Title: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Page Count/Review Word Count: 307
If you pick up a copy of a Sherlock Holmes book, you know that it’s going to be good – that’s a given. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective is one of the best-known and best-loved characters in classical fiction, and that’s quite the achievement. First published in 1894, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is typical of a Sherlock Holmes collection in that it contains twelve short stories.
Two of the stories do stand out though – Silver Blaze and The Final Problem, two stories which don’t actually involve a client. In Silver Blaze, the great detective investigates the disappearance of a race horse and the murder of its trainer, the night before an important event – it’s also the short story which inspired the name of Mark Haddon’s ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time‘.
The Final Problem, meanwhile, is one of Conan Doyle’s most famous short stories, featuring the notorious Professor Moriarty and ending with Holmes’ apparent death at the Reichenbach Falls. Conan Doyle later resurrected his creation due to overwhelming demand from the public. I’m not aware of that ever happening either before or since, although I’m sure it has.
If you’re looking for somewhere to start, there’s no better place to start than The Memoirs of the Sherlock Holmes. It was written during Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s golden period during the latter years of the 19th century. Detective stories don’t get much better than this, you can keep your modern crime thrillers – they just don’t make ’em like they used to, more’s the pity. The world could use another man like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, just without the weird obsession with spirituality he developed during his final years.