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A Singular Book
on 15 December 2000
A hugely entertaining and totally absorbing book which covers a further twelve of Sherlock Holmes' investigations originally published in The Strand magazine.
Holmes adventures are to me fascinating, revealing as they do the dark underbelly of Victorian society and many of them would create lurid headlines were they to actually occur today, even Holmes himself is not free from scandal when he is revealed by Watson to be of all things, a cocaine addict in A Scandal in Bohemia.
From his battle of the sexes with the resourceful adventuress Miss Irene Adler in, A Scandal in Bohemia, to his foiling of the criminal intentions of the "fourth smartest man in London" in the truly bizarre and at times comical, The Red-Headed League, Holmes is called upon to use his extraordinary powers of deduction and his ability to observe when others merely see, in a battle of wits against as varied and as determined a bunch of criminals as ever stepped outside the law.
The cases themselves are sometimes dangerous (The Speckled Band), sometimes cruel (A Case of Identity) but as often as not downright baffling - to you and me !
The famous quotes are all in there as well, such as the one beloved of Agent Mulder in The X Files from The Beryl Coronet when Holmes reveals "It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." or his expanation in The Red Headed League that "..the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling.." Or how about his musing to Watson at the start of A Case of Identity, "life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent."
If you want to be diverted from the cares and worries of life, if you want to lose track of time, if you want to face the challenge of trying to help solve the unsolvable and be immersed into a book which, just a little, shows the flip-side of Victorian values, then The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is for you. Read and enjoy.