Ever since I was little, I’ve had a fascination with Sherlock Holmes because we share the same surname. In fact, when I was about 8 years old, I had no idea he was fictional and I remember proudly telling people that I was related to him *cringes forever*.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also managed to worm his way into our family’s everyday life since we named our first dog (ginger labradoodle on the right of the above photo) Sherlock! It made sense with our surname, and it’s priceless when they call out for “Sherlock Holmes!” at the vets. Six months later, and of course we had to name his companion puppy Watson (chocolate labradoodle on the left above). So I forced them to pose and look cute for my cover photo with the book because they make any photo better in my own totally unbiased opinion… *cough*
My grandad (not on the Holmes side, ironically) used to keep a version of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the bedroom I’d sleep in at his house, and when I couldn’t sleep I’d sneak a read of some of the stories. So when I saw this TRIPLE collection of stories for sale for £1.99(!), it was a no brainer. I decided I was finally going to read all of the Sherlock Holmes short stories and make 8 year old Sarah proud!
Well, I guess I underestimated how many stories there are because reading them all took me forever… I’m a quick reader and I rarely take more than a week to get through a book. But this book took me a MONTH. A MONTH! I guess I did read some other books at the same time but my gosh. It’s a long ‘un.
Saying that though, I enjoyed every moment. There’s a reason why these stories are classics – they are amusing, exciting, clever and timeless. I’m so glad I took the time to get through all the Sherlock stories, but my favourites were in the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes collection I think (apart from the final story where he very randomly dies*). It was a clear oversight by Arthur Conan Doyle, because whilst he was bored of his character, the public was, and still is, not so inclined and he had to awkwardly bring him back to life for The Return of Sherlock Holmes collection.
But, now that I have got through them all, I can really understand why and how they grew to inspire so many spin-offs and re-imaginings. They are pretty damn good. And even though I do sometimes feel like an idiot yelling “Sherlock!!!!” in a park (because he’s usually off eating bread or poo or something), I am forever grateful to Conan Doyle for creating such a lovable quirky character so that I didn’t have to spend long thinking of dog names…
*Come on, it was originally published in 1893 – this can’t be classed as a spoiler anymore, surely?!