Let us explore the book story by story:
1. The Horror of the Heights: (3 stars)
This was not the best short story I ever read, said this plainly. It tells about a pilot trying to prove that there is a jungle up in the sky, above all the heights explored by human beings, and that jungle had creatures that like to mutilate humans once they see them. More than that I would be spoiling the plot.
2. The Leather Funnel: (2 stars)
This is even a worse story. It speaks about the separating line between our world and dreamland. It simply asserts that you can see the past in your dreams, provided that you have something related to that past, just like a leather funnel, for example.
3. The New Catacomb: (4 stars)
The first story to my liking. The good feature about this story is that it gives a twist of plot at the end. It starts with 2 archeologists in Rome, chatting about a catacomb discovered by one of them. In order for the latter to tell the former about the location of the catacomb he wanted to know about some private secret. In the catacomb a strange and interesting twist of plot takes place and the story ends in the best manner a writer can bring to end. Do not take me wrong, I figured this twist from the second page of the story, and I hope you do not, so that you can enjoy the ending.
4. The Case of Lady Sannox: (5 stars)
This story introduces some elements of the Islamic orient (the middle east, if you please). It introduces the reader to a reckless gentleman, who is more of a ladies man. He is, as usual to that type of people, always broke. A Turk offers him money to cure his wife in a strange way. What is so interesting in the story? Of course the twist at the end, and that what made me give it 5 stars ... I did not figure it out until I reached 2 pages before the last one.
5. The Brazilian Cat: (4 stars)
This story was not bad at all, it might have been better than "The Case of Lady Sannox," in terms of the plot and characters. The reason I give it less stars than the other one is that Doyle speaks a lot, he explains many things, relevant and irrelevant. It speaks about a broken young lad - a character which appears frequently in the writings of Doyle - who is the direct heir of a miser uncle. He has got a second relative who had just come from Brazil, so he visited him to beg some money from him. There he is introduced to the relatives pet, a Brazilian cat. Saying more would kill the story, and beware, for there is a twist at the end.
6. The Lost Special: (2 stars)
Where did a train disappear? I thought it would give me a very strange way, like it flied in the sky or something, but the way it disappeared was not insightful.
7. The Beetle Hunter: (3 stars)
An advertisement in the newspaper asks for someone very interested in Beetles, preferably an expert. The hero of the story applies and then is introduced to another expert in Beetles; a master, if you please. There is a twist at the end.
8. The Man with the Watches: (3 stars)
An attempt to depart the realm of Sherlock Holmes, and to forsake his way of deduction. Here you must make a big assumption, and if it fits the crime, then it might actually be the right plot. But in this case it is not. A man and a woman enter a train, both of them disappear, and what remains is the body of a different man, what happened? The answer was more than I could imagine.
9. The Jappaned Box: (1 star)
This is totally unworthy of Doyle. I am not going to say anything about it, you read it and see that it might have impressed people a hundred years ago but not anymore.
10. The Black Doctor: (3 stars)
In a line with the Sherlock Holmes's adventures. A brunet comes to town and work as a doctor, he gets engaged to a lady and then, all of a sudden, he decides to forsake everything and leave the town, what is the reason? It will amaze you, to some extent.
11. The Jew's Breastplate: (3 stars)
A Jewish masterpiece is being perturbed. The old manager of a museum steps aside to give the honor to the new one. The new manager is bedazzled with the strange occurrences. There is a twist at the end, but not that admirable.
12. The Nightmare Room: (2 stars)
Totally unworthy of Doyle. The story is about 2 guys fighting over a woman. There is a twist at the end, but it turns everything allover. It is a wicked twist, if I may say.
And anyway, this book is worth reading, you are not going to bored reading it.