Red Classics Return of Sherlock Holmes Mass Market Paperback – Mar 4 2008
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About the Author
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh where he qualified as a doctor, but it was his writing which brought him fame, with the creation of Sherlock Holmes, the first scientific detective. He was also a convert to spiritualism and a social reformer who used his investigative skills to prove the innocence of individuals.
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But after years of fans badgering him to bring Holmes back, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle finally relented in "The Return of Sherlock Holmes." The stories in here aren't quite as gripping as the previous collections, but there's still plenty of striking, mind-bending mysteries for the legendary detective to unwind.
A few years after Holmes' death, Watson has settled into a routine as a regular doctor, although he becomes interested in the locked-room murder of the Honourable Ronald Adair. But then a strange old man comes into Watson's office, and reveals himself to be none other than Sherlock Holmes. Watson promptly faints from the shock.
But when he wakes up, Holmes reveals that he has been traveling the world and avoiding Moriarty's equally nasty confederates. And before he can resume normal life at Baker Street, he and Watson must catch the last of these evil men -- which may be connected to Adair's death.
After that, Holmes and Watson fall back into solving cases: a young man who is accused of murdering his strangely friendly client; a string of stick figures, a music teacher followed by a cyclist, a boy kidnapped from his school, a harpoon impalement, blackmail and high society scandal, shattered Napoleonic busts, stolen exams, a Russian lady, a rugby player's disappearance, a brutal murder that isn't what it seems, and a missing document that could lead to a massive war.
"The Return of Sherlock Holmes" occasionally feels a little unenthusiastic, probably because Doyle had really intended to kill off Holmes because he wanted to focus on "important" novels. Fortunately, even lesser Holmes mysteries are still brilliant -- there are twisted crimes, malevolent schemers, and some puzzles that only Holmes can unravel.
And as usual, Doyle crafts two kinds of crimes/mysteries -- the ones that are ultra-simple but turn out to have hidden kinks, and the ones that seem impossible to solve but are actually shockingly simple. But things don't always end in the same way ("The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" ends in a really shocking manner), and the culprits aren't always dealt with in the same way.
It's also really fun to see Watson and Holmes working together again, especially after Holmes makes such a dramatic, energetic reentry in the very first story. And it's very cute to see Watson pass out because he's so shocked and thrilled that Holmes is alive. The characters seem even faster friends, especially when it's revealed that Watson has gotten Holmes off of cocaine (which was still used medicinally at the time).
"Return of Sherlock Holmes" suffers from a few patches of unenthusiastic writing, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's mysteries are still brilliant brain-benders. The Great Detective is back.
In 1893 "The Final Problem" ended with the disappearance of Sherlock Holmes. The fans did not accept this ending. So in 1903 Doyle brought him back for more adventures. These thirteen stories show clever and fiendish crimes that are prevented or solved. They warn about some danger in life. Each of these stories is preceded by "The Adventure of ...".
The Empty House. It begins with the mysterious death of Ronald Adair in a locked room. Watson gets a surprise from a visiting bibliophile. Sherlock explains his past actions. That night they capture a murderer, a highly regarded Army officer. [Danger from gambling with strangers.]
The Norwood Builder. John McFarlane visits while under suspicion of murder! A man is missing, a bloody walking-stick belonging to McFarlane was found along with charred ashes in a burned wood stack. Sherlock investigates the crime scene. Is a fingerprint proof of guilt? Will a surprise witness demolish the case against McFarlane? [Danger from a rich and friendly stranger.]
The Dancing Men. A man's wife was frightened by a letter that had little stick figures. He visits Sherlock, who studies this message. There is a shooting. Sherlock sends a coded message to an unknown man and solves the mystery. [Danger from marrying a total stranger.]
The Solitary Cyclist. Young and beautiful Miss Violet Smith visits to tell about being followed by a man on a bicycle. Watson goes there and sees the events. He and Sherlock arrive to save Violet from a ruined life. [Danger from fraud over an inheritance.]
The Priory School. The head of a preparatory school visits to tell about a missing student and wealthy heir. A teacher is also missing. Later this teacher is found dead, no footprints near the body! Sherlock figures who abducted the heir and where he is being held. The guilty will be punished. [Danger over hereditary wealth.]
Black Peter. A former sea captain who was a dangerous and violent man was found dead in his room. A man returns to the crime scene and is caught! Could he have done it? Sherlock investigates and locates the killer. [Danger from blackmailing a killer.]
Charles Augustus Milverton. A blackmailer visits Sherlock to negotiate a payment. Too high a price? Can illegal means be used to do justice? Sherlock and Watson burn those papers. This is one crime that will not be solved for the police. [Danger from old personal letters.]
The Six Napoleons. Inspector Lestrade tells Sherlock about someone who is smashing plaster busts of Napoleon the First. Is it a dangerous lunatic? Will catching this man solve another crime? [Danger from an innocent purchase.] Note the use of a false newspaper report.
The Three Students. A college Professor thinks someone may have seen a test paper. Which of the three students could have done it? Sherlock solves the mystery, no harm will be done. Is the likely suspect guilty? [Danger from a curious impulse.]
The Golden Pince-Nez. A young man was found stabbed to death, he was the secretary to Professor Coram (heart or Herz). Detective Hopkins visits for help. Sherlock discovers the truth about the murder and the politics of another country. [Danger from political conspiracies.]
The Missing Three-Quarter. The rugby player for Cambridge has disappeared before a big game. Can he be traced by a sent telegram? Can a better detective than Holmes follow a clever suspect? Yes. The mystery is solved but kept secret. [Danger from dependence on a rich relative.]
The Abbey Grange. Sherlock is summoned about the death of an aristocrat in a home robbery. His wife is bruised. Are there anomalies in the stories? Sherlock figures out what happened and finds the answer. Justice is done. [Danger from marrying a stranger.]
The Second Stain. Two high government officials visit Sherlock about a missing secret letter. Its publication could start a war! They read of the murder of a suspected spy. Sherlock visits this house and learns what happened. He is able to retrieve the missing letter so no one is harmed. [Danger from old personal letters used for blackmail.]