Thursday, February 24, 2011

This 'n That Thursdays: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes Mysteries

Watson and Holmes

Almost anyone who loves mysteries has read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series.  These works, set in Victorian London, epitomize the classic mystery story, and Sherlock Holmes is probably the most famous fictional detective ever created.  The stories are usually narrated by Holmes' friend and biographer, Dr. John H. Watson, who describes the brilliant but eccentric detective's method of deductive reasoning for solving crimes.  Holmes first appeared in the short story "A Study in Scarlet" in 1887.  His popularity grew when the stories began to appear in the Strand Magazine in 1891.  At one point Conan Doyle grew tired of his fictional detective and actually killed him off in the 1893 short story "The Adventure of the Final Problem".  Outcry was so great, however, that ten years later Conan Doyle yielded to public pressure and brought Holmes back to life in the 1903 story "The Adventure of the Empty House".  Sherlock Holmes was eventually featured in a total of four novels and 56 short stories.

To this day Sherlock Holmes has a devoted fan following, with many societies worldwide.  These well-told tales are worth reading and rereading, so much so in fact that I would not mind owning the leather-bound, gold-accented, three-volume set of the complete works available from Easton Press.  Every mystery lover should read the entire Sherlock Holmes collection at least once, and will most likely return to these stories repeatedly.

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