TITLE: The Complete Sherlock Holmes (The Return Of Sherlock Holmes)
AUTHOR: Arthur Conan Doyle
SERIES: Sherlock Holmes (#5)
PUBLISHER: Barnes & Noble Classics
GENRE: Mystery, Classics, Historical Fiction
RATING: 5/5 Stars
The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 13 Sherlock Holmes stories, originally published in 1903-1904, by Arthur Conan Doyle. This was the first Holmes collection since 1893, when Holmes had "died" in The Final Problem. Having published The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1901-1902 (although setting it before Holmes' death) Doyle came under intense pressure to revive his famous character.
The first story is set in 1894 and has Holmes returning in London and explaining the period from 1891-94, a period called "The Great Hiatus" by Sherlockian enthusiasts. Also of note is Watson's statement in the last story of the cycle that Holmes has retired, and forbids him to publish any more stories.
What I Liked:
- Like I said, this is the best collection I've read yet! I wasn't sure for a while whether I should read this or 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles' first, but I decided to go with the given order in this compilation and I'm glad I did. The first story picks up right after Sherlock's 'death' in the last book. Sherlock felt much funnier in this collection too, though he's always been witty, and I was pleased that his sarcastic put-downs made me laugh so much.
- These are great mysteries and I liked that a lot of them were not just murder-based, but focused on other things too. Favourite stories included 'The Solitary Cyclist', 'The Six Napoleons', 'The Three Students' and 'The Abbey Grange' because they felt different to previously read Holmes mysteries.
What I Disliked:
- Sad to say, Doyle seems so have ditched Watson's wife Mary without reason! I have no idea what has happened to her, but suddenly Watson is living with Holmes again and it's a bit depressing really, as I kind of liked the dynamic she added to the stories. I would have liked to see more of her to be honest.
I really did love this collection. The stories were the easiest to follow, but most interesting of them all so far, which was nice. I'm a bit sad that so many great characters seemed to have been cut. Mary, as I said, has disappeared. Mycroft too has made no appearances as of late, and I'm struggling to come to terms with the fact that Moriarty, such an iconic character, really did only appear in one short story and seems to be actually dead. How disappointing! Still, these adventures are getting stronger and stronger, and I can see why they are so renowned!