12/03/2006

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

The last published (and considered by some the least important) stories about Sherlock Holmes by the Victorian writer Sir Arther Conan Doyle. They do feel like a bit of a muddle; some chapters are preceded by comments that the case can only just be published, due to the people concerned, and a couple of them are supposedly written by Holmes himself, rather than his usual biographer, Watson. Each story is complete in itself, and as usual the amazing observation skills and intuition of the great detective show themselves as he uses his brilliant logic to solve difficult cases.

Nothing too gory, and pleasant light reading, on the whole. Despite being around 100 years old now, the language isn't particularly dated and the society of the day is taken for granted, since Conan Doyle actually wrote during the Victorian period rather than researching for historical settings. So class consciousness is taken for granted, and people are quite formal with each other, using 'sir' and titles, in a way that seems almost impolite to modern readers. Nevertheless, these aren't grating since in the context they're clearly acceptable, even expected.

Recommended to any adults or teenagers who enjoy light mysteries, or Holmes' peculiar brand of problem-solving, but this book is nothing special.

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