Saturday 17 November 2012

The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

In the last set of stories by Conan Doyle Sherlock had met his bitter end at the hands of his genius nemesis, Moriarty. Or so we thought. The first of these short stories brings the return of Sherlock Holmes as he tells Watson how he managed to escape his enemy whilst solving the seemingly unsolvable. As a result we are treated to more tales of the wonderful Sherlock by the pen of his trusted friend, Watson.

Yay! Sherlock is back. Although I wasn't quite sure how that was going to happen. The first of these three short stories is set three years after the events of the last one in the previous collection. We hear all about Holmes and his adventures. What we don't hear is what happened to Watson in all that time. The reason I am curious is that the tales that follow Watson seems to be again living with his friend. There is no mention of his wife or of his practice. Did he leave both for Holmes? Not that I could blame him but I would like to know.

The next 12 stories follows the same style as the rest. Not that I am complaining as I could never be bored of them. There is no puzzle too small or too large so long as Holmes finds it interesting. He saves the country from war, saves a man from hanging, discovers who stole and exam paper and saves a lady from being forced into a marriage.

Holmes himself seems a bit more human in these tales. His three years away seem to have mellowed him somewhat. He no longer takes drugs to save him from boredom (although that threat is always there) and he is more tolerant of people. He even seems to like Lestrade although is amused by his deductions.

I read this as part of the classics challenge hosted by Katherine of November's Autumn. This months prompt is to look back over the last year. I am supposed to pick my favourite from among the classics I have read but I am finding that difficult. I enjoyed most of them. Virginia Woolf is probably the author I am most likely to go back and visit again as I loved Mrs Dalloway. I would also read more by Elizabeth Gaskell. I loved Villette too and I was reminded of how much I enjoy the Bronte sisters. Muriel Spark is another author I am determined to go back to. I am glad I chose The Bell as my first Iris Murdoch as I loved it but didn't so much love The Sea, The Sea which I read later. A Connecticut Yankee In New York by Mark Twain is the only one that I struggled with. That's more because of my mood at the time rather than the book itself.

Best character would have to be Sherlock Holmes. I have said it many times already but I am going to say it again. I'm a little bit in love with him. I am going to be sad when I finished all those books. Mind you, I plan on the films and tv show next. I am afraid I have been poor at visiting other participants. I haven't really got a plan from others posts as to what I am going to read next year. I did visit at the start of the year but things got on top of me.


  1. Thanks for the great review! I often have trouble getting through classics, so it's nice to have some recommendations. I added Mrs. Dalloway to my TBR list, and will add some Sherlock Holmes, too.

    1. Sherlock doesn't read like a typical classic. It seems to appeal to people of all ages and genres. It was like going back again and again to an old friend even though all of these stories were new to me.

      I hope you enjoy Mrs Dalloway. One of the shorter classics I have loved.

  2. It is very hard difficult to choose just one favourite. I read Mrs Dalloway this year and was surprised at how I liked it.
    I've been trying to decide which Iris Murdoch to try so your mention of The Bell has been helpful - thanks!

    1. I hope you like it as much as I did. I would say avoid The Sea, The Sea but some people seem to enjoy it. I had a love/hate relationship with it.