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Ostatnia zagadka Sherlocka Holmesa by Arthur…

Ostatnia zagadka Sherlocka Holmesa (1917)

by Arthur Conan Doyle, Jarosław Kotarski (Translator)

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1,365205,622 (3.91)49
Title:Ostatnia zagadka Sherlocka Holmesa
Authors:Arthur Conan Doyle (Author)
Other authors:Jarosław Kotarski (Translator)
Info:Agencja Wydawniczo-Handlowa "PASSA"
Collections:Read, Read in 2010, Read but unowned
Tags:translation, crime fiction, stories, Scottish

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His Last Bow by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1917)



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The stories are starting to become repetitive now, they are still exciting individually but I think that some themes and situations are cropping up again from earlier stories (i.e. the 'moors', supernatural elements that really aren't, evildoers who get away scott free, some of the language and character interactions, not too mention the noble, expositionary character who confesses to murder but whom Holmes allows to go free).

This is a totally unfair criticism of course because they were originally published separately over the space of a few years and so I'm reading them in a way that Conan-Doyle never intended. Certainly to readers of the day, the repeating elements would have been far less obvious and they would just have been excited to read the next installment and probably wouldn't have had so easy a time comparing the stories as I have, their being laid out side by side for me. Still it's obvious that he was running out of steam on the Holmes front at this point.

Also, I'm not sure if I'm becoming a more sophisticated mystery reader (answer: I'm not) but I'm finding that the denouements of most of these stories are so predictable that it lessens the enjoyment somewhat, especially in "The Adventure of the Dying Detective" - I wanted to say "Holmes is clearly just setting a trap for the Doctor!" virtually from page one! Regardless, I still think these are worth reading, because the short stories are still better than the novels and the fun outweighs everything else. Just about. ( )
  MartynChuzz | Feb 22, 2016 |
In this story, we are on the eve of the First World War, and Von Bork, a German agent, is getting ready to leave England with his vast collection of intelligence, gathered over a four-year period. His wife and household have already left Harwich for Flushing in the Netherlands, leaving only him and his elderly housekeeper. Von Bork's diplomat friend, Baron von Herling, is impressed by his collection of vital British military secrets, and tells Von Bork that he will be received in Berlin as a hero. Von Bork indicates that he is waiting for one last transaction with his Irish-American informant, Altamont, who will arrive shortly with a rich treasure: naval signals.
Von Herling leaves. Von Bork then hears another car arriving. It is Altamont. By this time, the old housekeeper has turned her light off and retired. Altamont shows him a package.
Altamont proceeds to disparage Von Bork's safe, but Von Bork proudly says that nothing can cut through the metal, and that it has a double combination lock. He even tells Altamont the combination: "August 1914". Altamont then insinuates that German agents get rid of their informants when they are finished with them, naming several who have ended up in prison. Altamont's mistrust of Von Bork is evident in his refusal to hand over the package before he gets his check. Von Bork, for his part, wants to examine the document before handing over the check.
Altamont hands him the package. Upon opening it, he finds it to be a book called Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, hardly what he expected. Even less expected is the chloroform-soaked rag that is held in his face by Altamont a moment later. Altamont, it turns out, is none other than Sherlock Holmes, and the chauffeur who brought him is Dr. Watson. Now much older than in their heyday, they have nonetheless not only caught several spies (Holmes is actually responsible for the imprisoned agents of whom he spoke) in their return from retirement, but fed the Germans some thoroughly untrustworthy intelligence. Holmes has been on this case for two years, and it has taken him to Chicago, Buffalo, and Ireland, where he learnt to play the part of a bitter Irish-American, even gaining the credentials of a member of a secret society. He then identified the security leak through which British secrets were reaching the Germans.
The housekeeper was part of the plot too. The light that she switched off was the signal to Holmes and Watson that the coast was clear.
They drive Von Bork and all of the evidence to Scotland Yard.
At the end, it is revealed that Holmes has retired from active detective work. He spends his days beekeeping in the countryside and writing his definitive work on investigation.
The story is the last chronological installment of the series, though yet another collection (The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes), set before the story, was published four years later. In reference to the impending World War I, Holmes concludes,
"There's an east wind coming, Watson."
"I think not, Holmes. It is very warm."
"Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared."
The patriotic sentiment of the above passage has been widely quoted, and was later used in the final scene of the Basil Rathbone film Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942), set in World War II, implied to have been a fictitious quote of Winston Churchill.
Another excellent plot, I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader that appreciates a well written mystery story, mainly featuring Mr. Sherlock Holmes. ( )
  rmattos | Jan 23, 2016 |
OK, so this isn't as excellent a collection as The Adventures but there are still some funny moments, fine writing and good mysteries. It's flaw is perhaps that it repeats some elements from earlier stories. The Devil's Foot is particularly good, as is The Bruce-Partington Plans with the body on the Underground tracks. ( )
  Lukerik | May 17, 2015 |
To set what I will say below into perspective: I love Sherlock Holmes. So most likely my thoughts will not be shared by some of you. Yet, to everyone who is not sure whether to read stories about the famous detective, just try a few of the stories and see how you like them. While His Last Bow is not a good point to start when you want to start right at the beginning, it gives a good impression of what Holmes stories are all about. If you are already familiar with the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, this volume of stories is quite likely something you will enjoy.

His Last Bow is another of many story colletions centered around detective Sherlock Holmes and his work. As it is a collection of stories I will refrain from going into detail for each one. While His Last Bow features many great stories, "The Dying Detective" is the one I liked best. On the outset, Watson is called to Holmes' rooms at 221b Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes apparently lies on his deathbed as the title of the story suggests. He seems to be terribly sick and is hardly able to speak. After refusing to be treated by Watson, he sends the latter to find Mr. Culverton Smith, who is not a doctor but very experienced with tropical diseases. As the narrative goes on and Smith arrives in Baker Street it slowly becomes clear that Holmes is actually perfectly healthy and that he just pretends to be deadly ill in order to get a confession out of Culverton Smith who murdered his own nephew.

Even if it were just for the sake of "The Dying Detective", this volume is highly recommendable to readers of good detective fiction. It is on the whole a good collection of stories, each of its own worth reading. One might think to get bored by a volume of on the outside similar detective stories but this is actually not the case. The stories each have their own little twist that sets them apart from the rest. I think one of the strong points of this volume is that the stories are not overdone and, being rather short, very much to the point.

On the whole, four stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | Dec 29, 2014 |
I really do enjoy these short works better than the full novels. Every one of them was quite good. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 20, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sir Arthur Conan Doyleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Edwards, Owen DudleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klinger, Leslie S.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The friends of Mr. Sherlock Holmes will be glad to learn that he is still alive and well, thought somewhat crippled by occasional attacks of rheumatism.
There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.
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Conan Doyle used His Last Bow as the title of both a short story, and a collection of 8 short stories that included the story of the same title. This work is for the collection of 8 short stories; DO NOT combine it with the work that represents the individual short story.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0755334434, Paperback)

About to spring out upon my appalled senses, lurked all that was vaguely horrible, all that was monstrous and inconceivably wicked in the universe'. A dense yellow fog descends upon London. Tricksters, thieves and murderers stalk their prey undetected. Lawlessness abounds but it is no match for the penetrating mind of Sherlock Holmes as he investigates the strangest of cases. A woman receives a gruesome package - two human ears in a box. A vital government secret is threatened with exposure. Miss Brenda Tregennis is found scared to death - could she really have died from fright alone? And when the stability of the country is threatend, Holmes' unrivalled talents are called upon once again ...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:50 -0400)

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"In Sherlock Holmes' world, the tricksters, thieves and murderers who stalk their prey undetected use the strangest and most sinister weapons. A women receives a gruesome package - two human ears in a box. A vital government secret is threatened with exposure. And a Miss Brenda Tregennis is found literally scared to death - could she really have died from fright alone? Even in the gloom of a London gog, Holmes sees and observes everything... As the ageing Holmes seeks a quieter life, Watson celebrates his earlier triumphs in this stunning collection of stories. But when the stability of the country is threatened, Holmes' unrivalled talents are called upon once again..."--Book cover.… (more)

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3 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400101697, 1400111323, 1400115205

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