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The Words & Writings of Sean Richmond

the Return of Sherlock Holmes: Review

cover of The Return of Sherlock Holmes, by Art...

The Return of Sherlock Holmes, from the same audio collection that I had the pleasure of listening to for the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmeswas overall a much better collection of short stories featuring the legendary detective and his faithful companion. The book starts off with "The Adventure of the Empty House," a story that picks up three years after "the Final Problem," the story that Doyle had intended to complete his writings of Holmes once and for all. 

We discover that Holmes being the clever man that he is, faked his death and had been in hiding for several years, using the opportunity to work under the radar to rid England of the most dangerous men that remained at large from Moriarty's gang.
From then on few of the stories actually take place after "the Empty House," instead Watson returns to the archives and tells stories that take place at different chronological points in Holmes' career. The collection ends with "The Adventure of the Second Stain," which Watson describes as being Holmes' most important case (politically speaking), and the last story that Holmes will allow him to publish, as at the time of the writing he has decided to retire to bee-keeping in the countryside.
As I said before, this is a much better collection than Memoirs, and overall is very well done. There is the occasional story that has a rather obvious conclusion, but those are in the great minority.
If you're looking for a good collection of fast and entertaining Sherlockian fiction, this is a very good edition to read. The stories move at a brisk pace, are interesting and varied in their subject matter, and are, for the most part, classic Holmes. Again, for the simplicity of actual ratings, I will rate each story individually.
  • "The Adventure of the Empty House"  Rating: 8/10
  • "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder"  Rating: 5/10
  • "The Adventure of the Dancing Men"  Rating: 7/10
  • "The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist" Rating: 6/10
  • "The Adventure of the Priory School"  Rating: 6/10
  • "The Adventure of Black Peter"  Rating: 8/10
  • "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton"  Rating: 9/10
  • "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons"  Rating: 7/10
  • "The Adventure of the Three Students"  Rating: 6/10
  • "The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez"  Rating: 7/10
  • "The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter"  Rating: 7/10
  • "The Adventure of the Abbey Grange"  Rating: 7/10
  • "The Adventure of the Second Stain"  Rating: 8/10

Further Note on Audio edition: since this is the same collection that I mentioned in my review of Memoirs, I will not expound on that any furhter here, suffice to say that it continues its excellent performance, and that I highly recommend it.

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