Monday, June 20, 2022

On the Coffee Table: The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Title: The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a 1905 collection of short stories originally published in Strand Magazine between 1903 and 1904.  Of course, there was the small matter that Doyle had killed off his outrageously popular hero in "The Final Problem," in 1893.  While the author was able to circumvent the issue with The Hound of the Baskervilles by setting the story earlier in the fictional timeline, Doyle's new stories required a resurrection in the initial offering of the new collection, "The Adventure of the Empty House."  At the end of this book, in "The Adventure of the Second Stain," Doyle tried to give himself another out by claiming Holmes had retired.  

But there are still three more books after this one.

My favorites in The Return of Sherlock Holmes include the aforementioned "Second Stain," "The Adventure of the Missing Three Quarter" about a missing rugby player and "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" which involves codebreaking, always fun.  We get a strong sense of Morality According to Holmes in this volume.  Not infrequently, he lets the "guilty" party get away when he believes their cause just.