Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Introduction and Notes by Kyle Freeman
Softcover, 709 pp. and 709 pp.
Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003
These Barnes & Noble Classics editions of Sherlock Holmes are authoritative, affordable, and printed in good-quality format with few typographical errors. Mr. Freeman's editorial contributions include a couple of enthusiastic and informative introductions, a detailed timeline, and a number of textual notes; all this adds significantly to the book's value. If you want a complete edition of Sherlock Holmes, then these two volumes will serve you well.
Some of the tales collected here aren't worth reading nowadays (I'll give details below), but much of The Complete Sherlock Holmes is still first-rate detective fiction. As soon as I finished The Complete Sherlock Holmes, I added Conan Doyle and his works to my continually updated list of favorite genre fiction.
The Sherlock Holmes tales have certain conventions and repetitive features, which might be tedious for some readers. However, these Holmesian and Watsonian hallmarks are effected differently from story to story, and having all of the stories next to one another also reveals variety within the genre: there are examples here of the puzzle story, the diplomatic intrigue, the urban crime story, and the Gothic horror tale. Some of my favorites, in chronological order:
|A Scandal in Bohemia||the story with Irene Adler|
|The Adventure of the Speckled Band||a tale of the macabre|
|The Musgrave Ritual|
|The Reigate Puzzle|
|The Naval Treaty|
|The Final Problem||Holmes dies...or does he?|
|The Hound of the Baskervilles (novella)||atmospheric adventure on the moors|
|The Adventure of the Empty House||Sherlock Holmes returns!|
|The Adventure of the Priory School|
|The Adventure of the Second Stain|
|The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans|
|The Adventure of the Lion's Mane|
On this website you can see how Holmes aficionados rank the stories. And here is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle naming his own favorites.
- Most of the stories in the 1927 collection The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes
- Study in Scarlet (novella)
- The Sign of Four (novella)
- Valley of Fear (novella)