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review 2021-11-27 21:45
Watson się cieszy
The Sign of Four - Arthur Conan Doyle

To druga powieść, którą przerabiam w ramach chronologicznego przeglądu opowieści o Sherlocku Holmesie. I w odróżnieniu od "Studium w szkarłacie", które oceniam jako udane wprowadzenie w świat Holmesa i Watsona, ta odsłona nie wywarła już na mnie tak pozytywnego wrażenia.


Początek jest, owszem, obiecujący. Zagadka zniknięcia ojca panny Morstan, która szybko przeradza się w tajemnicę skarbu strzeżonego przez tytułowy znak czterech, jest niezwykle intrygująca. Przenikliwość genialnego detektywa daje się poznać już od początku opowieści.


Niestety, później jest już gorzej. Następujący potem ciąg akcji nie dość, że nie wydaje się szczególnie wciągający, to przede wszystkim niespecjalnie jest napędzany błyskotliwym intelektem Holmesa, a tego jednak przede wszystkim oczekuję po tych historiach.


No, ale przynajmniej Watson znalazł sobie towarzyszkę życia. Good for you, doctor!

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text 2020-06-27 12:42
Reading progress update: I've read 21 out of 320 pages.
Capital Crimes: London Mysteries - Various Authors,Martin Edwards

This week has been slumpish. I haven't felt like diving into any heavy reads or even full length novels or really anything that required a lot of focus. So, poetry and short stories and Paul Temple, and even this only a few minutes at a time, were the only reads I engaged in this week. Not that poetry doesn't require some focus etc. ... but poems are short and you don't generally need to remember a plot or characters from one poem to the next.


Anyway, I did manage to start Capital Crimes, which is a collection of short stories with London as a theme. 


The first story in the book was The Case of Lady Sannox by Arthur Conan Doyle. 


I have read this story before in a superb collection of ACD's (non-Holmes) short stories called Gothic Tales, and I found it stomach-turning then. On the re-read, it's still makes me wince, but then I am not a fan of horror ... and this falls into the horror genre for me.

However, I think I also appreciated the story a little more on the re-read for its pointing out issues regarding xenophobia and domestic violence. It's one of ACD's stories that I thought was quite modern, ahead if its time even, for story first published in 1893.


Btw, all of ACD's stories are available online for free.  


I am not sure I will write an update for all of the other stories in Capital Crimes, but for reference the stories included in the collection are:


The Case of Lady Sannox - Arthur Conan Doyle

A Mystery of the Underground - John Oxenham

The Finchley Puzzle - Richard Marsh

The Magic Casket - R. Austin Freeman

The Holloway Flat Tragedy - Ernest Bramah

The Magician Of Cannon Street - J. S. Fletcher

The Stealer of Marble - Edgar Wallace

The Tea Leaf - Robert Eustace and Edgar Jepson

The Hands of Mr Ottermole - Thomas Burke

The Little House - H. C. Bailey

The Silver Mask - Hugh Walpole

Wind in the East - Henry Wade

The  Avenging Chance - Anthony Berkley

They Don't Wear Labels - E. M. Delafield

The Unseen Door - Margery Allingham

Cheese - Ethel Lina White

You Can't Hang Twice - Anthony Gilbert

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review 2020-05-28 20:52
A Scandal in Bohemia ★★★☆☆
A Scandal in Bohemia - Arthur Conan Doyle

I appreciate the intrigue, and that Holmes was actually a little delighted that he was outsmarted (and out-acted) by a woman, but I'm a little puzzled as to why the Grand Duke insists that a woman who has been blackmailing him is a "woman of her word" and won't expose him now.  


Audiobook, part of the enormous Audible "Sherlock Holmes" compilation of works read by Stephen Fry. I'm slowly working my way through it. I'll be listening to the rest of the short stories in "Adventures of" later. 

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text 2020-05-22 20:24
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 96 pages.
A Scandal in Bohemia (Penguin Readers (Graded Readers)) - Arthur C Conan Doyle

LibraryThing tells me that 22nd May was ACD's birthday.

So, fittingly, I'll revisit a favourite story tonight.

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review 2020-05-17 04:29
The Last (and Least) of Sherlock Holmes
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

This volume contains the last two collections of Sherlock Holmes stories by Doyle. The book places Casebook first, followed by His Last Bow, although the Casebook stories were written and published after Bow. The reason for the reversal of order is that the title story of His Last Bow features an older Holmes coming out of retirement to serve as a spy catcher during World War I. It is a fitting ending place for the character, and it would have made a fine place to end the Holmes stories, but Doyle continued on.


Doyle admitted in interviews that he considered Holmes his cash cow and anytime he needed quick money he would write another Holmes story for the magazines. The stories in Casebook are not bad, but you can tell Doyle has lost interest and may have grown to dislike the character. The tone of the stories is more melodramatic than Holmes at his best. The villains are more mustache-twirly, and grizzly crime scenes are described in detail rather than being left to the reader's imagination. Two stories in Casebook are actually narrated by Holmes rather than Watson, but the results feel like a wasted opportunity. Watson always described Holmes as unfathomably brilliant, but the stories related directly by him come across almost exactly the same as Watson stories.


If you want to read the best of Sherlock Holmes, I would recommend The Adventures, Memoirs, and Return of Sherlock Holmes. Bow and Casebook are for completists.

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