Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Crime Fiction Alphabet: Letter S

This week we are coming closer to the end of the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme. Kerrie's Mysteries in Paradise is the place to see what other bloggers are posting and check out the rules. This week we will feature the Letter S.

Crime Fiction Alphabet: S is for Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Holmes was a London-based consulting detective whose abilities border on the fantastic. He is famous for his astute logical reasoning, the ability to adopt almost any disguise, and the use of forensic science skills to solve difficult cases. Sherlock Holmes first appeared in publication in 1887 and was featured in four novels and 56 short stories. The character grew in popularity with the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine, beginning with A Scandal in Bohemia in 1891. Further series of short stories and two novels published in serial form appeared between then and 1927, covering a time period from around 1880 up to 1914.

Sherlock Holmes shares the majority of his professional years with his good friend and chronicler Dr. Watson, who lives with Holmes.  Their residence is maintained by the landlady, Mrs. Hudson. Watson has two roles in Holmes's life. First;, he gives practical assistance in the conduct of his cases, he is the detective's right-hand man, acting variously as look-out, decoy, accomplice and messenger. Second; he is Holmes's chronicler, most of the Holmes stories are written from Watson's point of view as summaries of the detective's most interesting cases. In His Last Bow, Holmes has retired to a small farm on the Sussex Downs in 1903–1904, as chronicled by Watson.  Holmes has taken up the hobby of beekeeping as his primary occupation. The story also features Holmes and Watson coming out of retirement one last time to aid the war effort.

The original Sherlock Holmes stories consist of fifty-six short stories and four novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

A Study in Scarlet (1887)
The Sign of the Four (1890)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (serialized 1901–1902 in The Strand)
The Valley of Fear (serialized 1914–1915 in The Strand)

Short stories
The short stories were originally published in periodicals and then later gathered into five anthologies:
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1891–1892 in The Strand)
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1892–1893 in The Strand as further episodes of the Adventures)
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1903–1904 in The Strand)
The Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes (including His Last Bow) (contains stories published 1908–1913 and 1917)
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1921–1927)


  1. Scott - I'm very glad you focused on Sherlock Holmes. What an iconic character and such a profound influence on the rest of the genre...

  2. I have never read any Sherlock Holmes novels or stories. I hope to do so soon.

  3. I just got a book of short stories by Doyle over at Project Gutenberg yesterday!

  4. Elementary, my dear Watson! My favourite sleuth.