The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #3) by Arthur Conan Doyle
I’m making my way through the books on my shelf, and while I’d read this collection, it had been awhile. I have one collection left to read, so I thought I might as well make a whole adventure out of it. As it turns out, Sherlock Holmes makes for an entertaining and light re-read, with plenty of guesswork and adventure to be found in it. This time around, I even figured out a few of the mysteries!
In The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Doyle crafts short stories that encapsulate a series of separate adventures upon which Holmes and his faithful partner in mystery, Dr. John Watson, embark. Dr. Watson, as the chronicler of all mysteries, shares his thoughts on the adventures and editorializes their aftermaths, both for himself and for Holmes. The stories are almost equally fun and well-written, but I would like to point out the best of the collection:
“A Scandal in Bohemia”: I first heard of this story when it was featured on my beloved PBS show Wishbone. I do so wish that they would release an entire collection of every single episode ever, because that show was a damn delight. Anyway, this is a story about psychology and one of the few people that can outsmart Sherlock Holmes. Namely, the iconic Irene Adler, who will always be the Sherlock version to me.
“A Case of Identity”: A young woman is engaged to be married. Her uncomfortably young stepfather wants to forbid the marriage, but he’s never met her fiancé. They’re never around at the same time. What could possibly be happening? The answer was delightfully obvious to me. I was pleased to get it before John Watson did.
“The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”: By dint of misfortune, a man is attacked by a rabble and loses both his hat and his Christmas goose. Holmes and Watson cut up the goose to find a beautiful blue ruby in the crop. And the game is afoot (which is actually never said in the books).
“The Adventure of the Speckled Band”: Okay, this one involves a snake, so getting through it was a major matter of willpower. But it’s so well-crafted that I couldn’t not include it in this list.
“The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”: I would very much like to see this tackled on the BBC Show, because it’s just plain weird. A young woman is commissioned as a governess and requested to wear a certain dress at a certain day and to cut her hair a certain way. And not to go into a certain room. The creepy factor is high and the mystery is well-constructed.
To wit: this is a well-crafted, interesting collection of short stories, and I’m eager to see revisit Conan Doyle’s character and adventures. While I think starting with A Study in Scarlet and working your way through the mysteries is a great idea, you wouldn’t be harmed if you chose to skip ahead to this collection.