Best Of Sherlock Holmes

Paul Gonzalez
• Sunday, 22 November, 2020
• 8 min read

This website is devoted to covering noteworthy items related to Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. SP Books publishes the first-ever facsimile of a manuscript for a complete Conan Doyle novel.

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Christies sold the manuscript of Conan Doyle's third Professor Challenger novel The Land of Mist in July 2020. An unpublished chapter from the Professor Challenger story The Land of Mist and a Conan Doyle poem about Shakespeare both sold at auction for more than their high estimate.

Sir Arthur's manuscript for one of the funniest cricket stories ever written sold at auction at Sotheby's. The manuscript of a story selected by Conan Doyle as one of the best Holmes tales went to auction in 2018.

The Basil Rathbone movies helped change the broadcast industry, and even have a connection to the Holmes TV show starring Ronald Howard. With two blockbuster Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey, Jr., it's only natural to wonder how they compare to the Basil Rathbone films.

Nearly 100 years after 1922’s Sherlock Holmes, the watershed movie that proved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character a Hollywood leading man, the detective remains on the case! He’s been adapted to movies and TV countless times, and we’ve organized all of his works which got a Tomato meter score in chronological order.

That includes films from Basil Rathbone’s defining decades-long run accessorized with the deerstalker hat, Robert Downey Jr.’s blockbuster take, and Sherlock‘s modern spin with Benedict Cumberbatch. Critics Consensus: Guy Ritchie's directorial style might not be quite the best fit for an update on the legendary detective, but Sherlock Holmes benefits from the elementary appeal of a strong performance by Robert Downey, Jr.

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Critics Consensus: Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows is a good yarn thanks to its well-matched leading men but overall stumbles duplicating the well-oiled thrills of the original. Critics Consensus: Mr. Holmes focuses on the man behind the mysteries, and while it may lack Baker Street thrills, it more than compensates with tenderly wrought, well-acted drama.

Critics Consensus: Nola Holmes brings a breath of fresh air to Baker Street -- and leaves plenty of room for Millie Bobby Brown to put her effervescent stamp on a franchise in waiting. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the fog-shrouded moorland that makes up his estate.

The master sleuth hunts his archenemy, Professor Moriarty, who is planning the crime of the century. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson must protect a Swiss inventor of an advanced bomb sight from falling into German hands.

When a Nazi saboteur jeeringly predicts to the nation new depredations via the radio 'Voice of Terror', the Homeland Security Inner Council summons Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to help ... See full summary ». During WWII several murders occur at a convalescent home where Dr. Watson has volunteered his services.

He summons Holmes for help and the master detective proceeds to solve the crime from ... See full summary ». Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson travel to Washington D.C. in order to prevent a secret document from falling into enemy hands.

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When a valuable pearl with a sinister reputation is stolen, Sherlock Holmes must investigate its link to a series of brutal murders. When a gentlewoman is found dead with her throat torn out, the villagers blame a supernatural monster.

But Sherlock Holmes, who gets drawn into the case from nearby Quebec, suspects a human murderer. Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of deaths at a castle with each foretold by the delivery of orange pips to the victims.

Holmes is recruited to escort the heir to a European throne safely back to his homeland after his father's assassination. Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed.

Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot. When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.

Sherlock Holmes sets out to discover why a trio of murderous villains, including a dangerously attractive female, are desperate to obtain three unassuming and inexpensive little music boxes. When a nobleman is threatened by a family curse on his newly inherited estate, detective Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate.

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When a bored Holmes eagerly takes the case of Gabrielle Valley after an attempt on her life, the search for her missing husband leads to Loch Ness and the legendary monster. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson solve the mysteries of copper beeches, a Greek interpreter, the Norwood builder, a resident patient, the red-headed league, and one final problem.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson solve the mysteries of the devil's foot, Silver Blaze, Wisteria Lodge and the Bruce-Partington Plans. The disappearance of a young woman's father and a mysterious note years later after the strange regular annual delivery of valuable pearls to her puts Sherlock Holmes on the case.

When the latest heir to the Baskerville estate seems to be threatened by a family curse, only the master detective, Sherlock Holmes, can find out the truth. Holmes and Dr. Watson solve the mysteries of the Disappearance of Lady Frances CARFAX, Thor Bridge, Holcombe Old Place, The Holcombe Valley Mystery, The Illustrious Client and The Creeping Man.

Inspired by a story Doyle heard from his friend, the sportsman and journalist Bertram Fletcher Robinson, about the legends surrounding a seventeenth-century squire, The Hound of the Baskerville is one of the best -known Sherlock Holmes cases, featuring supposedly demonic hounds on atmospheric Dartmoor. Until this story, he was the star of two short novels, A Study in Scarlet (1887) and The Sign of the Four (1890), and known to a small group of readers.

After the short stories began to appear in The Strand, he became one of the most famous fictional characters in the history of literature. SherlockHolmes’s quick eye took in my occupation, and he shook his head with a smile as he noticed my questioning glances.

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“Beyond the obvious facts that he has at some time done manual labor, that he takes snuff, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else.” “I am not quite so bulky, but if he had remained I might have shown him that my grip was not much more feeble than his own.” As he spoke he picked up the steel poker and, with a sudden effort, straightened it out again.

The case will require Holmes not only to save his client’s life but to solve the mystery of how her sister died two years ago. Like many of the Sherlock Holmes stories, the British Empire lurks in the background (Dr Boycott had met the girls’ mother out in India, and has a menagerie of exotic animals from that country), and in this connection, the story also reveals a debt to one of the first detective novels, Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone.

Perhaps best -known for Holmes’s famous line about ‘the curious incident of the dog in the night-time’ (used by Mark Had don as the title for his bestselling novel), ‘Silver Blaze’ is the first story in the second collection of classic Sherlock Holmes stories, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893). The story concerns a missing racehorse and sees Holmes donning his famous deerstalker to investigate.

I put the question, with a hint that it was my companion’s modesty which made him acknowledge his brother as his superior. The mystery itself revolves around a Greek interpreter named Mr Meals, who is engaged in a rather cloak-and-dagger way to translate for someone who is being held captive by some sinister criminals.

Its code-themed story probably inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Gold-Bug’, ‘The Dancing Men’ is one of Holmes’s greatest code-breaking triumphs. Mr. Hilton Cubist of Riding Thorpe Manor in Norfolk, and husband to a nervous wife, tells Holmes a series of stick figures have started to appear chalked up on the window-sill of the house.

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It’s also noteworthy for being the one Sherlock Holmes story penned by Doyle to feature the evil criminal mastermind, Dr James Moriarty, ‘the Napoleon of crime’. The adventures of Doyle’s iconic detective proved a craze from the start, and since then, no character has been as reproduced and adapted in film, television, stage, and the printed word.

I’d long been intrigued by the idea of Sherlock, but wasn’t really spurred into reading the stories until we had Michael Sims on the podcast to talk about Arthur Conan Doyle and the creation of his archetypal sleuth. Some entries in the series are definitely better than others; for one thing, the final two published collections, His Last Bow and The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, are universally regarded as lesser material.

Almost every story (outside those in The Case Book) is in the public domain; click the title of each to read them for free online! Scotland Yard investigator Lestrade (we never learn his first name) invites Holmes to consult on the case; though the budding detective initially feigns reluctance, his intellect won’t let him turn down the chance to solve a mystery.

Using the length of a novel rather than just a short story, and without the need for much expository ramp-up, Conan Doyle is able to fully explore the depths of the most head-scratching case in the series. Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead near his manor in the craggy moors of southern England.

There’s no outward evidence of murder, but there are suspicious signs, including the frozen look of horror on Baskerville’s face. There aren’t many clues to work from, except for an old legend about a monstrous hound that has attacked Baskerville heirs for generations.

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Placed by “THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE,” it announced that “All red-headed men who are sound in body and mind and above the age of twenty-one years” were eligible for a well-paying but nondescript job. Wilson showed up for the interview, was declared to have just the right hue of red in his locks, and was set to work copying the encyclopedia.

Though he takes a central role in only this one story (he’s reminisced about in others), no Shylockian villain is as nefarious as Professor James Moriarty; “He is the Napoleon of crime,” Sherlock tells Watson. On the eve of an important horse race, a prized thoroughbred, Silver Blaze, has gone missing, his trainer has been murdered, and some sheep in a nearby pasture have been found lame.

The famous exchange about “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time” in fact inspired an excellent novel which used that line as the title. Some better-written Holmes stories are somewhat predictable, and some better plot lines aren’t as well written or structured; “The Silver Blaze” is one of those that combines all the best elements of Doyle’s work.

The beauty of the Sherlock Holmes stories is that you’re sure to find one with a tone that appeals to you; there’s quite a range on a scale that runs from fun and playful to dark and twisted. The charming Miss Violet Hunter visits Holmes and asks his opinion on taking a job as a nanny which, though it pays well, also comes with a number of peculiar conditions, including cutting her hair short and wearing particular clothes.

This is another of Doyle’s more playful stories and involves the most memorable female character of the entire series; in Sherlock’s eyes, “she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex.” Holmes takes the case, thinking it’ll be a piece of cake to trick the woman and retrieve the photograph.

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This story has as memorable a start as you’ll find in the canon: a young lawyer, John McFarlane, comes into Holmes office knowing full well he’s going to be arrested and charged with murder. We also see a fuller picture of Lestrade in this story; rather than just begrudging competition, the relationship between him and Holmes seems to flourish into real comradeship.

He buys seedy letters and photographs and then sells them to whoever the highest bidder is, regardless of whose lives are destroyed in the process. Holmes is enlisted in the fight against Silverton by Lady Eva Blackwell, who’s keen on retrieving some compromising documents.

Silverton is as dastardly a fellow as London has ever seen, and though Holmes is aware of him, he hasn’t had the chance to nail down evidence of his breaking the law; this is his opportunity, and he leaps at it. The reader gets the gift of clever disguises, a false engagement, breaking and entering, safe-cracking, and as surprising an ending as you’ll come across in these stories.

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