Book Review – The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

the return of sherlock holmes cover

Title: The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Genre: Crime and mystery
Date: 2011 (1905)
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 394
Started: June 2013
Completed: 23rd June 2015
Rating: 4/5
Summary: ‘Holmes,’ I cried. ‘Is it really you? Can it indeed be that you are alive? Is it possible that you succeeded in climbing out of that awful abyss?’ Missing, presumed dead, for three years, Sherlock Holmes returns triumphantly to his dear companion Dr Watson. And not before time! London has never been in more need of his extraordinary services: a murderous individual with an air gun stalks the city. Among thirteen further brilliant tales of mystery, detection and deduction, Sherlock Holmes investigates the problem of the Norwood Builder, deciphers the message of the Dancing Men, and cracks the case of the Six Napoleons. – from Goodreads

The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As the title suggests, these short stories were released after Conan Doyle killed Holmes off in ‘The Final Problem’ (included in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes). However, after a public outcry and pressure from fans and publishers Conan Doyle took up his pen again and went on to write many other Sherlock Holmes stories.

This collection includes thirteen (13) short stories about the adventures of Sherlock Holmes told from the point of view of his companion Dr John Watson. Each short story focuses on a new, fresh case for the detective and this makes for a fun read as you’re taken on many different adventures.

In my collection this book is preceded by The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes and succeeded by The Hound of the Baskervilles.

I love Conan Doyle’s writing style. It’s quick, witty, funny, and gripping. The stories are never slow and boring and the cases presented to the reader are fun and thrilling. Some of Holmes’ cases are more serious than others but I enjoyed how Conan Doyle mixed humorous cases with more important ones as it makes the book more interesting.

As this book is a collection of short stories I found that it took me a long time to read because I would finish a story and put the book down for months. However, I really liked that I could put this book in my bag and read it on the train without being worried about not fully engaging with the overarching plot. My favourite short stories from this collection are ‘The Dancing Men’, ‘The Six Napoleons’, and ‘The Second Stain’. These are the cases that really caught my imagination and they’re the ones I remember the most, even three months after completing the book.

I didn’t really dislike anything about this collection, except for how long it took me to read 13 short stories. The only reason I’ve given it 4/5 is because I enjoyed some of the other Sherlock Holmes books more than I enjoyed this one.

I really enjoyed this book overall. I love that it’s a collection of short stories and that each short story is as interesting as the last.

I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy reading crime and mystery novels. Even though these stories are very old, considered Classics, they’re still full of suspense and twists in the narrative. I love modern crime fiction (a lot) but I also love the Sherlock Holmes’ stories.

I’d also recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys Sherlock, Elementary, Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock Holmes films or anything to do with Sherlock Holmes at all. However, I would also recommend reading some of the other Sherlock Holmes stories before reading this collection as it comes after ‘The Final Problem’ in terms of narration.

It’s been such a long time since I last posted a review! I thought I’d try out a new way of reviewing books by having the information and rating at the top of the page. I don’t know if I like it. What do you think?

I may end up taking this review down and rewriting it because I’m not happy with how it turned out. I really needed to post it though because otherwise I’d just put it off forever.


2 thoughts on “Book Review – The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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