Articles / Review

Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

I recently purchased Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Novels and Stories (Vol I) written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, with an introduction by Loren D. Estleman.

Though, Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous detective ever created in fiction, but somehow, he always deluded me and I never read any of his novels or famous short stories.

Though, I did see a movie starring Robert Downey Junior some days ago and as I am not a big fan of the mumbling rumbling actor, the film failed to impress me as well.

sherlock-holmes But, the astute observation skills of Sherlock Holmes and his almost invisible presence at crucial places did intrigue me and I became interested in reading the actual work rather than judging a well known classic character on the basis of a single movie.

Owing to a superb online deal, instead of buying a single novel, I ended up buying an omnibus edition of Sherlock Holmes. It is a collection of 02 novels and 36 short stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 19th Century.

The book is a formidable one with more than 1000 pages, but it is neatly divided into following five sections :

1. A Study in Scarlet – A novel

2. The Sign of Four – A novel

3. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – A collection of 12 short stories

4. Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes – A collection of 11 short stories

5. The Return of Sherlock Holmes – A collection of 13 short stories

The book also has a long introduction by Loren D. Estleman, titled as ‘On the Significance of Boswells’ and is a running commentary on the works and characters of Arthur C. Doyle, strategically trying to talk about Dr. Watson rather than just Holmes.

But, as I am new to the world of Holmes and hardly aware of the background and roles played by Watson in the stories, I am not able to make much sense out of the lengthy introduction. So, for now, I have skipped it in favor of the first novel. May be, I will come back to it after I finish this book and in a better position to understand Loren’s extrapolation.

Till then, watch this space for I would be linking to the reviews as and when I finish reading the different sections.


  1. You are on a great voyage, though it surprises me a little that you never sailed for it before. I am sure you will not be disappointed with the adventures of genius Holmes and his average intelligent companion Watson. I would suggest to start with few short stories first to warm up to the chemistry between Holmes and Watson, and the “Method” of Holmes. And you can enjoy the Sherlock Holmes TV series starring Jeremy Brett for many of the stories. Agatha Christie was also inspired by the character of Watson, so she created Hastings to accompany Poirot. In a way Watson complements Holmes, and one can not but like Watson.

  2. Yes, Sourabh I do plan to read more of Holmes, especially short stories. Till last year, I was not much into detective fiction. But, in the beginning of this year I read my first novel by Agatha Christie Secret Adversary featuring Tommy and Tuppence and it changed my outlook towards classic crime fiction. And I am itching to discover more.

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