Collection of stories to explore the world of Sherlock Holmes

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Paris Lawson

This is one of the books sitting on Paris Lawson's home book shelf. Consider this read during the extended break from school or over the summer.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a good detective story. A lot seem cliche, or like you’ve seen the same plot a hundred times over. The villains of the stories always seem to be guessable to the point where it’s questionable to continue reading or not. 

Just like many detective shows, these stories are often based on the stories of an author famous for creating an equally as famous detective. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the creator of the character Sherlock Holmes and all of his adventures for those who might want to see where a lot of the detective cliches started.

Even when waiting to read the stories of Sherlock Holmes, it can be slightly confusing because they were a series of short stories published by Doyle that don’t necessarily need to be read in order of publication. To curb the confusion of which stories to read, The Best of Sherlock Holmes, is a compilation of some of the most popular and Doyle’s favorites of the stories. Twenty of the best stories were chosen, and twelve of those came from a list made by Doyle himself.

“Choosing the best twenty Sherlock Holmes stories was not an easy task, but I had help from Arthur Conan Doyle, no less. In the March 1927 issue of The Strand Magazine, a competition was held to choose the twelve best Sherlock Holmes stories from the forty-four already published in book form. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had made his choice and placed the titles in a sealed envelope…” selector and editor for The Best of Sherlock Holmes David Stuart Davies said in the book’s introduction. The introduction also explains the timeline in which the Sherlock Holmes stories were created.

Through my own reading of the book, I found that “A Scandal in Bohemia”, was my favorite. It is the first story you read as well as introducing the character that Sherlock calls “The Woman” or Irene Adler. It is an interesting battle between Sherlock and Irene as she tries not to get caught. She is also one of the first people Sherlock meets that can compete with his own wits.

For those who want a quicker way of exploring the world of Sherlock Holmes, there are recreations of some of those stories made into movies and shows under the same name. There are two on Netflix, Sherlock Holmes, a movie based on the stories that stars Robert Downey Jr. and Sherlock, a T.V. show based off the books in slightly more modern times starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.