‘On the contrary, my dear Watson, you can see everything. You fail, however, to reason from what you see’
This book is quite simply a collection of ten exciting and mysterious Sherlock Holmes stories that are bound to entice you into the thrilling world of the detective and the doctor. Each story was fairly small but all still managed to pack in a good amount of puzzling plot. The stories are written from the perspective of John Watson, Holmes’ good friend and colleague. By doing so the reader is left guessing the resolution until the very end. After the murder is caught, the jewel is found or the robbery prevented Holmes treats John, and therefore the reader, to a step-by-step explanation to how he managed to figure out the problem through the art of observation. This part of the story is undoubtably the best. Everything seems so simple when written down in front of you. This reflects the whole tone of the book; each story looks confusing on the outside – with the 19th century lexical, complex characters and fast paced plot- but is really just effortless and elementary
my dear Watson!
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Due to this being a collection of short stories there isn’t really much character building. Although the book does introduce each character and supplies the reader with a good amount of information on their personalities, it slightly presumes that you have previously read some of the series. Despite that, the character of Sherlock is just so easy to warm to; he’s witty, daring and always ten steps ahead of everybody else. The stories do explore some of his traits, all of which are really enjoyable to read. The setting is much like the character building, a little lacking due to the form. There are some really beautiful descriptions of the late 19th century London in which the books are set but don’t expect them all the time. Think of them as rare gems within the stories.
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So if you’re considering reading the Sherlock Holmes books but are unsure whether they’ll be for you I’d recommend reading this as it is a brilliant tester novel: if you enjoy it go read some more, if it’s not your cup of tea at least you’ve had an interesting and entertaining quick read. Also if you’re a fan of the TV Show then I also highly recommend giving this a try as it’s the source of many references in the show.