Today marks the 159th birthday of Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the popular character Sherlock Holmes. Doyle is well known for popularizing the detective fiction genre. So if you are new to Doyle’s writing style, here are some stories of his that are a great place for any reader to start with:
The Hound of the Baskervilles is the tale of an ancient curse suddenly given a terrifying modern application. The grey towers of Baskerville Hall and the wild open country of Dartmoor hold many secrets for Holmes and Watson to unravel. The detective is contemptuous of supernatural manifestations, but the reader will remain perpetually haunted by the hound from the moor.
In A Study in Scarlet, Holmes and Watson’s first mystery, the pair are summoned to a south London house where they find a dead man whose contorted face is a twisted mask of horror. The body is unmarked by violence but on the wall a mysterious word has been written in blood.
The police are baffled by the crime and its circumstances. But when Sherlock Holmes applies his brilliantly logical mind to the problem he uncovers a tragic tale of love and deadly revenge…
As a dense yellow fog swirls through the streets of London, a deep melancholy has descended on Sherlock Holmes, who sits in a cocaine-induced haze at 221B Baker Street. His mood is only lifted by a visit from a beautiful but distressed young woman–Mary Morstan, whose father vanished ten years before. Four years later she began to receive an exquisite gift every year: a large, lustrous pearl. Now she has had an intriguing invitation to meet her unknown benefactor and urges Holmes and Watson to accompany her. And in the ensuing investigation–which involves a wronged woman, a stolen hoard of Indian treasure, a wooden-legged ruffian, a helpful dog and a love affair–even the jaded Holmes is moved to exclaim, ‘Isn’t it gorgeous!’
Holmes and Watson solve a mystery for client Helen Stoner, whose twin sister dies under mysetrious circumstances, which cause Helen to fear for her own life.
One of the most popular Sherlock Holmes short stories, “Silver Blaze” focuses on the disappearance of the titular race horse (a famous winner) on the eve of an important race and on the apparent murder of its trainer. The tale is distinguished by its atmospheric Dartmoor setting and late-Victorian sporting milieu.
Holmes comes face to face with his nemesis, criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty.
Something is terrorizing Oxford university…and it might be a dark, supernatural force hovering over the community.