Title: The Return of Sherlock Holmes.
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Genre: Fiction, literature, short stories, mystery, crime, detective fiction.
Publication Date: 1903-1904 (book published 1905).
Summary: A collection of 13 short stories. In The Adventure of the Empty House Watson, now a widower, faces a case of Ronald Adair, who was shot in a closed room, when he suddenly encounters an old friend who reveals both the solution to the case, and his own exploits of the last 3 years after his "death." In The Adventure of the Norwood Builder, a young lawyer from Blackheath, McFarlane, is accused of killing one of his client after learning, to his surprise, that his client is intending to make him his sole beneficiary. In The Adventure of the Dancing Men, Mr Hilton Cubitt presents Holmes with a piece of paper with a mysterious sequence of dancing stick figures that, upon reception, have been driving his recent wife to distraction. In The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist, Miss Violet Smith is unexpectedly provided for by an uncle she hadn't heard from in 25 years, and a mysterious cyclist begins to follow her to and from the train station when she visits her mother in town. In The Adventure of the Priory School, Dr. Thorneycroft Huxtable, the founder and principal of Priory School, beseeches Holmes to look into the kidnapping of one of his 10-year-old students, whose father has offered an enormous reward for retrieval of or any information about the boy. In The Adventure of Black Peter, Holmes investigates a brutal harpoon murder of Peter Carey, the 50-year-old former master of the Sea Unicorn, and his one clue is that it that must have taken enormous strength. In The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, Holmes is hired by the débutante Lady Eva Blackwell to retrieve compromising letters from "the king of blackmailers", Milverton, who threatens to cause a scandal and end Lady Eva's marriage engagement. In The Adventure of the Six Napoleons, Lestrade approaches Holmes with a seemingly trivial problem of a man who breaks and enters and shatters plaster busts of Napoleon, but Holmes senses that there is more to it than a hate for French emperor. In The Adventure of the Three Students, Holmes is called to figure out which of the three students about to take an examination for a sizeable scholarship has broken into the office of Mr. Hilton Soames of St. Luke's College and copied the exam paper. In The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez, Holmes is called to solve a seemingly impossible for its complete lack of motive murder of Willoughby Smith, secretary to an old invalid, whose dying words are, inexplicably, "It was she." In The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter, Holmes is sought out to help with a disappearance of Mr. Cyril Overton of Cambridge, who is a valuable rugby player set to play an important game with Oxford on the following day. In The Adventure of the Abbey Grange, Holmes rushes to a murder scene of Sir Eustace Brackenstall, who has been apparently killed by burglars, though Inspector Stanley Hopkins believes that it is the work of the infamous Randall gang who have committed several other burglaries in the neighborhood. In The Adventure of the Second Stain, Honourable Trelawney Hope, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, come to Holmes in the matter of a document stolen from Hope's dispatch box, which, if divulged, could bring about war.
My rating: 8.5/10.
♥ “...There I was stretched, when you, my dear Watson, and all your following were investigating in the most sympathetic and inefficient manner the circumstances of my death.
“At last, when you have formed your inevitable and totally erroneous conclusions, you departed for the hotel, and I was left alone.”
♥ “Up to a certain point he did well. He was always a man of iron nerve, and the story is still told in India how he crawled down a drain after a wounded man-eating tiger. There are some trees, Watson, which grow to certain height, and then suddenly develop some unsightly eccentricity. You will see if often in humans. I have a theory that the individual represents in his development the whole procession of his ancestors, and that such a sudden turn to good or evil stands for some strong influence which came into the line of his pedigree. The person becomes, as it were, the epitome of the history of his own family.”
~~The Adventure of the Empty House.
♥ “You see, my dear Watson” --he propped his test-tube in the rack, and began to lecture with the air of a professional addressing his class-- “it is not really difficult to construct a series of inferences, each dependent upon its predecessor and each simple in itself. If, after doing so, one simply knocks out all the central inferences and presents one’s audience with the starting-point and the conclusion, one may produce a startling, though possibly a meretricious, effect. Now, it was not very difficult, by an inspection of the groove between your left forefinger and thumb, to feel sure that you did not propose to invest your small capital in the gold fields.”
“I see no connection.”
“Very likely not; but I can quickly show you a close connection. Here are the missing links of the very simple chain: 1. You had chalk between your left finger and thumb when you returned from the club last night. 2. You put chalk there when you play billiards, to steady the cue. 3. You never play billiards except with Thurston. 4. You told me, four weeks ago, that Thurston had an option on some South African property which would expire in a month, and which he desired you to share with him. 5. Your check book is locked in my drawer, and you have not asked for the key. 6. You do not propose to invest your money in this manner.”
♥ “You wrote it? There was no one on earth outside the Joint who knew the secret of the dancing men. How came you to write it?”
“What one man can invent another can discover,” said Holmes
~~The Adventure of the Dancing Men by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
“You’re too late. She’s my wife.”
“No, she’s your widow.”
~~The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist.
♥ Holmes gave an ejaculations of impatience.
“…What did you do, Hopkins, after you had made certain that you had made certain of nothing?”
♥ Things had indeed been very slow with us, and I had learned to dread such periods of inaction, for I knew by experience that my companion’s brain was so abnormally active that it was dangerous to leave it without material upon which to work. For years I had gradually weaned him from that drug mania which had threatened once to check his remarkable career. Now I knew that under ordinary conditions he no longer craved for this artificial stimulus, but I was well aware that the fiend was not dead but sleeping, and I have known that the sleep was a light one and the waking near when in periods of idleness I have seen the drawn look upon Holmes’s ascetic face, and the brooding of his deep-set and inscrutable eyes. Therefore I bless this Mr.Overton, whoever he might be, since he had come with his enigmatic message to break that dangerous calm which brought more peril to my friend than all the storms of his tempestuous life.
~~The Adventure of the Missing Three Quarter.