Title: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Genre: Fiction, literature, short stories, mystery, detective fiction.
Publication Date: October 14th, 1892.
Summary: A collection of 12 short stories featuring his fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. In A Scandal in Bohemia, The King of Bohemia engages Holmes to recover an indiscreet photograph showing him with the renowned beauty, adventuress and opera singer Irene Adler, and she may just be the first woman who'll prove a match for his sharp intellect. The Adventure of the Red-Headed League is about Jabez Wilson, a pawnbroker, who consults Holmes about a job he gained only because of his red hair and required him copying the Encyclopaedia Britannica seemingly without sense, and which is suddenly cancelled. In A Case of Identity, Holmes is approached by Miss Mary Sutherland, who against the wishes of her stepfather becomes engaged to Hosmer Angel, who bids her to be forever faithful to him and then disappears without a trace. In The Boscombe Valley Mystery, Holmes is called to assist Lestrade after Charles McCarthy is murdered, and his son, James, looks like the only person who could have done it, until Holmes looks closer at the scene of the murder. In The Five Orange Pips, Holmes becomes involved in investigating mysterious deaths that start with the later-deceased receiving a picture with the letters K.K.K. inscribed on it, and five orange pips. In The Man with the Twisted Lip, Neville St. Clair, a respectable businessman, has disappeared, and his wife claims she saw him at the upper window of an opium den, though upon pursuing him there she inexplicably finds a completely different person. In "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, a "blue carbuncle" is stolen from a hotel suite, and a former felon is soon arrested, however an acquaintance of Holmes discovers the carbuncle in the throat of a Christmas goose. In The Adventure of the Speckled Band, Helen Stoner worries her stepfather may be trying to kill her after he contrives to move her to the bedroom where her sister had died two years earlier, shortly before her wedding, under mysterious and seemingly impossible circumstances. In The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb, an engineer, Victor Hatherley, attends Dr Watson's surgery after his thumb is chopped off, and recounts being hired, for an exorbitant price, to repair a machine he was told compressed Fuller's earth into bricks, until things go awry and he discovers the real purpose of the machinery and the people who hired him. In The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor, Lord Robert St. Simon's new American bride, Hatty Doran, has disappeared almost immediately after the wedding and Hatty's wedding dress and ring have been found floating in the Serpentine, though as Holmes quickly discovers, nothing is what it seems. In The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet, a banker asks Holmes to investigate after a "Beryl Coronet" entrusted to him is damaged at his home, and though he finds his son, Arthur, holding the damaged coronet, Arthur refuses to either admit guilt or explain himself. In The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, Violet Hunter consults Holmes after being offered an extremely highly-paid governess job subject to a number of unusual conditions, and quickly follows up on Holmes's offer to contact him again if the job begins to bother her after more bizarre demands and discoveries are made.
My rating: 8.5/10.
♥ “When I hear you give your reasons,” I remarked, “the thing always appears to me to be so ridiculously simple that I could easily do it myself, though at each successive instance of your reasoning I am baffled until you explain your process. And yet I believe that my eyes are as good as yours.”
“Quite so,” he answered, lighting a cigarette, and throwing himself down into an armchair. “You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. For example, you have frequently seen the steps which lead up from the hall to this room.”
“Well, some hundreds of times.”
“Then how many are there?”
“How many? I don’t know.”
“Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. This is just my point. Now, I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed.”
♥ “This is indeed a mystery,” I remarked. “What do you imagine that it means?”
“I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
~~A Scandal in Bohemia.
♥ “You will remember that I remarked the other day, just before we went into the very simple problem presented by Miss Mary Sutherland, that for strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination.”
~~The Red-Headed League.
♥ “Depend upon it, there is nothing so unnatural as the commonplace.”
~~A Case of Identity.
♥ “I could hardly imagine a more damning case,” I remarked. “If ever circumstantial evidence pointed to a criminal it does so here.”
“Circumstantial evidence is a very tricky thing,” answered Holmes thoughtfully. “It may seem to point very straight to one thing, but if you shift your own point of view a little, you may find it pointing in an equally uncompromising manner to something entirely different.”
…”I am afraid,” said I, “that the facts are so obvious that you will find little credit to be gained out of this case.”
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact,” he answered, laughing.
♥ Sherlock Holmes was transformed when he was hot upon such a scent as this. Men who had only known the quiet thinker and logician of Baker Street would have failed to recognize him. His face flushed and darkened. His brows were drawn into two hard black lines, while his eyes shone out from beneath them with a steely glitter. His face was bent downward, his shoulders bowed, his lips compressed, and the veins stood out like whipcord in his long, sinewy neck. His nostrils seemed to dilate with a purely animal lust for the chase, and his mind was so absolutely concentrated upon the matter before him that a question or remark fell unheeded upon his ears, or, at the most, only provoked a quick, impatient snarl in reply. Swiftly and silently he made his way along the track which ran through the meadows, and so by way of the woods to the Boscombe Pool. It was damp, marshy ground, as is all that district, and there were marks of many feet, both upon the path and amid the short grass which bounded it on either side. Sometimes Holmes would hurry on, sometimes stop dead, and once he made quite a little detour into the meadow. Lestrade and I walked behind him, the detective indifferent and contemptuous, while I watched my friend with the interest, which sprang from the conviction that every one of his actions was directed towards a definite end.
♥ “But how did you gain them?”
“You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles.”
~~The Boscombe Valley Mystery.
♥ “The ideal reasoner,” he remarked, “would, when he had once been shown a single fact in all its bearings, deduce from it not only all the chain of events which led up to it but also all the results which would follow from it. As Cuvier could correctly describe a whole animal by the contemplation of a single bone, so the observer who has thoroughly understood one link in a series of incidents should be able to accurately state all the other ones, both before and after. We have not yet grasped the results which the reason alone can attain to. Problems may be solved in the study which have baffled all those who have sought a solution by the aid of their senses. To carry the art, however, to its highest pitch, it is necessary that the reasoner should be able to utilize all the facts which have come to his knowledge; and this in itself implies, as you will readily see, a possession of all knowledge, which, even in these days of free education and encyclopaedias, is a somewhat rare accomplishment. It is not so impossible, however, that a man should possess all knowledge which is likely to be useful to him in his work, and this I have endeavoured in my case to do.”
♥ “Philosophy, astronomy, and politics were marked at zero, I remember. Botany variable, geology profound as regards the mudstains from any region within fifty miles of town, chemistry eccentric, anatomy unsystematic, sensational literature and crime records unique, violin-player, boxer, swordsman, lawyer, and self-poisoner by cocaine and tobacco. Those, I think, were the main points of my analysis.”
♥ “There is nothing more to be said or to be done to-night, so hand me over my violin and let us try to forget for half an hour the miserable weather and the still more miserable ways of our fellowmen.”
~~The Five Orange Pips.
♥ “Well,” said our engineer ruefully as we took our seats to return once more to London, “it has been a pretty business for me! I have lost my thumb and I have lost my fifty-guinea fee, and what have I gained?”
“Experience,” said Holmes, laughing. “Indirectly it may be of value, you know; you have only to put it into words to gain the reputation of being excellent company for the remainder of your existence.”
~~The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb.
♥ “Then I trust you at least will honour me with your company,” said Sherlock Holmes. It is always a joy to meet an American, Mr. Moulton, for I am one of those who believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a minister in far-gone years will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.”
~~The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor.
♥ “It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
~~The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet.
♥ “No, it is not selfishness or conceit,” said he, answering, as was his wont, my thoughts rather than my words. “If I claim full justice for my art, it is because it is an impersonal thing - a thing beyond myself. Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell. You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales.”
~~The Adventures of the Copper Beeches.