Title: The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Page Count/Review Word Count: 318
Now, I’m already inclined to give this book a good review because I happen to own a beautiful copy in hardback, but they say you should never judge a book by its cover. In this case, though, you’d be right to.
See, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a fantastic writer, and certainly the best of his era in my opinion – every Sherlock Holmes story is a treasure, even the ones that he wrote in his later years when his creativity was beginning to dwindle, and this collection features twelve of them – sheer bliss!
But then, Conan Doyle published a whole bunch of short story collections, so what makes this so special? Well, perhaps it’s the fact that it almost didn’t exist at all – it was Conan Doyle’s first collection of Sherlock Holmes stories for twelve years, and came after the apparent death of the detective at the hands of Colonel Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. The public outcry at the great detective’s demise was so great that the author was forced to resurrect his creation, and this is the result.
There are several stories in this collection that are particularly worth attention, like The Adventure of the Dancing Men, which is notable for being one of only two stories in which Holmes’ client dies after asking for his help. The Adventure of Black Peter is also notable because of the gruesome nature of the murder – the victim is harpooned and, as Holmes observes, it takes a lot of strength and skill to harpoon someone and stick them in to a wall.
The collection ends on a prophetic note – Holmes retires and forbids Watson to publish any more stories. For how long, you wonder, will that continue? It’s elementary, my dear Watson.