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389 pages, Paperback
First published October 14, 1892
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.
“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.“
"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."