The Complete Sherlock Holmes comprises four novels and fifty-six short stories revolving around the world’s most popular and influential fictional detective—the eccentric, arrogant, and ingenious Sherlock Holmes. He and his trusted friend, Dr. Watson, step from Holmes’s comfortable quarters at 221b Baker Street into the swirling fog of Victorian London to exercise that unique combination of detailed observation, vast knowledge, and brilliant deduction. Inevitably, Holmes rescues the innocent, confounds the guilty, and solves the most perplexing puzzles known to literature.
After two weeks, I finally finished volume 1 of the Sherlock Holmes! I don't know why it took me so long to read this book, especially since I read for quite a few hours this past Saturday, for Dewey's 24 hour readathon. I know part of it is that I now have a part-time job and school is picking up in my time requirements for studying. However, the Sherlock Holmes stories were fun and I still think I should have been able to read it quicker.
Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed this volume of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work. I picked the Barnes & Noble edition because it contains all of the Holmes stories, in order of publication, within just two volumes. I didn't want to buy just a single copy of one of the novels, find out that I liked the stories, and then have to buy several different books to get all of the stories. Plus, since Holmes often references past cases, I think it's worthwhile to read them in order.
This first volume included three short novels and 23 short stories. I'm not going to summarize each story, especially since I would probably give away the ending to some of them, but rather give my overall impressions. I became particularly interested in Sherlock Holmes after seeing the movie featuring Robert Downey, Jr (I highly recommend this movie, especially since there is a sequel coming out later this year!). It was interesting to see the backstory for both Watson and Holmes in the first novel of the collection, A Study in Scarlet. It provided some context for both their personal lives and how their relationship came together.
I enjoyed the novels more than the short stories, but that is also just my personal preference since I generally like longer novels more than anything else. There is more background and twists and turns in a novel than in a 15 page short story. I was able to guess the ending to some of the short stories, but not all. I highly enjoyed Sherlock Holmes deductions when he would denounce the guilty party and explain his logical reasoning. However, although Holmes was a great character to follow, I'm glad the readers view is through Watson's eyes since he can give us an account of Holmes deductions and also be a reliable narrator that will tell us everything else that is going on. I think if we were in Sherlock Holme's head, the reader would become extremely confused since I doubt many could follow Holme's thoughts when he is 'on the scent.'
Overall, I found the Sherlock Holmes stories really entertaining and I'm glad Sir Arthur Conan Doyle continued to write them, even after he got sick of them and killed off Holmes :) I'm looking forward to the second volume of the stories. I recommend these stories for anyone looking for some fun, and rather quick mysteries. Some stories are not appropriate for children because some of the murders are a little grizzly and there is also some drug use by Sherlock Holmes.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars