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Nice Bound Collection of Some of the Short Stories Starring Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -  Arthur Conan Doyle

This collection of short stories by Barnes and Noble was worth the price. I loved the sparkly cover (the lettering is in silver) and there are also illustrations included. The pages are nicely edged as well and it comes with it's own personal bookmark. That said, I enjoyed all of the stories, though two of them were five stars in my opinion.


"A Scandal in Bohemia" (3 stars)-This apparently was the first short story featuring Holmes, but the third story featuring Holmes. We find Watson happily married in this one and back to practicing medicine. He stops by Holmes place at Baker Street and comes across Holmes being involved in a case that involves "The Woman" AKA Irene Adler. Can I say that one of the few things the Sherlock series did was with the character of Irene Adler? I loved her in the Cumberbatch and Freeman series. Ahem. I thought that the overall character of Adler didn't work for me in this one. Why does she refuse to give back the photos? Why would she waste herself over someone she purports to not care about? All in all an okay read, just not that thrilling. 


"The Red-Headed League (5 stars)-I kind of got a kick out of a story that has red headed men in it as the stars so to speak. I do have to say that the character of Jabez Wilson was not that smart. Maybe because I don't trust anyone and watch too much Forensic Files type shows I would have thought the whole advertisement for red-headed men was up to no good. You don't need Sherlock Holmes to say hey there is something wrong here. Still though, I really did enjoy this one since I didn't see the why behind the story coming at all. 


"The Five Orange Pips" (3 stars)-I liked this one. Not my favorite of the stories, but thought it was very good. I started reading and even went huh to the five orange pips that were sent to the character Elias Openshaw. This one creeped me out to read though since it includes references to the KKK and them going after the Openshaw men. There is rough justice in this one though, but the ending ultimately left me slightly unsatisfied. I like it when the criminals are caught and confronted in the end. 


"The Blue Carbuncle" (3 stars)-We have Holmes and Watson tracking down how a priceless gem ended up in a goose's throat. This is so random. I never read this one before now so it's entirely new story to me. It just didn't make a lot of sense I found. I also didn't like the idea of the guilty party getting away and Holmes acting all well the person who was accused will totally just get out of this jam even though I know they didn't do it.


"The Speckled Band" (5 stars)- I read this story during high school English class and I enjoyed it then and now. This one creeped me out for days cause I already have an overactive imagination and now I of course start thinking about things that can bump or slither in the night. I do still want to know why the character of Helen Stoner would even still be hanging around her stepfather who obviously has a lot wrong with him. 


"The Beryl Coronet"- (3 stars)-This was a rather weird case I found. A banker takes home a beryl coronet and is then awakened by his son bending the thing and finds some stones missing. I easily guessed who the guilty party was in this one though. I also once again wondered at Holmes letting the guilty party(ies) go free. Holmes going that one of the parties will get what is coming to them by their association with the other person was kind of eh to me. 


"The Hound of the Baskervilles" (4 stars)-Re-read again for the second time. Here is my previous review. All of it still stands.


For such a short story, it did take a while to get going. We have Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson involved in a case of a mysterious hound that a man (James Mortimer) believes killed his friend Charles Baskerville. James is concerned since the new heir to the Baskerville estate, Sir Henry. There is a lot of clues and in the end, Holmes and Watson solve the mystery.

I like these stories (well the ones I have read) for the most part because we get told the story from Watson's point of view, with lots of Holmes running commentary. This one was lacking I thought since we get very little Holmes in this. I would liken it to the Poirot mystery I read last year where he solves the crime by sitting in his apartment, but had someone else do all of the work (The Clocks). Instead we have lots of Watson being on the scene and writing to Holmes to share his comments on everyone around the Baskerville estate.

I think the last story I read and really enjoyed about Sherlock and Doctor Watson was "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." Probably because the way the suspect set things up was very clever to me. And I loved the final resolution to everything as well. This story has whet my appetite somewhat for Holmes and Watson, so maybe I will start trying to read the first couple of stories again soon. 

I can honestly say that I found the writing to be just a little bit muddled at times. I at one point could not follow who was who and who had done what (the two main women in the story). And I kind of called nonsense at how the whole thing was set-up. Maybe it's just me, but I think you could think of something better to do if you want to get rid of people. The flow was rather painful too for such a short story. I think it was jumping from Watson's narrative to his letters, and without Holmes around to provide clarity, I had no idea if what Watson was doing would ultimately be germane to the plot.

The setting of the Baskerville estate was perfect for a Halloween read though. A huge home alone on the moor with a dangerous hound afoot. We even get Watson out and about during a moonlit night for those who may want to read this for another bingo square. 

The ending was slightly clumsy too. We had Holmes repeat what we already knew to Watson, and what Watson already knew too. I think it was to try to explain away a lot of holes in the story though, which Holmes or in this case Doyle did not do a very good job of. 


Yes! I officially have my card for mauled by a demon hound.