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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3)
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Doyle's Sherlock Holmes > The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #3 *SPOILERS*

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message 1: by Kelly B (last edited Apr 29, 2014 10:47AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments Spoiler thread for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #3 (May group read).


message 2: by MK (last edited Apr 29, 2014 11:17AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3) by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was chosen from monthly nominations as our May Old School Classic Group Read. I hope you will join the conversation! This thread is open to full discussions about the book, go ahead and spoiler away! :)


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For discussions that don't include plot spoilers, here is the link to the Non-Spoiler thread.


Thankyou! Happy Reading :D

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Other installments of Sherlock Holmes have been previous group reads, so we went ahead and set up a thread for each of the remaining ones as well. The folder contains threads for each of the 9 Sherlock Holmes books (some are novels, some are collections of short stories). Feel free to read as many of them as you'd like, book discussion threads always remain open!

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Here is a goodreads link to the Series Order for all the Sherlock Holmes Books (9 books, plus a complete one, for the 10th): https://www.goodreads.com/series/4999...


Here is a 'table of contents' of sorts to our group's book threads :):

A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes #1)
first impressions threadspoiler thread

The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes #2)
book thread

---> MAY'S BOOK - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #3)
first impressions threadspoiler thread


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #4)
book thread

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5)
book thread

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #6)
book thread

The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes #7)
book thread

His Last Bow (Sherlock Holmes #8)
book thread

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #9)
book thread

The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #1-#9)

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Link to nominating thread - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
Link to poll - https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/9...
Link to the folder for Sherlock Holmes* discussions - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...
*The book for May is Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (but all nine Sherlock Holmes book discussion pages are in that folder).

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There are also several film/tv adaptations of Sherlock Holmes stories. If you've seen any of them, and/or would like to discuss it/them, here's a link - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

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Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments So, I just finished the first story, The Woman from Bohemia. I thought it a bit dull, and predictable.

I was amused a few paragraphs in to see it mentioned that Sherlock was using cocaine;-). I knew he was into opium, but didn't know he was into cocaine too. I've got an "Americanized" version of the book, so I guess it's possible the publisher changed it from opium to cocaine for some reason. I'd be interested to see if it's cocaine or opium in the original, English version--does anyone know?


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments Melanti wrote: "You could probably track down an old British copy on Google Books, and it's old enough that full text searching should be enabled.

But I could have sworn that it was cocaine in The Sign of Four, not opium. What book is he addicted to opium in?"


Maybe it is cocaine instead of opium. The only other Holmes' story I remember reading is Hound of the Baskervilles in middle or high school, and I suspect that was either an abridged version, or all drug use left out;-). For some reason, I was thinking Holmes=opium addict.


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments Melanti wrote:"I did some research on Victorian era drug use when I read The Sign of Four, and from what I read, it was basically regarded as a vice but not as bad as we think of it today. More on par with binge drinking than our current views. Drug use wasn't declared illegal in the UK until about WWI."

It's interesting how differently they viewed drug use. I wonder if addiction was more or less of a problem back then compared to now?


message 6: by Tytti (last edited Apr 29, 2014 11:18AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tytti | 1092 comments I believe Holmes' drug of choice was cocaine. Though in some story he might have been addicted to opium, too, or it might have been just a cover. From Wikipedia: "Holmes is also an occasional user of morphine but expressed strong disapproval on visiting an opium den."

And like I mentioned earlier, methamphetamine was commonly used after WWII, especially in sports. They had distributed pills to soldiers when they had to stay awake for a long time. In Finland especially the long-range reconnaissance patrols (they operated behind enemy lines for weeks) and pilots used them.


Melanti | 2386 comments Kelly wrote: "It's interesting how differently they viewed drug use. I wonder if addiction was more or less of a problem back then compared to now? ..."

Here's one of the links I found when I was researching the topic last time. It gives a good summary of the opinions of the time and how it applied to Holmes.

http://www.bakerstreetdozen.com/coca....

So about 1890 or so they started realizing that cocaine could be harmful, but it was still considered a "lesser" addition than alcoholism or opiate abuse


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments Interesting! Thanks for the link.

It mentions in the article how Doyle wrote so fast that he often didn't revise his stories. I'm not really impressed with his writing so far, and I couldn't help thinking that the lack of revisions shows:-).


message 9: by MK (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Kelly wrote: "It mentions in the article how Doyle wrote so fast that he often didn't revise his stories. ..."

That's funny, b/c I think I remember noticing an inconsistency in either the 1st or 2nd one. Can't recall which it was now.


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments I'm reading The Man with the Twisted Face right now (one of the stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #3), and came across this paragraph where Sherlock is talking to Watson after the two of them unexpectedly meet in an opium den:

"I suppose, Watson, that you imagine that I have added opium-smoking to cocaine injections, and all the other little weaknesses on which you have favoured me with your medical views."

I love how he's so casual about his cocaine injections;-).


message 11: by Kelly B (last edited Apr 30, 2014 12:59PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments I just finished the book this afternoon. I'm glad it was a short and easy read, because I didn't like it.

The one thing I did like about the book was the quaintness of the setting. It was charming to read about riding a hansom cab through London, sitting around the fire, and visiting the country estates.

I did not like the so-called mysteries. I thought they were very predictable, with Doyle throwing out so many clues from the begining it was easy to figure out who the culprit was. I definitely would not recommend this book for readers who like complicated mysteries with unexpected twists;-).

I really disliked how Holmes would describe in detail to clueless Watson how he solved the mysteries. I realize Doyle did that in order for the reader to be let in on everything, but I found it redundant and distracting. I'd rather figure out things on my own, thank you very much.

I also disliked how gullible a few of the minor characters were. The Red Headed League?! Would anyone be that foolish to believe such a thing existed? And the young woman who fell in love with her own stepfather in disguise, believing he was someone else? Ridiculous! One really has to suspend belief with these stories and read them more for the characters and setting.

One more thing I did like....Sherlock Holmes! I thought he was an interesting character. I didn't care much for Watson. He seemed to serve as no other purpose but as a mouthpiece for the author to explain how the mysteries were solved.


message 12: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Brown (beautygoodbook) No matter how many times I read it the speckled band scares me to death.. I love it.


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments Cindy wrote: "No matter how many times I read it the speckled band scares me to death.. I love it."

I felt sorry for the poor snake;-)!

It would be really creepy knowing it was crawling somewhere in the room with you...in the dark, no less.


message 14: by Kelly B (last edited May 01, 2014 02:27PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments I found this interesting article from the Wall Street Journal about how Doyle felt about the Sherlock Holmes stories:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/S...

WARNING: The article contains a HUGE SPOILER from a later story/book, for those who plan to read the entire series.


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments And another link: 19 things you may not know about Arthur Conan Doyle, from the Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tv...

(Also contains a BIG SPOILER for one of the later Sherlock stories)

I thought #17 especially interesting:-)


Daniel (dward526) I am really enjoying these reread. I feel a read of The Complete Sherlock Holmesmay be on my list soon.


message 17: by MK (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Daniel wrote: "I am really enjoying these reread. I feel a read of The Complete Sherlock Holmesmay be on my list soon."

I think I'm going to work my way through them all too. Will be my first time through tho. Somehow I never read them before this!


message 18: by MK (last edited May 05, 2014 01:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Kelly wrote: "So, I just finished the first story, The Woman from Bohemia. I thought it a bit dull, and predictable. ..."

I just finished that one. :)
I kinda liked it! That's the only one from the collection I've read so far, but I think I might like Sherlock in short story form, better than in novel/novella form. Which is weird, b/c I was pretty sure I didn't like short stories much.

"A Scandal in Bohemia"
Holmes, Watson and the king of Bohemia


source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Scanda...


The ebook I'm reading is illustrated, which I'm really enjoying! Too bad the illustrations are all small though. You can't pull them bigger, inside a Kindle book page, like you could if you were surfing a web page on the same device (I'm reading on a Fire HD, currently).


message 19: by Kim (last edited May 03, 2014 01:33AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) Just read short story #1: A Scandal in Bohemia.

What a disappointment! After the first two novels, which had some serious action going on and succeeded in making the reader curious and build up some mystery around the whole thing, this was just a lame old story about a King's affair with a smart girl. Okay, the way Holmes set up the whole thing with the fight and the fire was nice, but I'm talking about the whole marriage thing and then her being in love and just close the whole case. "Oh by the way I'm suddenly in love now, so don't you bother!!!"
And the king just believes her? She's a woman, dude. You don't want to take her word for it. I swear, you don't. I really hope there will be some sort of sequel to this, because to me this looked like an introduction to a whole better story. And if not: BOO!! >:D


oh BTW: I was confused when They suddenly called the landlady Mrs. Turner. I thought her name was Mrs. Hudson? Or what exactly do they mean with this part:

“When Mrs. Turner has brought in the tray I will make it clear to you. Now,” he said as he turned hungrily on the simple fare that our landlady had provided..."


message 20: by Kelly B (last edited May 03, 2014 05:56AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments I found the part where they call the landlady Mrs. Turner, but I couldn't find where she's called Mrs. Hudson. Unless that was in one of the earlier books you read?

Apparently Doyle wrote fast and didn't always revise his writing. I've read he could sometimes mix/goof things up, such as descrbing Holmes being in a stupor-like state after taking cocaine...there's been some speculation Doyle meant to write opium or laudanum. Maybe Mrs. Hudson/Mrs. Turner is a similiar case: he messed up and wrote Mrs. Turner when he should have written Mrs. Hudson (or vice versa).

I thought several parts in A Scandal of Bohemia were silly. Yeah, probably not the smartest of the King to be fine with Irene keeping the photo. If she's widowed/divorced/mad at her husband/wants to blackmail the king what's to stop her from threatening to mail it again?

The mask the King wore to try and disguise himself was not very believable. It was at that point I had a strong feeling I wouldn't like the stories.

It would have been hilarious if the photo hadn't been hidden in Irene's house, so she wouldn't have tried to save it. Definitely all the Sherlock stories require things to happen as Sherlock plans in order for the mystery to be solved. Real life isn't that simple, but I guess since these stories were originally written for magazines readers liked everything solved nice and neat by the end of the article.


message 21: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) Kelly wrote: I found the part where they call the landlady Mrs. Turner, but I couldn't find where she's called Mrs. Hudson. Unless that was in one of the earlier books you read?

Oh yes I forgot to mention that she is called Mrs. Hudson in the first two novels. I read those right before this one, so I noticed the change!

I hadn't read anything about Doyle and his rivising "issues", so thank you, that might explain it. :P

And yes, I too can sense a pattern here where Sherlock is (so far) NEVER wrong. Everything happens just the way he expects it to. I read the the second story as well in the meantime and it's just the exact same thing. He sees the "bad guy", figures everything out and then predicts exactly what is going to happen next. This might become a little boring after reading a few...


message 22: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Brown (beautygoodbook) Kelly wrote: "I felt sorry for the poor snake;-)!

It would be really creepy knowing it was crawling somewher..."


I never met a snake I felt sorry for. And oh my it would be beyond creepy knowing its there.


message 23: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) Cindy wrote: And oh my it would be beyond creepy knowing its there.

This reminds me of a few years ago when I was camping... After 10 days, we were going home and when we were taking the tents down, there was this extremely creepy white/grey snake underneath our tent, where I slept!!!! I was so grossed out by that, oh my god, I can't be sure that he was there during the night or something, but still.. So gross. I slept on the floor you know, it would be crawling right next to me, oh no I still get the chills. :(


message 24: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Brown (beautygoodbook) Kim wrote: "This reminds me of a few years ago when I was camping... After 10 days, we were going home and when we were taking the tents do..."

I would have died....


Melanti | 2386 comments I can relate! I was backpacking a couple of years ago with a friend, and we laid our packs on the ground when we took a break. When we were ready to move on, I reached down to grab my bag and there, right next to where my head would be if I had the pack on was a scorpion! I REALLY hope he crawled up there while we were sitting there, because the other option would be that I had just spent the last few miles with him perched a few inches from the back of my head.


message 26: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Brown (beautygoodbook) Melanti wrote: "I can relate! I was backpacking a couple of years ago with a friend, and we laid our packs on the ground when we took a break. When we were ready to move on, I reached down to grab my bag and the..."

this is why I don't hike lol


message 27: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) I can totally imagine animals thinking: I'm just gonna sit here and scare the crap out of that human, heh. >:D


Melanti | 2386 comments Kim wrote: "And yes, I too can sense a pattern here where Sherlock is (so far) NEVER wrong. Everything happens just the way he expects it to. I read the the second story as well in the meantime and it's just the exact same thing. He sees the "bad guy", figures everything out and then predicts exactly what is going to happen next... "

This is exactly why I didn't like it. He knows everything, he's never wrong, and it's all trivial to him.


message 29: by MK (last edited May 05, 2014 01:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments I am reading the second story, II - "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League"
Watson reading the newspaper to Holmes and Wilson.

source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adve...


I haven't finished it yet, but there's an odd bit of phrasing in it, which I don't understand the meaning of:

"Still I confess that I miss my rubber. It is the first Saturday night for seven-and-twenty years that I have not had my rubber."
(at p.22 on my kindle book)


Is this an English thing, or an old-fashioned thing, or just something that I don't know? Does anyone know what a rubber is, in this instance?


Melanti | 2386 comments Just googled it for you. Rubber would be slang for a card game - probably Whist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedi...

You apparently weren't the only one confused!


message 31: by MK (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Melanti wrote: "Just googled it for you. Rubber would be slang for a card game - probably Whist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedi...

You..."



huh! someone asked because of the same story! You are good, Melanti. tyvm :D muchly appreciated.

*a creepy hand just reached up* I have to find out what happened ... .:p. back to reading!


message 32: by MK (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments L'homme n'est rien, l'oeuvre tout <<<--- had to google :p. "The man is nothing, the work all."

The story ended with a French quote. Not speaking French, this was a bit of a disappointment :p.


Done story #2 - The Red-Headed League. I'm enjoying these silly little stories very much. I see them as campy kitsch, not high literature. And in that spirit, they're a hoot :D


message 33: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) The Red-Headed League

(view spoiler)



A Case of Identity

(view spoiler)


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments With the The Red Headed League, I wondered how the red haired man could be so gullible. Although if I were him, I would have suspected my employee was trying to get me out of the way to rob the shop, rather than dig a tunnel. That's where I thought the story was heading first.

With the Case of Identity, I wondered how the young lady could not know her suitor was her own stepfather. And then Sherlock's comment at the end about him not telling her the truth because she wouldn't believe it anyway: I thought "Great, now the stepfather and mother will think up some other scheme to try and get the money!" But, on the other hand, if the young lady is so foolish she can't tell it's her stepfather dressed up, maybe she shouldn't have the money anyway, LOL! (Kidding on the last part;-).


message 35: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) Kelly wrote: "I wondered how the red haired man could be so gullible."

Yep, that's kind if true. I guess you could argue that we sometimes believe things too soon when there's money involved. And 4 pounds was a considerable sum, I suppose.

And the young lady did not strike me as a very intelligent one, haha! When she was giving the description of her husband, she came across as a rather simple girl..


message 36: by MK (last edited May 07, 2014 04:23AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Kim wrote: " The Red-Headed League

[spoilers removed] A Case of Identity

This was the first story that I figured out by myself!! I am the new Sherlock!!
Kidding, this story was really predictable from real..."


haha! I just finished this one. I guess I am really slow, b/c I didn't figure out this one ahead of time, either :p. I thought maybe there was a collaboration, but I didn't see the actual solution.

Kelly, once I knew the answer, I couldn't imagine how she could have not known, either!

"A Case of Identity"
Holmes welcoming Miss Mary

source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Case_o...


Did anyone else notice the "elementary" usage in this story? I was wondering if it was the first instance of the famous catchphrase? Although, it was not the "It's elementary, my dear Watson!" that was used. I wonder if that ever actually turns up, that phrase. Or if it's like the Star Trek tagline, "Beam me up, Scotty!", which was never said in the tv series :p.


Tytti | 1092 comments MK wrote: "I wonder if that ever actually turns up, that phrase."

Nope, IIRC.


message 38: by MK (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments ahhhh ... *disappointment*!

Thx, Tytti :)


message 39: by MK (last edited May 05, 2014 01:58PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments I read story #4 - "The Boscombe Valley Mystery"
Holmes and Watson on the train to Boscombe Valley.


source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bosc...


This one didn't really leave me with any questions or surprises. Sadly, I'm still 0 for 4 with figuring out the solution ;-). Happily, I'm still enjoying these little nibbles very much.


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments I thought it was interesting that Sherlock once again decided to keep the culprit a secret! It seems like even though the son was aquitted, there's always be that suspicion surrounding him that he was the murderer.

I thought it ironic that John Turner supposedly was reformed and on the "straight and narrow" now, but then kills somebody. Apparently he wasn't so far from his Ballarat Gang roots as he thought!


message 41: by Kim (last edited May 05, 2014 03:12PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) The Boscombe Valley Mystery

(view spoiler)

The Five Orange Pips

(view spoiler)


message 42: by MK (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments He does walk his own road, Kelly, lol. He certainly doesn't feel obligated to turn over to the police any criminals :D. That IS ironic about John Turner! I hadn't noticed it. I was just lulled into thinking it all made a certain kind of 'code of thieves' sense :p

Kim, I quite agree with your observation about Holmes not being in the pursuit of justice!


message 43: by Kim (last edited May 06, 2014 03:44AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim (whatkimreads) The Man with the Twisted Lip
(view spoiler)

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

(view spoiler)


Melanti | 2386 comments Kim Wrote: "Oh yes I forgot to mention that she is called Mrs. Hudson in the first two novels. I read those right before this one, so I noticed the change!"

I'm giving in to peer pressure and joining in on these books. I read the first book yesterday. She's actually never named at all in that book. She's just "the landlady".

Looking at where the search results are located, that particular "Mrs. Turner" is the only one in the complete works though. There's a "Miss Turner" and "Mr. Turner" somewhere later on in the "Adventures of..." but it "Mrs. Hudson" appears throughout all the stories.

I've definitely read at least as far as "The Red-Headed League" since I at least vaguely recall the first two stories. I don't remember them all that well though. I must have been 9? 10? when I read these last.


message 45: by MK (new) - rated it 4 stars

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Welcome to the read, Melanti! *big grin*

Kim, I didn't get one read today. You're speeding well past me, almost up to Kelly on the finish line :)


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments Kim wrote: "The Man with the Twisted Lip
Again, I figured out that the man who was missing, was actually "his murderer". I'm getting better at this! But, I didn't figure out the story behind it like that he s..."


I think The Man With the Twisted Lip was my favorite (or at least the story I hated the least, LOL!) in the book. I didn't figure out the big twist until near the end.

I wondered how the man would now legitimately make a living;-). The wife might prefer he go back to begging if money becomes too tight, LOL!


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments As for The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, I'm embarrassed to admit I've completely forgotten what happens!!


Tytti | 1092 comments Kelly wrote: "As for The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, I'm embarrassed to admit I've completely forgotten what happens!!"

It's a Christmas story featuring geese. Not one of my favourites.


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments Oh, yeah, now I sort of remember it. That one was really "meh" for me too.


message 50: by Teo (new)

Teo Cristina | 8 comments I think that my favorite is " The hound of the baskervilles". Is full of mistery and cliffhanger.It's nice to read that story on a juicy night :) but I also like very much all the Sherlock"s adventures.


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