The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #5) ★★★☆☆

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Title: The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Series: Sherlock Holmes #5
Author: Arthur Doyle
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 420
Words: 114K


Table of Contents

“The Adventure of the Empty House”

“The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”

“The Adventure of the Dancing Men”

“The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist”

“The Adventure of the Priory School”

“The Adventure of Black Peter”

“The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton”

“The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”

“The Adventure of the Three Students”

“The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez”

“The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter”

“The Adventure of the Abbey Grange”

“The Adventure of the Second Stain”

My Thoughts:

While Sherlock returns from what should have been certain death, in this collection, it wasn’t the fantastic return it should have been. Doyle seems to have run out of vim and vigor and most of these stories felt very plodd’y. To the point he abandons all continuity and has Sherlock and Watson once again living at 221B Baker Street. Mrs Watson seems to have been disappeared, to the point where I had to wonder why Doyle had ever introduced her in the first place.

All of these were new to me except for the Dancing Men and even that I had forgotten pretty much everything except that the dancing men were a code. With all new (to me) stories, I have to admit I was hoping for a bit more punch and some rock-em-sock-em robot action. What I got was workmanlike stories written to pay the bills.

Personally, I don’t see why “I” should be punished by Doyle’s bad attitude; “I” didn’t ask him to write more Sherlock. He did that all on his own because going out and earning a living with his hands was too much for the namby-pamby wuss. He should have become a land surveyor, that’d put hair on his chest, pennies in his pocket and mush on the table. But nope, instead he churns out spiritless stories and the hoi poloi of his time are too stupid to even reject them. So here I am, left with a legacy of spiritless stupidity. My goodness, the stuff I put up with just to write reviews. And I’m not even getting paid. And if I was getting paid, I’d spit in the eye of the company paying me because only book hookers write reviews for money.

Ok, enough of that.

Despite my complaining, there was nothing bad about this collection. It just didn’t feel inspired and for a 400+ page book, you a little inspiration to keep that plodd’y feeling away.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

24 thoughts on “The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #5) ★★★☆☆

  1. When authors kill their main characters it usually means they are done with them, so when compelled (by any reason) to resuscitate them, it’s not surprising that the proverbial wind has gone out of their equally proverbial sails…. Even when they are threatened by crazed former nurses! 😀 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Actually people protested and pressure Doyle to bring Sherlock back. Maybe that hinder Doyle’s writing a bit. I read a lot of these stories out of order to really notice.

    Have you read The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
    And unrelated to this post. What with all the post with no reviews? Is that like some tbr list?
    I’m just curious. They been filling up my notification feed for the last few days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Doyle didn’t WANT to write more Sherlock and I know it affected his output.

      re: Lost World. Hang on, let me go check. Yep, I read the first Professor Challenger novel back in ’12. I never tried any more in the series.

      In regards to the emails. I was writing out old reviews and if anyone gets my posts emailed to them, they get those too. Apparently back dating them doesn’t negate that. I’m nearly done (I started in April of 2000) so there shouldn’t be any more after that. Back then I was just recording the basic facts of what I was reading.

      I’m hoping to have it all wrapped up today actually 😀 I’ve been working on this project for a long time…


  3. I’m guessing you know the anecdote? But just in case you don’t (and in ACD’s own words) –

    ‘The most trenchant criticism of the stories as a series came from a Cornish boatman, who remarked to me: “When Mr. Holmes had that fall he may not have been killed, but he was certainly injured, for he was never the same man afterwards.” I hope the allegation is not true — and, indeed, those who have read the stories backward, from the latest to the first, assure me that it is not so — but it was a shrewd thrust none the less.’

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I read and re-read them as a teenager. After a while I knew the stories off by heart (I think there’s around 48) and so I stopped. I haven’t read them since!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. In all fairness, the decline was to be expected. He revived Sherlock due to public pressure. Apparently people weren’t happy they couldn’t read new Sherlock stories. I like to think he deliberately took his foot off the gas in the hopes that the public would lose interest

    Liked by 1 person

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