The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1 consists of the first two Holmes novels that Conan Doyle wrote i.e., "A Study in Scarlet" and "The Sign of Four", as well as a series of short stories that were collected under the heading, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes". "A Study in Scarlet" first introduces us to the detective and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, who is astonished to realize that Holmes can look at a person and figure out various things about him/her such as, for example, the fact that Watson himself has just returned from military duty and is a doctor. Holmes and Watson start sharing a set of rooms and Watson gets involved in Holmes' crime-solving and then takes up the task of writing down their adventures together.
In "A Study in Scarlet", a dead man is found with the word "rache" scribbled in blood next to him and Holmes is the only one who know right away that this is the German word for revenge. He also gives an accurate description of the murderer and manages to catch him single-handed, uncovering the sordid back story that led to this crime of revenge, a story that involves lovers being forced to part.
In "The Sign of Four", Holmes helps out a young lady who comes to him with a mysterious problem—she is being sent a pearl every year by an unknown benefactor who now wants to meet her and give her a part of the treasure that their fathers brought over from India. However, a murder takes place and the treasure is stolen. Holmes uncovers the sensationalistic back story which involves men killing and betraying each other for the sake of this treasure.
"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" is a series of short stories, all perfect little puzzles in themselves, some with a humorous premise such as "The Red-Headed League" where a red-headed man is given a well-paying job doing nothing but copying the Encyclopedia Britannica and, after a couple of months, this job abruptly comes to an end. In another short story, we are introduced to Irene Adler, whom Holmes refers to as "the woman." Even though Irene is a thief, Holmes admires her handling of herself with integrity.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Scotland and his parents were of Irish descent. He trained to be a doctor but would write stories in his spare time. This is how Sherlock Holmes was born but the first two novels starring the detective didn't do all that well even though they were accepted for publication. It was with the short stories that Holmes' renown grew to such an extent that when Doyle decided to kill him off, there was a public outcry and he was forced to bring him back. Doyle was also interested in crime in his daily life and he prevented two accused men from suffering for crimes they had not committed. In his last few days, Doyle became very interested in spirituality and the possibility of life after death. He married twice and had five children.
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First appearing in print in 1890, the character of Sherlock Holmes has now become synonymous worldwide with the concept of a super sleuth. His creator, Conan Doyle, imbued his detective hero with intellectual power, acute observational abilities, a penchant for deductive reasoning and a highly educated use of forensic skills. Indeed, Doyle created the first fictional private detective who used what we now recognize as modern scientific investigative techniques.
Doyle ended up writing four novels and 56 short stories featuring Holmes and his companion, Dr. Watson. All but four are told in the first person by Watson, two by Holmes, and two are written in the third person. Together, this series of beautifully written Victorian literature has sold more copies than any other books in the English language, with the exceptions of the Bible and Shakespeare.
Volume 1 in this series consists of two novels, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, followed by a collection of short stories entitled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Download and start listening now!