Book #10 of the 2015 Reading Challenge – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


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Read a book of short stories. Read a book based on or turned into a TV show.

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? A puzzle that needs solving? And who doesn’t know and like/love Sherlock Holmes, a man who is perhaps as much a mystery as the ones he’s constantly trying to solve. On second thought, we don’t really know who Sherlock Holmes is except for the few occasional observations made by his trusted companion, Dr. Watson:

Holmes who loathed every form of society with his whole Bohemian soul, remained in our lodgings in Baker Street, buried among his old books, and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug, and the fierce energy of his own keen nature. He was still, as ever, deeply attracted by the study of crime, and occupied his immense faculties and extraordinary powers of observation in following out those clues, and clearing up those mysteries which had been abandoned as hopeless by the official police (Kindle location 21-28).

He’s a master observer with an extreme talent for details (see Kindle location 446-61), a chameleon and like a bloodhound hot on his trail:

It was not merely that Holmes changed his costume. His expression, his manner, his very soul seemed to vary with every fresh part that he assumed. The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when he became a specialist in crime (Kindle location 278-84).

Sherlock Holmes was transformed when he was hot upon such a scent as this. Men who had only known the quiet thinker and logician of Baker Street would have failed to recognize him. His face flushed and darkened. His brows were drawn into two hard black lines, while his eyes shone out from beneath them with a steely glitter. His face was bent downward, his shoulders bowed, his lips compressed, and the veins stood out like whipcord in his long, sinewy neck. His nostrils seemed to dilate with a purely animal lust for the chase, and his mind was so absolutely concentrated upon the matter before him that a question or remark fell unheeded upon his ears, or, at the most, only provoked a quick, impatient snarl in reply (Kindle location 1384).

…and just a bit eccentric or odd:

It is a hobby of mine to have an exact knowledge of London (Kindle location 667).

My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence. These little problems help me do so. (Kindle location 819)

It took me forever to read this book (I was too busy, I guess), which is a collection of 12 short stories including:

  1. A Scandal in Bohemia
  2. The Red-Headed League
  3. A Case of Identity
  4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery
  5. The Five Orange Pips
  6. The Man with the Twisted Lip
  7. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
  8. The Adventure of the Speckled Band
  9. The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb
  10. The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
  11. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
  12. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

They’re all good stories (some better than others, of course) and despite being written more than 100 years ago, they’re easy to read. These are some of those classic tales that you should at least read once in your life and they’re FREE to download from Amazon to Kindle (I love it)!

My favorite stories were A Scandal in Bohemia, The Five Orange Pips, The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor, The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet and The Adventure of the Copper Beeches.

As far as the TV show goes, maybe you’ve seen the most recent adaptation starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes (who is absolutely brilliant, I might add) and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson (the guy who plays Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit movies). If you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you do AND that you read these short stories while you’re at it. You will find yourself entertained, for sure.



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