Tag Archives: Sherlock Holmes

Mini-Reviews: Sherlock Holmes | The Sign of Four, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

MINI REVIEWS

I went on a Sherlock Holmes kick around the holidays (yes, I know I’m quite behind with my book reviews) and I ended up grabbing a few audiobooks for some quick and fun reads! Sherlock Holmes novels are some of the few classics I truly enjoy and the audios were on sale and cheap! I really enjoy how clever these books are and they’re also quick!


Mini-Reviews: Sherlock Holmes | The Sign of Four, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure of the Blue CarbuncleTitle: The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes #2) by Arthur Conan Doyle
Publishing Info: November 30, 2009 by Audible Studios
Source: Audible
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 14, 2016

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!'

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I’m not sure if I was too distracted for this (which I was), but I just really didn’t click with it. Whereas I picked up on the writing techniques with A STUDY IN SCARLET, I either didn’t pick it up here or just wasn’t in the mood for it with THE SIGN OF FOUR. Surprisingly (for not having read much Sherlock Holmes yet), the “telling” style continues with this novel and there’s a unexpected amount of recounting stories instead of witnessing action. I love the characters as I always do but this story wasn’t a hit for me.

I also just didn’t find this story line as intriguing as I had with A STUDY IN SCARLET. I think it felt a little more “out there” and I felt some disconnect with the end game. It didn’t quite hold its appeal for me but I do always love Watson dearly. I honestly barely remember what happened (although I’m writing this months later) except for the parts that I remembered were a little strange. This one just wasn’t a stand-out for me at all, and I was really bummed because I had become so convinced that I adored all of Sherlock Holmes because I enjoyed A STUDY IN SCARLET so much and I enjoy so many adaptations so it’s kind of a let down to feel so meh about this one. I guess I need to keep reading and see if the styles change any as the mysteries continue!


Mini-Reviews: Sherlock Holmes | The Sign of Four, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure of the Blue CarbuncleTitle: The Red-Headed League (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #2) by Arthur Conan Doyle
Publishing Info: November 30, 2009 by Audible Studios
Source: Audible
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 13, 2016

In The Redheaded League, Holmes is engaged upon two seemingly unrelated cases, a daring bank robbery and the disappearance of a pawnbroker's assistant. Using minute details of the small mystery, he is able to solve the larger one. "Depend upon it," says Holmes to Watson in A Case of Identity, "there is nothing so unnatural as the commonplace." Holmes is as fascinated by the story of a common young woman whose groom has vanished on the way to the altar as he has been by the woes of kings. He sharpens his powers of detection by putting together scattered facts to form a powerful and unexpected accusation. Holmes tells Watson about one of his first cases, The Musgrave Ritual; one that helped make him famous. Two servants of an English nobleman disappear. By following a trail of obscure clues left behind in an old parchment, Holmes discovers the crown of a former King of England.


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THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE was just a quick, short story but it was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the quick and concise mystery and it was a little silly in theory but of course, it all works out in the end. I like that it was wrapped up so quickly and I think I enjoy the Holmes short stories more than the full-length novels in that respect. Whereas THE SIGN OF FOUR felt a little dragged out, THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE was obviously zippy due to its short length. Even though it was also a little silly, it was also just more fun in nature.

Mini-Reviews: Sherlock Holmes | The Sign of Four, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure of the Blue CarbuncleTitle: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #7) by Arthur Conan Doyle
Publishing Info: December 6, 2012 by Audible Studios
Source: Audible
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: December 26, 2016

In this holiday-themed short story, Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson, follow the trail of a lost hat and a Christmas goose through the streets of London and into a rapidly expanding mystery.


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Another quick Holmes adventure via audio for my car ride to work. A perfect little holiday novella for the day after Christmas was a fun and festive ride. I’m starting to notice that all Holmes stories have a bit too much “tell” to them where either Holmes reveals everything through a narrative or the culprit tells all at the end, so it’s not as much fun as having some more things revealed bit by bit, but I always do love the clues jam-packed into a story that only Holmes can point out. This one was fun with holiday theme at the right time and I actually did like the Holmes reveal a bit more in this one since it was such a short story.

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori #1) – Heather W. Petty

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori #1) – Heather W. PettyTitle: Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori #1) by Heather W. Petty
Publishing Info: September 15, 2015 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Retelling, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 11, 2015

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.
Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…
FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.
FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.
FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.
FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.
OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

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LOCK & MORI was really interesting and quite the fun book! Sherlock Holmes is one of the classics that I truly appreciate (I’m a mystery girl. What can I say?) and I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for Sherlock Holmes because A STUDY IN SCARLET was the first book review that I ever posted on my blog (and what an embarrassing review it is)! Though I’m not Sherlock-obsessed (no TV shows for me and yes, I know I need to read Ellie Marney’s books soon), I still try to jump onto the Sherlock adaptations that I see because it seems that they’re always just so enjoyable!

LOCK & MORI really hooked me right from the beginning! It was just such a fun read and I really appreciated how the characters, their personalities, and their roles in the books were adapted to fit a more contemporary setting and for the young adult age range. I usually have a hard time not picking YA mysteries apart because I feel like there are so few situations where a teenager wouldn’t turn to authorities for assistance so I really liked how LOCK & MORI handled how that all played out! It was fairly logical how Mori and Sherlock ended up on the case and kept it hush-hush between them.

The mystery itself was interesting as well! I’m always guilty of trying to solve a mystery and sniffing out the culprit so it was great to read about a plot that really kept me guessing and kept just enough clues hidden so that I was still interested but the secret wasn’t handed to me. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out why these murders were happening and how it tied into the characters. I really love when the mystery ties back into the main story line so that was a lot of fun to see how it all connected!

The romance between Mori and Sherlock was cute but I wasn’t totally sold on it. I felt like it just sort of happened and I didn’t really feel the chemistry before it did. They had some nice banter which I always love but it didn’t charge the chemistry for me so when the characters started getting romantically involved, I wasn’t totally feeling it. Throughout the book I started to feel a bit more connection to their romance and I looked fondly upon their time together and how their relationship evolved but I couldn’t shake the fact that it just didn’t quite feel natural. I am excited that this is just the first book in a series (I’m not sure how many yet?) and that I’ll get to see more of their relationship in future books because I was really enjoying it in the last quarter!

I really did forget that this wasn’t a stand alone so the ending was shocking in its own right and also left me hanging a bit… but not enough to be a cliffhanger! I love endings like this where the plot resolves but the book leaves you wanting more. Just perfect! I think it could have done really nicely as a stand alone but I’ll definitely be looking forward to the next book! Now that I know the characters and their personalities, I’m excited to explore relationships a bit more — especially after how the book ended — and I’m always up for more mysteries!
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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

lock & mori gr updated

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Mori // Character Obsessions: Her brothers, intelligence, protecting.
Mori has a lot going on with her family and I really admired her strength and tenacity! My heart broke for her several times over and the abusive scenes were just so hard to read (as they always are). She was a great female lead and I really enjoyed her character overall!
Sherlock // Character Obsessions: Science, logic, mysteries, resolutions.
I really enjoyed this adaptation of Sherlock! I liked how he really was not suave — he’s so intelligent and shows little regard for emotion in the beginning until he comes to care for Mori. Even then, it’s emotion in a much different and less conventional way. It was really interesting to see and I think it made his emotional moments and strong moments that much more flooring.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Sherlock Holmes. I feel like I always love a good Holmes retelling or adaptation! I’m excited to continue this series and it makes me want to sink my teeth into even more.
Left Me Wanting More: Platonic… ness. Is that a word? I don’t know what the proper word is… but I did wish that Lock & Mori were more of just friends instead of their romantic feelings happening so fast. I would have loved to see them learn how to be friends in this book and then start to develop feelings over time.

Addiction Rating
Read it

This was a nice, solid read for me. I really enjoyed it from start to finish and it had a wide range of feelings from serious to light, shocking to funny. It was a really fun book and I’m excited to read more of the series!

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BOOKS LIKE LOCK & MORI

(Click the cover to see my review!)

CLOCKWORK SCARAB    The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter #1) – Megan Shepherd

Fortnight of Fright 2015 | Short, Spooky Classics (Sabrina from Steakuccino)

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Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2015

Thanks for checking out the THIRD annual edition of FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT where Alyssa (Books Take You Places), Amy (Tripping Over Books), and I bring you two full weeks of Halloween-related posts! We’ve invited bloggers, authors, and book lovers alike to share their favorite things about Halloween and we feature a new person and post each day. 

Today, Sabrina from Steakuccino is sharing some book recommendations! Check out her recs below for some short and spooky classics!


SPOOKY, SHORT CLASSICS FOR HALLOWEEN

It’s getting to be the spooky time of year and if you’re anything like me, I bet you’re looking for something a little spooky to read to match the atmosphere. If you are even more like me, you might be kind of a slow reader and therefore looking for something shorter that you’ll be able to read within the next two weeks or so leading up to Halloween. Have I got the thing for you! I’ve compiled a short list of equally short stories and books that I love and that happen to match the season!

Now, I really love to read classics and I am of the firm belief that classics can be for everybody. You’ve probably heard of these but you may not have had the chance to read them yet. I hope you’ll give them a chance and see what makes them so timeless!

Better yet, because they are all classics, they are all public domain and can be found on Project Gutenberg’s website for free! Let’s get to the books!

The Legend of Sleepy HollowPublished in 1820 and written by Washington Irving, this fairly short story (about 100 pages depending on the publisher) tells the tale of Ichabod Crane, the schoolmaster of the small town of Tarrytown, New York. Ichabod wants to marry the lovely Katrina Van Tassel but he and the town are plagued by a terrible Headless Horseman. This one has inspired a lot of movie and television adaptations so you may feel like you already know the story. Why not read the legend that started them all? 

The Cask of Amontillado: This short story by Edgar Allen Poe is a tale of envy and revenge. Our narrator, Montresor, meets Fortunato, a man he knows who has terribly insulted him, on the street. He then invites him back home to try some delicious amontillado wine but the offer is not all that it seems. *If you’d like to hear this read aloud, I made a video of it last Halloween!

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeThis 1886 short book (about 140 pages) by Robert Louis Stevenson is a classic story of good versus evil. Kind and gentle Dr. Jekyll has created a secret potion which, to his horror, unleashes unspeakable evil upon the world in the form of Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll doesn’t know how to stop him! **Many abridged versions are available for middle grade readers. 

The Adventure of the Speckled BandThis is a suspenseful locked room mystery featuring Sherlock Holmes. Sir Grimesby Roylott and his stepdaughter Helen live on the vast estate of Stoke Moran. Two years ago when she became engaged, Helen’s sister died mysteriously and not that Helen is engaged, she, too, fears for her life. Holmes is enlisted to help her discover the meaning of the strange things she has been experiencing. 

CarmillaThis precursor to Dracula written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu in 1872 contains absolutely lovely prose, overt lesbian subtext, and what we modern folks might consider some silliness. The ‘twist’ ending is really not at all unguessable but that doesn’t detract from how classically thrilling and really fun it is. If you wish Dracula read slightly more like Northanger Abbey, this is for you. 

The Monkey’s Paw: This particular story has been told and retold in plenty of movies and tv shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits and it remains superbly spine-chilling. The original is a tale of a gift that turns into a curse. The titular monkey’s paw grants the main characters three wishes but they come with horrible unexpected consequences. 

The Haunted Hotel: Finally, if you’d like to read something a little longer (about 250 pages), you could check out The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins. I don’t know much about it because this is what I’ll be reading this season and it’s a new one for me. It’s the story of, well. . . a haunted hotel. In Venice, there is a hotel supposedly haunted by the ghost of Lord Montberry. Mysterious things happen to the people staying there and foul play seems to be afoot. I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty creepifying and I’m definitely excited to learn more about The Haunted Hotel! 

This list was compiled by Sabrina who has a booktube channel at Steakuccino and is trying her none-too-deft hand at sharing her book love blog-style at https://steakuccino.wordpress.com/

All pictures in this post were found on Goodreads and do not belong to the writer or poster.


Thanks, Sabrina! These are great! I’m not HUGE on classics but I love Sherlock Holmes and I’ve read a bunch of the shorter stories so this is perfect for me! Thanks for the great recs!

The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) – Colleen Gleason

The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) – Colleen GleasonTitle: The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) by Colleen Gleason
Publishing Info: September 17, 2013 by Chronicle Books
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mythology, Steampunk, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 30, 2013

    Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.
    Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.

bookreview1When I first heard of THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB, I was like, “Sherlock Holmes and Bram Stocker mash-up? In YA?! THIS IS SO MEANT FOR ME!!!” I did a bit of happy dancing and then finally got around to reading the book. Okay, this sounds like I’m setting you up for a terrible review and truly, honestly, the book was not awful. I was actually really entertained although not quite in the way I was hoping.

The chapters alternate between the first person POVs of Mina Holmes, the niece of famed detective Sherlock Holmes and Evaline Stoker, the much younger sister of author Bram Stoker (whose book about a famous vampire called Dracula has not yet been finished). The book kicks off with Mina’s POV and I feel like we see an AWFUL lot of Mina. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Sherlock Holmes and inductive reasoning, all that good stuff, but I felt like she kind of dominated the book and we didn’t see too much of Evaline. True, the chapters did alternate fairly evenly, but the book was really Holmes-heavy with lots of sleuthing and detective work and honestly zero vampire involvement. I’d really like to see these two worlds actually collide so I’m actually looking forward to picking up book two. I’m hoping we’ll really get to see Evaline in action!

The world building was a bit shaky for me. You wouldn’t think you would have to world build much by setting a book in an actual historical time period, but things are a bit…. different, shall we say. It wasn’t quite revealed until later (and I hope this isn’t a spoiler for anyone… it shouldn’t be that big of a deal to say) that this is more of a steampunk, almost alternate universe London. Colleen Gleason has an interesting setting where steam is king, electricity is a dirty word and… well, there IS more but those really might be spoilery things to say.

The mystery in this book involves Egyptian mythology/legends/gods, which HEY. That was perfect considering that’s what I’m using for Classics Retold. Everything seemed pretty spot on (that I could tell… which I may not be a reliable source for this, but take that as you will) but nevertheless, I still wasn’t quite into where the plot of the mystery took us. There were some great Holmesian moments, but I felt like some things were revealed a bit too early and others not early enough.

The romances in the book……… I was just not a fan. I couldn’t get into any of them. Yes, ANY. That means more than two. Mina has a bit of a love triangle (although not quite enough to be a triangle, I think) with a handsome inspector and a curious boy named Dylan who she ends up doubting, trusting, befriending, and then starting to feel all the feelings for (oh, and he’s American). Then we have Evaline and her chap who…. yeah, I just never liked. The personality didn’t have a chance to shine because I was so completely distracted by the cockney accent which was heavily written in. I don’t mind cockney accents, but I felt like my brain wasn’t allowed to pick up on it being stated that he had that accent and then a few words shortened here and it being written in other ways throughout the text. Nope. EVERY single dropped letter or change in speech was apostrophe’d up and it was distracting to read. I was trying to decipher what words were instead of being trusted to pick up the accent in my head and read it that way. It was too distracting for me and I felt like that totally lost the magic of the character.

The relationship between the girls was a bit… tiresome. They treated each other like nemeses when they first started working together on this case and it wasn’t really until the very end of the book that they started to realize they cared about each other as friends. With everything else that they were battling, it was just too much for me to have another conflict in the book. I can get a bit of annoyance or a touch of jealousy, but it was constant and it was too much for me.

Then the LAST thing was Dylan’s entire story line……… Where did this come from? This is a bit of a spoilery area so I really don’t want to say a lot about it but it was not explained well. Yes, yes, it is a series so I can only assume there’s more out there to be revealed but why was it necessary for him to be in the story? So far, it I took him out of THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB… pretty much the same book. Why was he a relevant part of the story? Why was it important that he meet Mina? How in the world did he end up in London? Again, hoping more questions will be answered in book two, but I was really hoping to get SOMETHING more in the first book to reassure me that this was, in fact, relevant information.

I was entertained by THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB, but there were just too many things that left me with an uneasy feeling after I was done. Even the mystery itself didn’t quite wrap up and that was something that I felt should be complete in book one and not left open for the rest of the series. It felt like a plot arc of the book, not a series arc. Anywho… I am interesting in reading the second book in the series when it comes out and hopefully get some closure on a few loose ends as well as more vampires. I would love for book two to just knock me off my feet!

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Mina Holmes // Character Obsessions: Facts, detective work, clues.
Mina’s a pretty straight-shooter. Taking after her Uncle Sherlock, she’s all about finding the little secrets hidden beneath the bigger secrets and seeing what others miss. I really did enjoy her character more than Evaline’s, I think just because I adore Sherlock Holmes. Her voice really did seem stronger in this book as well.
Evaline Stoker // Character Obsessions: Kicking ass and taking names, fighting vampires, proving herself, acting first & questions later.
Evaline is a very kickass chick… But I felt like it was almost a little too stereotypically so. I’m hoping for more growth from her in future books, but so far she just seems to act first and figure the rest out later. That’s not always a bad thing but it did bother me a little bit. I think she feels like she has to prove herself because she’s a vampire hunter… But hasn’t even slain a vampire yet. She needs to live up to a name that she hasn’t even had a chance to prove yet so she’s trying to prove herself elsewhere. I’m hoping she can take down a few vamps in book two!
addiction_factor1Kept Me Hooked On: Sherlock Holmes. I love Holmes and… okay, admittedly, I still need to read more Holmes novels, but this was definitely a fun twist and a great connection to the classics.
Left Me Wanting More: World Building. There were so many different elements crammed into this world that it didn’t all quite fit together for me. Part of it was realistic, part of it was fantastical, part of it was sci-fi… Even the concept of Holmes and Stoker was a fictional character and a real life person combined into one book. That was kiiiiind of explained but not really. I guess I’ll just have to accept that this is almost like an alternate history or something!

Addiction Rating
BORROW IT.

I was definitely entertained by this one but I had a few issues with world building and plot development as far as the romances went and the resolution of the mystery. This might be a good one to borrow first and save your pennies in case it’s not quite the book for you!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB

     A Study in Scarlet               Something Strange and Deadly

The Irony of Analyzing Sherlock Holmes

My dear friend and blogging bestie (soon to be IRL bestie after we finally meet for BEA!) Alyssa over at the carefully crafted blog of Books Take You Places came up with a really fun idea one day after she realized how much she really loves a particular character in literature, no matter where he turns up (you’ll have to check out her blog post today if you want to know!) – So many of us bloggers have a character we love (or love to hate) in literature, so let’s do a little featured post on them! While it may be her English major talking, I thought it was a really fun idea and decided to join in!

Here came my dilemma… I’m really not a classic literature person whatsoever and since I just did all my fairy tale retelling research for Project Fairy Tale, where could I turn next? Immediately the idea of Sherlock Holmes popped into my head. Classic, mysterious, and downright analytical himself – He seemed the perfect character to present as one of my favorites from literature! And so it stuck.

Then I laughed at myself. Isn’t it a little ironic that I chose to analyze one of the arguably most analytical fictional characters ever created? Ha. Color me amused.

Aside from the fact that Sherlock Holmes seemed to be the easiest choice as well as one of my favorite characters from literature, he became my selection because of my love for mysteries. Growing up, I only had a vague knowledge of what Holmes was all about, but I always loved the intricate tangle of several seemingly non-sensical clues and a gifted sleuth who could put them all together to solve a mystery. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been a fan of mysteries. From various puzzles in The Baby-Sitter’s Club (remember they had Baby Sitter’s mysteries!?!?) to the Something Queer mysteries (back when queer didn’t have such a different connotation…) to my current (yet neglected) love for cozy mysteries. I feel like Sherlock Holmes was the foundation to this thirst for putting together clues and solving a mystery that seemed impossible to solve!

Now. We all have a vague idea of who Sherlock Holmes is, but let’s draw up a dossier, if you will, to bring everyone up to speed on the specifics:
** Facts (as well as fun facts) were gathered from Wikipedia (I know, this is the part where we all moan and groan because we were brought up not to use Wikipedia as a credible source in high school/college, but you know what? This is a blog! We’re just having fun here!) 

CHARACTER DETAILS

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Name: Sherlock Holmes
Residence: 221B Baker Street, London
Occupation: “Consulting detective” – often takes on “lost cause” cases
Known For: Abductive reasoning (which dear Lord, I cannot possibly explain so check out this Wikipedia link in attempts to understand), attention to detail, disguises, untidiness, extreme practical & scientific knowledge (including forensic sciences and chemistry) but little care for specified topics of “frivolity” (philosophy, literature, astronomy, politics, etc)
Often Associated With: Dr. John Watson, former army surgeon. First comes to split a flat with Holmes after returning from the army. Friend of Holmes as well as frequent case assistant and chronicler. Irene Adler, former American opera singer. Despite her fame, Irene Adler actually only appeared in one story: “A Scandal In Bohemia”. Often identified as the true great love of Sherlock Holmes. Mycroft Holmes. Brother of Sherlock. Also skilled in reasoning but more concerned with frivolity and clubs.

LITERARY FACTS

Penned by: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859-1930
Literary Presence: Four novels as well as 56 short stories
First Appearance: A STUDY IN SCARLET, 1887
Last Appearance (in as penned by Doyle): THE CASE-BOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, short stories published from 1921-1927)

So those are the facts about Sherlock Holmes! I actually hadn’t started reading the actual Holmes novels until a year or so ago when I read A STUDY IN SCARLET (which, by the way, was one of my first reviews on my blog. SLIGHTLY embarrassing…) and then proceeded to read THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES which contain a multitude of short stories. Until I picked up A STUDY IN SCARLET and just had to read more Holmes, I had no idea the short stories even excited! They’re quite entertaining and great if you just want a taste of mystery and don’t have time for a full-out novel. Truth be told, though, the full novels aren’t terribly long either. I think ASIS was less than 200 pages.

All right. Enough fun facts about me. Let’s get to some lesser-know facts about Holmes and his literary apperances!

SHERLOCK HOLMES FUN FACTS

  • Due to his extreme attention to detail and lack of personal relationships, many Holmes fans have speculated that (whether intended by Doyle or not) Holmes may have suffered from an acute case of Asperger’s Synrdrome
  • In all of Holmes’ literary appearances, never once has he actually been quoted as saying, “Elementary, my dear Watson.” It’s quite a commonly misquoted phrase! He’s often used “elementary” to describe simple ideas or concepts and has often called Watson “my dear Watson” but never were the two strung together.
  • Sherlock Holmes has been credited consistently in The Guinness Book of World Records as “most portrayed movie character”, appearing in over 200 films and played by more than 70 different actors.

MODERN DAY HOLMES & ADAPTATIONS

  • ELEMENTARY on CBS – I’ve actually watched a few episodes (although not consistently) about this modern take on Sherlock Holmes. All the same reasoning, but this time Holmes is a recovering drug-user (which true, Holmes did occasionally use drugs in the books, but was not addicted) and helps solve modern-day crimes. Watson is actually a female in the TV show (Lucy Liu) who is his sober sponsor and living with him to help him recover. I’m not a huge fan of Lucy Liu (although I do enjoy Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes), and I don’t like how they turned Holmes into a former addict. 
  • SHERLOCK is a British adaption of a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. I’ve actually never seen it, but I know I’m interested! If anyone has watched Sherlock, I’d love to hear what you think!
  • The Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law – I actually quite love these movies!! I really enjoy RDJ’s role as Holmes as well as Jude Law as the sidekick Dr. Watson. I really like the way the films are produced as well and how the audience gets to see the break-down we the pieces are put together.
  • THE BEEKEEPER’S APPRENTICE, book one in the Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series: I’d actually heard of this series before but haven’t picked it up yet. Heidi reminded me that they were other there and I’d really like to see a retelling someday!
  • ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN, a children’s mystery series – Although this hasn’t actually been officially dubbed as a Holmes retelling or adaptation, I think this children’s series is very similar as far as mystery solving and sleuthing go as well as some of the supporting characters.

Have you read the novels or any of the short stories? Do you have a favorite Holmes moment? Which are your favorite adaptations, series, or retellings?

 

I hope you enjoyed my character breakdown of Sherlock Holmes! A big thanks to Alyssa for putting together this character analysis feature too!!! 

 

30 Days of Books: Day 9

Day number 9 of the “30 Days of Books” challenge…

30 Days of Books: Day #9

A book everyone should read at least once

So I really just don’t even know where to go here. I think I’m stumped for once. Of course the obvious go-to for me here would be Harry Potter, but so many people have read it already and as much as I’d like to think of it as a “must-read”, I really wanted to choose something like a classic or a book that I read in school that I actually took a great lesson out of it… But in all honesty, I didn’t like most of the books from school and most of them I can barely even remember what they were about anymore. I wracked my brain, I scoured all of the books I’ve read, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle – probably any book. I don’t think you’d even need to read in order.

With all the hype of the movies coming out the past few years, I decided to actually pick up a book and I was terribly impressed. I loved the logic, deduction, reasoning, and observance that Holmes employs to solve the mysteries that are presented to him. I would hope that would be as enjoyable for other people as well, but since I’m a mystery-lover, the whole concept really appealed to me and I was amazed at how everyone else (reader included) except for Sherlock Holmes was practically in the dark the whole time and then once he does his reveal, it’s almost like, Oh why didn’t I see that? There’s also a nice bit of humor in the books as well so they stay light and moving forward, and unlike usual, I didn’t feel bogged down by older writing styles and vocabulary. I think it’s worth a shot for everyone to try!

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is the only classic that I read in school that I actually found myself enjoying (with the exception of a couple books from my 20th Century British Writers class, but I wouldn’t say any of those qualify as “must-reads”). Although it’s been a long time since I’ve actually read it, I still remember many lessons as well as characters and specific scenes from the book which, let’s face it, I’m not the best person to retain specifics from books – I always get exciting reading books and then I read quickly and then I forgot half of the things I read. It’s kind of terrible, but that’s just how I’ve always been. So to remember so much from a book I’ve read once and to have actually enjoyed a classic, I think this is one definitely worth recommending. I’m sure most people have read this in school by now, but if you haven’t, it’s definitely one worth trying out!

A Study in Scarlet – Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet – Arthur Conan DoyleTitle: A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Publishing Info: June 1, 1982 by Penguin
Source: Bundles of Books
Genres: Adult, Classics, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 10, 2012
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In the first of all the Sherlock Holmes stories, Dr. John Watson, discharged from military service after suffering severe wounds, is at a loose end until a chance encounter leads him to take rooms with a remarkable young man. The arrogant, irracible Sherlock Holmes is a master chemist, a talented musician and an expert on all aspects of crime. And when Watson is drawn into the investigation of a bizarre murder in which Holmes is involved, he is unaware that it is the beginning of the most famous partnership in the history of criminal detection. Here is where it all began for England's super sleuth and his faithful sidekick.

bookreview1

Well, this was the first Sherlock Holmes adventure I had ever read. Not sure if I’m proud that I finally got around to it or ashamed that I’m already in my 20s and never picked one up! Regardless, I have to say that it didn’t let me down at all! As someone who was a fan of the movies and not having read any books, I was not in the least bit disappointed by the literary Sherlock Holmes and his never-ending ability to observe and conclude how the crimes occur.
This story is actually in two parts, which I was not aware of upon beginning so I was taken a bit by surprise. Personally, I’m not a fan of when authors do that because it completely takes me away from a plot and it feels like I’m reading a brand new story. Although I was slightly put off at first, the reward was worth it to hear how Holmes matter-of-factly puts the two stories together to solve the crime and pin down the murderer.

addiction_factor1

4.5/5 stars
It usually takes a lot for me to give a book five stars. I absolutely loved the cleverness in coming up with Sherlock Holmes’ character. As this was the first episode of Holmes, I think it’s one that keeps the readers wanting more and gives them a fascinating character to root for. The language may trip some readers up, simply because it was published 125 years ago in 1887 and languages evolve so much over time, but if you don’t let the old verbiage and jargon distract you, it’s absolutely worth it to read this mystery!