- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: Wisehouse Classics (September 27, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9176372596
- ISBN-13: 978-9176372593
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,655,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Wisehouse Classics Edition - with original illustrations by Sidney Paget) Paperback – September 27, 2016
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In the book’s opening entry, “The Adventure of the Empty House,” Holmes reappears and explains to Watson how he faked his own death. Though necessary to get Holmes back in action again, the explanation is more convenient than convincing. In fact, the story isn’t really much of a mystery, just a lot of Holmes telling Watson what’s what. Still, it delivers some thrills as Holmes goes up against Moriarity’s right-hand man, a killer sharp shooter. Another interesting villain is introduced in “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.” The title character is a professional blackmailer, and to stop him even Holmes and Watson must enter some ethical gray areas.
The Return of Sherlock Holmes is loaded with great stories, like “The Adventure of the Dancing Men,” in which Holmes uses cryptography to catch the criminal, and “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons,” an ingenious tale in which Holmes tracks down a burglar with a bizarrely specific taste in loot. “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder,” “The Adventure of the Priory School,” “The Adventure of Black Peter,” and “The Adventure of Abbey Grange” are all skillfully crafted cases of murder and abduction. Conan Doyle provides the supporting characters with some really elaborate and complicated back stories, which are revealed through intricate clues parceled out in a tantalizingly measured and piecemeal manner.
Conan Doyle doesn’t hit it out of the park every time. Sometimes the criminal’s back story overpowers the mystery narrative, as in “The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez.” Sometimes the crime itself isn’t all that compelling, as in “The Adventure of the Three Students,” a case of who cheated on a test, or “The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter,” in which a Cambridge rugby player goes missing the day before the big game against Oxford. Even the latter example, however, ends up with an unexpected and touching resolution. The book ends on a high note, “The Adventure of the Second Stain,” in which Holmes has to track down a lost document that might mean war for Britain if it falls into the wrong hands. In this last entry, Watson informs us that Holmes has now retired from detective work, but somehow I suspect he will be back for more.
Though Conan Doyle may have been reluctant to revive his dead hero, you won’t find any indication of a lack of enthusiasm in any of the selections included here. Overall, the stories in The Return of Sherlock Holmes are better than those in the second volume of short stories, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, which at times felt a bit tired. Though not all masterpieces, the 13 stories in The Return are fastidiously crafted with care and detail. Holmes’s earliest stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes will always be the best and most memorable, but The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a satisfying return to form.
In 1893 "The Final Problem" ended with the disappearance of Sherlock Holmes. The fans did not accept this ending. So in 1903 Arthur Conan 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.]