Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Final Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Review

When The Final Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was first published, it had long been established that the adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's celebrated sleuth Sherlock Holmes was made up of fifty-six short stories and four novels. There had also long been rumors of various other materials by Doyle that had never been collected and published in one volume.  Peter Haining hunted down some of the most elusive items and brought them all together in this book.  And what we have is a grand mish-mash of early stories, plays, poems, and essays about Holmes--all written by Doyle.  Well, purportedly in some cases.

I am quite sure that I've read some of these pieces before....probably re-collected in other places once Haining had done the leg-work of hunting them down for first time.  I can't say that any of the stories or other pieces are particularly earth-shatteringly great, but the pieces are interesting for anyone who has more than a passing interest in all things Holmes.  We are given everything from "The Mystery of Uncle Jeremy's Household" which is a clear precursor to The Study in Scarlet to Doyle's own explanation of how he came to kill off his most famous literary offspring.  There is also the list of Doyle's favorite stories--Holmes fans can see how their own favorites match up.  

The dust jacket blurb says that this volume "will undoubtedly be welcomed by every Holmes enthusiast and find a place of honour in Sherlockian Libraries throughout the world...."  Well, maybe there was great joy in Holmes-ville when this was first published, but coming to it now I would say that it's a decent collection of early and obscure material on Holmes.  Three stars.


Shirley said...

I may just check this one out as a fan of the great Sherlock Holmes. Thanks for the review.

Man of la Book said...

Great review. I just started A Study in Scarlet (the first Holmes book).