Monday, May 18, 2020

Book Review: Sherlock Holmes: Master Detective by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes: Master Detective

Sherlock Holmes:  Master Detective
Author:  Arthur Conan Doyle
Publisher:  Silver Burdett Company (1982)
332 pages
Genre:  Classic, Mystery

I found this book in an antique store as part of a set.  The other books are also classics and the covers are identical.  Each book measures 6.5" by 4.25".  They are small and look nice together on the shelf.  The books were published by Silver Burdett Company and are essentially textbooks that contain unabridged stories.  What makes them textbooks is that each book contains a study guide at the end which includes background information on the author and book, vocabulary, questions and activities pertaining to the story or stories.  

This particular volume contains stories or chapters taken from three of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books.  

From The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes:
   A Scandal in Bohemia
   The Adventure of the Speckled Band
   The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

From The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes:
   The Musgrave Ritual
   The Final Problem

From The Return of Sherlock Holmes:
   The Adventure of the Empty House
   The Adventure of the Dancing Men
   The Adventure of the Priory School
   The Adventure of the Second Stain

My favorite in this collection was The Adventure of the Dancing Men in which Holmes and Watson set out to solve the mystery of notes being left at the home of Mr. Hilton Cubitt containing drawings of dancing men that look like hieroglyphics.  Mr. Cubitt has found these dancing men scrawled with chalk on the window sill.  He copied them onto paper before erasing them from the sill.  A few days later, another message is left.  When Mr. Cubitt shows the message to his wife, she faints.  However, Mrs. Cubitt has warned her husband that she has had some difficulties in her past that she does not want to talk about.  She assures him that her past involves nothing that she needs to personally be ashamed about, it is just painful and she wants to forget about it.  Mr. Cubitt agrees that he will not bring it up.  So, now he is in a bind because he can see that this situation must have something to do with her past, but he promised never to bring it up.  Of course!  He has heard that Mr. Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street is fond of queer mysteries and this seems to be just that.  Can Sherlock Holmes decipher the code?  Can he do it before it's too late?  

I especially liked the code to decipher and Sherlock Holmes' explanation of how he solved it.  This one is rather suspenseful as well.  

This is a nice collection of stories that gives a good introduction to Sherlock Holmes.  

No comments:

Post a Comment