Sherlock Holmes Books

I've enjoyed reading Sherlock Holmes since my early teens and over the years I've built up quite a collection of Sherlock Holmes books. Listed below are just a few books from my Sherlock Holmes collection, I'll be adding more Sherlock Holmes books as time allows. I've included links to Amazon where available for those that would like to buy a book or read reviews. Also included are links to various Sherlock Holmes pastiches that are available for reading for free online.

"A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it." – The Five Orange Pips, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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The Last Sherlock Holmes Story
by Michael Dibdin

Another "Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper" story, except this one has a clever twist at the end. This is one of those books that Sherlockians will either delight in or loath. Unfortunately I can't really say any more without giving the story away.

The author has done quite well to mimic the style employed by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, with the story told from the perspective of Dr Watson, although I must admit I was a little bit distressed to find certain quotes and passages lifted straight from the original works. No doubt this is meant to be taken as being a bit clever and explained as Doyle re-using Watson's quotes, but I didn't like it.

At times I wasn't too sure about this book but by the last page I had warmed considerably to it.

The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, M.D.
by Nicholas Meyer

Nicholas Meyer is also the author of the famous "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution", one of the best-selling non-Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes books ever written (which was also turned into a major motion picture).

In "The West End Horror" Meyer has brought to light another previously unpublished episode in the career of Sherlock Holmes.

I found "The West End Horror" every bit as thrilling and gripping as I found "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution"; real can't-put-down stuff! Highly recommended!

Murder In Baker Street
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg, John Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower

A collection of 11 short stories written in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. All of the authors are well established and know their subject well, creating satisfying stories that a reader can honestly believe came from Conan Doyle's own pen.

In addition to the 11 stories there is also three articles: Sidelights on Sherlock Holmes, 100 Years of Sherlock Holmes, And Now a Word from Arthur Conan Doyle. These additional articles round out what I found to be an enjoyable book.

The Secret Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes
by June Thomsons

A collection of seven new Sherlock Holmes mysteries based on untold cases referred to by Watson in the canon. Stories include "The Case of the Paradol Chamber", "The Case of the Hammersmith Wonder", "The Case of the Maplestead Magpie", "The Case of the Harley Street Specialist", "The Case of the Old Russian Woman", "The Case of the Camberwell Poisoning", "The Case of the Sumatran Rat".

The quality of the stories varies; with some being similar to stories from the canon, while others appear to be quite original. Of particular interest is an appendix containing an hypothesis regarding the chronology of the stories in the canon which the author has obviously put a great deal of thought into.

Sherlock Holmes and 'The Kiss of Death'
by Peter C. Shumway

Sherlock Holmes and 'The Kiss of Death' is a mystery/adventure with Sherlock Holmes, the world's greatest detective, contesting skills and nerves with the world's most clever magician. With Watson by his side the master of observation and deduction must solve the master of magic's greatest illusion in this macabre tale of misdirection and murder.

The Sherlock Holmes Encyclopedia
by Orlando Park

For the student of Sherlock Holmes this book offers much. It is a complete guide to the people, towns, streets, estates, railway stations, objects - in fact everything in the 56 stories and 4 novels making up the work of the legendary Sherlock Holmes.

Although a slim volume of 205 pages, everything from "Abbas Parva" (a Berkshire village from The Veiled Lodger) to "Zoo" is covered.

The Sherlock Holmes Encyclopedia
by Matthew E. Bunson

Not to be confused with the book above of the same title by Orlando Park, this volume was originally published under the title "Encyclopedia Sherlockiana", but for some reason was re-titled (maybe different titles in the US and UK?) Interestingly, Orlando Park's book was originally published under the title "Sherlock Holmes, Esq., and John H. Watson, M.D., An Encyclopedia of Their Affairs"!

326 pages packed with information about the canon (synopses of plots, full descriptions of characters, places, biographies) as well as the history of Sherlock Holmes in television, films, plays and radio, as well as pastiches and Sherlock Holmes societies throughout the world.

The Encyclopedia Sherlockiana
by Jack Tracy

Can you believe it? Another Sherlock Holmes encyclopedia! This one was first published in 1977 and is now out of print, but there seems to be plenty of second-hand copies floating around.

411 pages with entries for every person, place, street, town and river; every legal, heraldic and slang phrase; every plant, animal, house-hold object and social convention. There are more than 3500 main entries, 8000 story citations, cross references and nearly 200 illustrations (maps, photographs and Sidney Paget's original drawings from the Strand magazine)... in short everything you always wanted to know about the immortal Sherlock Holmes!

The Real World of Sherlock Holmes
by Peter Costello

This book is all about true crimes that were investigated by Arthur Conan Doyle. The book explores the many cases that ACD was called on to investigate; many cases are well known (i.e. George Edalji, Oscar Slater, etc) and the author does a remarkable job in hunting down lesser known cases that occurred in America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. I found this a fascinating read and I highly recommend this book to Sherlock Holmes devotees.

The World of Sherlock Holmes: The Facts and Fiction Behind the World's Greatest Detective
by Martin Fido

This book provides great background information on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a chronology of the life of Doyle and the life of Holmes and Watson, plus plenty of great full-colour photographs, and lots of information on the many different actors that have portrayed Holmes on stage, film and TV, from William Gillette to Jeremy Brett.

This isn't a big book, only 144 pages, but it's large format means that there's plenty of room for the text. But it's really the photographs and pictures that make this book so worth-while; a visual feast!

Sherlock Holmes: In His Own Words and in the Words of Those Who Knew Him
by Barry Day

Barry Day has written a biography of Sherlock Holmes that draws from the famous sleuth's own recollections, utterances and writings to narrate his life and career. From his obscure childhood, through his celebrated Baker Street years, to his last cases and death.

As well as covering Holmes, Barry Day also spends times on Mycroft Holmes, Dr. Watson, Inspector Lestrade, Dr. Grimesby Roylott, Colonel Moran, and of course Professor Moriarty.

I found this book to be a joy to read as it brought back many happy memories of the hours I have spent over the years reading the Canon.

A Sherlock Holmes Commentary
by David Martin Dakin

It is the yardstick of Sherlock Holmes scholarship that it is never finished; one work inspires another and it becomes increasingly interesting and profound.

Martin Dakin has ferreted out more facts and gone a long way to explaining the still unexplained in the Sacred Canon. Who, for instance, was the mysterious power behind the sinister Joseph in The Naval Treaty? What was the secret of Holmes's visit to the "worst man in London"? And what was he doing during his three year absence from England? These are typical problems that Martin Dakin unravels or at least puts us on the path to solving.

This book, published in 1972, is long out of print and is rapidly becoming quite rare.

The Sherlock Holmes Companion
by Michael & Mollie Hardwick

Michael and Mollie Hardwick's indispensable and affectionate "Sherlock Holmes Companion" gathers together all the various elements in the stories to provide a unique reference source. Included is a comprehensive Who's Who of characters, a concise summary of the plot of each story, detailed biographies of both Holmes and Watson, an anthology of their often witty aphorisms, and an essay on the author's life and relation to his immortal and much-loved characters.

232 pages long, a great reference book to dip into to refresh your memory of a case or character.

The Science of Sherlock Holmes
by E. J. Wagner

A fascinating look at the science behind the Sherlock Holmes stories. The author looks at various forensic topics (blood, footprints, poison, etc) and then tells the stories of how each topic found a place within forensic science and the history behind it. In many instances Sherlock Holmes was ahead of his time in his observations and experiments!

Letters to Sherlock Holmes
by Richard Lancelyn Green

Year in and year out, the letters flood in to number 221B Baker Street, which is now home of the Abbey National Building Society. Some are naive, others envious, pleading and peremptory, and some offer intelligent criticisms. All of them testify to an undying curiosity in Conan Doyle's great creation.

Every single one receives an answer from Mr Holmes' secretary. Abbey National is proud to provide this service for the Great Detective and happy to collaborate in the compilation of this anthology.

Richard Lancelyn Green has chosen a representative selection and supplies fascinating answers to many of the queries.

Elementary BASIC: Teach yourself BASIC by solving the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes
by Henry Ledgard & Andrew Singer

A very original (and not to mention unusual) book that aims to teach the reader how to program in BASIC by presenting a step-by-step primer that uses new Sherlock Holmes stories as a teaching tool. The computer programs sift through clues and unravel puzzles, while Holmes instructs Watson – and the reader – in a way that illuminates the mysteries of computer programming.

I found this book in the mid 80's in a secondhand book shop and have adored it ever since. It is one of my favourite books in my Sherlock Holmes collection and is well worth tracking down if you have an interest in Holmes and programming.

Sherlock Holmes - TV Classics

Producer Sheldon Reynolds has avoided the customary clichés that seem inevitable to any treatment of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories and instead has concentrated on straight direction work that brings the fascination back to watching Holmes solve a case.

Reynolds, who wrote as well as produced, has cast the series well. Ronald Howard makes an excellent Holmes. He has the lean features one expects in the role, plus a commanding voice and an alert presence.

Howard Marion Crawford is something new in a Dr. Watson, a commonplace type but by no means a buffoon. Archie Duncan is excellent as the blustering inspector Lestrade.

This entire series moves at a quick and entertaining pace, and the production values are excellent with good attention to detail and some on-location filming (i.e. the Eiffel Tower in Paris). Originally filmed for television in 1954-55.

Disc 1, Volume 1 includes: The Case of the Eiffel Tower, The Case of the Jolly Hangman, The Case of the Cunningham Heritage, The Case of the Diamond Tooth, & The Case of the Neurotic Detective.

Disc 2, Volume 2 includes: The Case of the Red-Headed League, The Case of the Vanished Detective, The Night-Train Riddle, The Case of the Pennsylvania Gun, & The Case of the Baker Street Bachelors.

Bonus features include a biography, trivia quiz and direct scene access.

These DVD's are available separately as Sherlock Holmes TV Classics and Sherlock Holmes TV Classics Volume 2, or combined as The Sherlock Holmes Collection.

There were 39 half-hour episodes in the original television series, the 10 selected episodes available on DVD are a good representation of them.