Review: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Read: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Stars: Five

Drinking: English Afternoon Tea, Twinings

In this collection of short stories, published by Oxford University Press, the famous detective is outsmarted by The Woman, Irene Adler, discovers the secret of the five orange pips, and investigates the Red-Haired League.  Each adventure is narrated by Dr. Watson, Holmes’ former flatmate and friend.  

If you haven’t read any of Conan Doyle, you are missing out!  Even stories I had read before surprised me with Holmes’ reasoning and deductions.  I like this Oxford edition because it includes detailed notes that really enhanced my understanding of the stories by explaining references to current events and terms that are no longer used.

Comparing the stories to the BBC’s Sherlock TV show was also quite fun.  They manage to slip in a lot of details that I only realized while reading the stories. I am also amused that the short story involving Adler, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” has been taken by fans to imply some sort of romantic attachment between her and Holmes.  While he admired her for outwitting him, there is no hint that Holmes was romantically attached to her, especially given the ending of the story.

I’ve always enjoyed Sherlock Holmes, so rereading the stories was very fun – I picked up some new nuances I hadn’t noticed before.  I highly recommend any of Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories (and BBC’s Sherlock needs to get back on air. Seriously.)


Author: Lisa M Fry

Freelance writer & copy-editor. Book lover. Feminist. American in London.

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