January 14, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

Well, I have gotten through a book and a few short stories in the past week. I decided to join the Book of the Month discussion for the Classic Literature forum on Paperbackswap. Their January selection is several short stories by Sir Conan Arthur Doyle as well as his novel The Hound of the Baskervilles . The Hound is the first and only story I had ever read of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but I had enjoyed it thoroughly and happily re-read it. I just finished two of the short stories ; The Scandal in Bohemia and The Red Headed League.

In the Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are approached by a man named Mortimer who was friends with the late Sir Charles Baskerville. Sir Charles has recently died of a heart attack, having been found in his yard with a distorted face. It apeared as if he were running away from someone or something. Mortimer is afraid for the new Lord Baskerville's safety. Mortimer’s fear is based on the legend of a ghostly hound that lives in the moor. Sir Henry, the new Lord Baskerville is unbothered by these tales and insists on going to his estate. Holmes sends Watson along with him to investigate and protect Lord Henry. Watson keeps Holmes informed through letters and Holmes later follows. He uses his great deductive reasoning to solve the case. If you enjoy a good old fashion mystery, I highly recommend this one.

The two short stories I have read so far were good, but not to be compared with the novel. The Scandal in Bohemia, introduces Irene Adler as a cunning woman who is the first to out wit Sherlock Holmes. Having not read any of the short stories before, I was a little shocked how Sir Conan Doyle portrayed Holmes as a drug addict, remarking on his cocaine usage. Then I remembered the time period. Drugs such as Cocaine, Opium, Heroine, etc were still legal in the late 1800's when these stories were written.

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