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The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 2 by Sir…

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 2

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sherlock Holmes (1-9 Barnes & Noble, Part 2)

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The world’s most revered and famous fictional detective first appeared from the pen of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle almost a 130 years ago, but the author did not finish with his greatest creation until almost 40 years later even after unsuccessfully killing him off. In this second volume of all the collected works that feature Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. John Watson, the reader gets reacquainted with the great detective and his friend through 33 short stories and a short novella with the added bonus of two Doyle written parodies as well as two essays by the author.

The second volume of the original works of Conan Doyle, in the American publication order, begins with Holmes return to life in “The Empty House”. The opening story of The Return of Sherlock Holmes is just an okay start to the detective return to practice before the story quality through most of the collection improves—“Priory School”, “Three Students”, “Solitary Cyclist”, and “Dancing Men” being the best—until the final three stories. The novella The Valley of Fear begins a noticeable drop in quality throughout the rest of the works, the first half the novella is Holmes at his best but then Conan Doyle repeats his great since with his first Holmes novella Study in Scarlett in which the second half is all flashback of dubious narration or not.

In the collections His Last Bow and The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, only four of the 20 stories could be considered close to the same quality of the earlier Holmes stories. In “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”, Holmes finds competing with a county Inspector who’s methods of deduction gain Holmes’ respect while “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans” is a well-written twist of an earlier Holmes story. The Holmes narrated “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane” is the better of the two Holmes ‘written’ stories while “The Adventure of the Dying Detective” was Conan Doyle writing a wonderful counter-formulaic story.

Yet while those four stories stood out as the best of the late Holmes stories, the others were of subpar quality and included two of the worst. The third person narrative of “Mazarin Stone” doomed the story from the start and details within the study defied the reader’s suspicion of disbelief. The very next story was in my opinion the worst of all Holmes stories, “The Adventure of the Three Gables”, mainly due to the fact that the Sherlock Holmes presented in that story was not the Holmes in all previous stories and all those that followed.

Although the majority of the volume saw for the most part the quality of Conan Doyle’s storytelling fall, one cannot fail to notice that the author who at one time loathed his creation would do ensure that his—both Sherlock’s and his own—legacy endure with as best writing as he could produce. Within the collected 34 original works, there are many diamonds in the rough that any reader will enjoy reading whether they have read other Holmes works or not. ( )
  mattries37315 | Jan 18, 2016 |
I just wanted Valley of Fear because Mary Russell takes place in Valley of Fear, and the rest of her series from Valley of Fear and beyond. I think she is Mandie's. Mandie is 12 years her senior, 12 years older than 2 January 1900, born around June 1888. We are not all that Native American anymore but we used to be and that was Mandie's one fourth Native American blood back in the early 1900's. I tagged this as autism, right? And not you? Fern Walters is from Arthur by Marc Brown. Is this book supposed to be hers and not ours? ( )
  allygggggg | May 26, 2014 |
The second volume of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's collected Sherlock Holmes stories and novellas, and a substantial body of work it is, the complete output coming in at over 1100 pages. By now, Doyle has settled into a routine that he occasionally breaks out of, with a couple of stories purportedly penned by Holmes rather than the ever-faithful chronicler Doctor Watson. In tone and method, the stories remind me of the TV series "Monk", although considerably lighter on the humor. Also, Holmes is much more competent in his dealings with men and society.

It's remarkable to me that after reading over 1100 pages of Sherlock Holmes stories in a month or two, I was never bored by the adventures of a singular detective written over a century ago. I will admit that as much as I enjoyed nearly every story, most of the plots didn't really stick in my memory. The exceptions are the departures in style. There was one where Holmes' death from poison appears imminent, and another where Holmes inadvertently guides Watson into a dangerous situation that results in a gunshot wound to the good Doctor. These are unusual stories that illuminate the depth of feeling that exists between these two men. Had the stories been written in more modern times, it would have been natural to wonder about a physical relationship between them, save for passages that clearly label Watson as a heterosexual (he was happily married twice), and Holmes most likely as asexual.

I don't know if I'll ever re-read Sherlock Holmes' adventures, but I thoroughly enjoyed them. There was a brief mention of the giant rat of Sumatra, which was only mentioned in a reminiscence, and has figured since then in the writings of several other authors since then. And I was amazed that as much as Professor Moriarty figures in the public mythos of Sherlock Holmes, he only appeared (and died) in a single story in the first volume, and is mentioned in this volume in an apparent prequel story. I understand that the Sherlock Holmes stories have never gone out of print, a streak which places them in rare company indeed. ( )
  burnit99 | Sep 26, 2013 |
Currently on loan to Randy - he has volume one! ( )
  ChrissyLou | Dec 28, 2011 |
I suppose I started reading this collection for the same reason I watch regular TV shows every week. I wanted consistently interesting short stories, and that's exactly what I got. However I made a mistake reading them all straight through in this convenient collection, and the formulaic plots bothered me more than they would have otherwise.

I did notice an improvement in terms of the mystery complexity, which I appreciated. No where is this more evident than in "The Valley of Fear", which uses an extremely similar set-up to "A Study in Scarlet". Both stories have two parts, the first of which takes place in 1890's England and the second some years previous in America. However everything else about "The Valley of Fear" is a vast improvement! The murder mystery is much more clever, the action is better paced, and the second part was well-introduced as well as being a mystery story in it's own right! Clearly Sir. Doyle had come into his own as an author by this point, and his skills greatly improved with practice.

I also enjoyed the change in Watson's "voice" over time. Sir Doyle seems much more comfortable in his writing abilities by "The Valley of Fear", and I felt there was less awkward prose. I noticed Sir Doyle has a very fanciful way of describing the scene, which appeals to me greatly. I shall always imagine a foggy London day as John Watson saw it.

More at: http://dragonldy.blogspot.com/2011/02/review-complete-sherlock-holmes-volume.htm... ( )
1 vote kaydern | Feb 25, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sir Arthur Conan Doyleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Freeman, KyleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was in the spring of the year 1894 that all London was interested, and the fashionable world dismayed, by the murder of the Honourable Ronald Adair under most unusual and inexplicable circumstances.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is volume 2 of the Barnes & Noble Classics edition (ISBN 1-593-08040-9, ISBN 1-593-08204-5, and ISBN 1-411-43198-7), which does not contain the same works as other editions.

Individual volumes should not be combined with the complete set or different volumes of the same set.

This work contains:
  • The World of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes--General Indroduction by Kyle Freeman
  • Introduction to Volume 2 by Kyle Freeman
  • A Note on Conveyances
  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Valley of Fear
  • His Last Bow (the short story collection)
  • The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes
  • Two Parodies by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Field Bazaar, How Watson Learned the Trick
  • Two essays by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The truth about Sherlock Homes, Some Personalia about Mr. Sherlock Holmes
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CRIME & MYSTERY. Contents : A Study in Scarlet: The first ever Sherlock Holmes story, published in Beeton's Christmas Annual, 1887, sees Holmes adopt Dr Watson as a faithful companion while investigating a grisly murder in South London.; The Sign of Four: First published in Lipincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890, this is a tale of a damsel in distress, intrigue in colonial India, stolen treasure, a baffling murder and four despicable ex-convicts.; The Hound of the Baskervilles: Perhaps the most famous of all Sherlock Holmes titles, The Hound, featuring bizarre behaviour and mysterious deaths on the Devon moors was serialised in The Strand Magazine between August 1901 and April 1902.; The Valley of Fear: The final Sherlock Holmes novel first appeared in The Strand Magazine between September 1914 and May 1915. Holmes unravels the mystery of a dead man's mistaken identity and faces up to his old foe, Professor Moriarty.… (more)

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