNeverendingTBR.
467 reviews161 followers
December 1, 2022
These are wonderful stories that transport you back to London in the 1800s.

The writing style flows really well and it doesn't take long to finish one of the stories, so you can read one and put it down, then go back to it.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this classic and would recommend it for those who seek a feel for 19th century society.
Profile Image for Eliasdgian.
409 reviews110 followers
June 22, 2020
Στις δώδεκα ιστορίες του βιβλίου ο δρ. Γουάτσον αφηγείται, ο Σέρλοκ Χολμς αποδεικνύει για πολλοστή φορά πόσο μοναδικά παρατηρητικός και οξυδερκής είναι, και ο σερ Άρθουρ Κόναν Ντόιλ προσφέρει στο αναγνωστικό κοινό την τέρψη που συνεπάγεται η ανάγνωση μιας ωραίας ιστορίας μυστηρίου (εις την δωδεκάτη). Ασήμαντη λεπτομέρεια ότι ανάμεσα στις δώδεκα αυτές ιστορίες που δημοσιεύτηκαν μηνιαία από τον Ιούλιο του 1891 μέχρι και τον Ιούνιο του 1892 βρίσκονται οι δύο που ο Ντόιλ είπε κάποτε πως είναι οι καλύτερές του («Η κορδέλα με τις βούλες» και «Η οργάνωση των κοκκινομάλληδων»). Αν ρωτάτε εμένα να διαλέξω, θα επέλεγα, όχι χωρίς δισταγμό «Το γαλάζιο ρουμπίνι» και «Το διάδημα με τα σμαράγδια»∙ α, και στιχομυθίες όπως η παρακάτω:

(δρ. Γουάτσον) «Φοβάμαι ότι τα γεγονότα είναι τόσο εμφανή που θα δυσκολευτείς να κερδίσεις αυτή την υπόθεση».
(Σέρλοκ Χολμς) «Τίποτα δεν είναι πιο απατηλό από ένα εμφανές γεγονός».
Profile Image for Rodrigo.
1,052 reviews407 followers
February 17, 2022
Bueno pues se acabó, ha sido un placer volver a leer a Sherlock, nos volveremos a encontrar ,espero que no tarde mucho, mis puntuaciones:
ESCANDALO EN BOHEMIA 3/5 (interesante caso en el que Sherlock no gana).
UN CASO DE IDENTIDAD 2.5/5 Estos 2 relatos puede que hayan sido de los mas "flojitos"
EL MISTERIO DEL VALLE DE BOSCOMBE 4/5 Este es mi Holmes!!! Aqui vemos a Holmes desplegando su potencial.
LA BANDA DE LUNARES 5/5 Este es mi Sherlock!!
LA CORONA DE BERILOS 5/5 Muy bueno para cerrar el libro.
Media: 3/5
La puntuación puede que no haga justicia con el libro pero el problema han sido los casos en los que no había misterio de asesinato o de secuestros y además y algún caso ha quedado poco resuelto o inconcluso.
Pero si que es cierto que las dotes de deducción siguen siendo magistrales.
" Cuando has eliminado lo imposible, lo que queda,, por muy improbable que parezca, tiene que ser la verdad" FRASE MITICA DE SHERLOCK
# 34. Un libro ambientado en la época Victoriana. Reto popsugar 2022
Profile Image for Aishu Rehman.
817 reviews736 followers
December 28, 2020
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of twelve short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. It was first published on 14 October 1892. Follow the brilliant Sherlock Holmes and his devoted assistant, Dr. Watson — as they investigate a dozen of their best-known cases.

Featured stories in this collection include several of the author's personal favorites: "A Scandal in Bohemia" — in which a king is blackmailed by a former lover and Holmes matches wits with the only woman to attract his open admiration — plus "The Speckled Band," "The Red-Headed League," and "The Five Orange Pips." Additional mysteries include "The Blue Carbuncle," "The Engineer’s Thumb," "The Beryl Coronet," "The Copper Beeches," and four others.
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