The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes

by: Arthur Conan Doyle

Who is Sherlock and Dr. Watson

Sherlock is a fictional character; he is a private investigator and was born in the 1850s. He is known for his cunning disguises, and logical reasoning that helped him solve many cases. He is originally from Bohemia, but is now staying in England on Bakers Street. Dr. Watson is a doctor who stays with Sherlock; he helps with Sherlock's cases. Most of the Sherlock Holmes series is written in Watson's point of view.

characters

Stories

Contents

Adventure 1. A Scandal in Bohemia

Adventure 2. The Red Headed League

Adventure 3. A Case of Identity

Adventure 4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery

Adventure 5. The Five Orange Pips

Adventure 6. The Man with the Twisted Lip

Adventure 7. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

Adventure 8. The Adventure of the Speckled Band

Adventure 9. The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb

Adventure 10. The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor

Adventure 11. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet

Adventure 12. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

The Scandal in Bohemia

In the first adventure Sherlock encounters the lovely and ever popular Irene Adler, or the women as Sherlock calls her. Sherlock was called upon by a very noble man, the King of Bohemia. Who around five years ago had run into Irene, the King had written Irene some compromising letters and wanted them back. Irene was threatening to send the letters to the Kings bride to be and no matter how hard the King tried he cant get it back. Sherlock dresses up in his signature disguise and figured out that the letter was being kept behind a painting. He then tricks Irene out of her house be starting a fire, he quickly grabs the painting and leaves. But when he gets back to his house he noticed the letter was not there. This was the first time ever that Sherlock was out smarted. Though in the end he did get the letter back only because Irene gave it to him.

The Red Headed League

In this adventure, Sherlock and Watson help a man named Mr. Wilson, whose employer had disappeared and no one new anything about his employer. Mr. Wilson had been employed into the Red Headed League, like the name said you had to be a red head to be eligible. In the Red Headed League, they get paid for doing simple task, like copying dictionaries. After a few weeks of this work, he showed up to work but the door was shut and locked. The only thing left was a note saying the league had been dissolved. When Mr. Wilson asked around about the League, no one had heard about it. In the end, like always, Holmes figured out the mystery. Mr. Wilson had an assistant that had started the red headed league, to get Mr. Wilson out of the house. It just so happened that the basement was next to a bank that the assistant was planning to rob.

A Case of Idenity

This adventure is about Miss Mary Sutherland. She is a young lady who had a rather large inheritance, but because she lived with her mother (and her very young step-father), the money went to them. Her step-father is very controlling; he wont let Mary go out of the house. She didn't get out of the house until her father went on a trip out of country and then she snuck out to a dance and met a man. This is when Sherlock and Watson come in. After a few months of courting, Mary and her new "friend" had decided to get married, but when the groom's wagon pulled up to the church, the groom was gone. As the story goes on, Holmes gathers clues and figure out that the groom was never real, but was her step-dad dressing up as a different man. His plan was that when Mary found out that her love ran away, she would be heart broken and never get married. He created this whole plot to keep Miss Mary's money. Holmes figured this out because the step-father was always gone when the groom-to-be was around, and because they both wrote notes from the same typewriter.

The Boscome Valley Mystery

In this adventure Holmes and Watson travel to a near town to help solve a murder. The main suspect is the son, James, but he claims differently. Two families, both from Australia, move to the same town. One family, the McCarthys, have a son, James. The other, the Turners, have a daughter. The McCarthy family lived on Turner's land and they were friends. Mr. McCarthy had last been seen with his son James by a lake, arguing. When Mr. McCarthy's body was found, his son had been leaning over his body and his head was bloody like he had been hit with a hard object. The son was the main suspect, but he claims that he left his father, still alive, and was about to leave the area when he heard his father scream. When James returned, his father was on the ground, dead. In the end, Holmes finds several clues that point the murder not to James but to Turner. The most interesting part about this story was the reason why Turner killed Mr. McCarthy. Back in Australia, years before, Turner had been a highway robber . He had robbed McCarthy and since then he had been blackmailing Turner. Mr. Turner finally cracked when McCarthy wanted his daughter to marry James.

The Five Orange Pips

This short story is probably the most unique story out of them all. Sherlock and Watson had been employed to solve a mystery by a young man who had an interesting story. While the young man was living with his uncle several years ago, they received a letter from a group called K.K.K. along with five orange pips. The letter said to place the papers on the sundial. When the uncle failed to do so, he was killed in a way that made it look like an accident. The same thing happened to the young man's father a few months later. Holmes tells him to go home and place the papers on the sundial, but he never made it home. Holmes finds out that K.K.K. stands for the Ku Klux Klan, a secret society formed by the confederate soldiers, who would send seeds before they killed a person. Holmes catches the killer by scaring the K.K.K. out of hiding by sending them 5 orange pips and telling the local police where to look.

The Man with the Twisted Lip

Sherlock and Watson have yet another case, just as strange as the rest. A women comes to them on behalf of a missing husband, the only suspect being a red headed beggar. With a method unknown to many and hard to understand, Holmes finds out that the dirty beggar is really the husband, who is trying to make a living by dressing up in a wig and makeup to get money. So the case was solved and the wife learns her husband is alive indeed.

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

In this story, Watson and Sherlock are investigating a harmless case of a found coat and goose, that someone had lost. It had started off as a simple brain teaser, just for fun, until a rare diamond had been found inside the goose. The diamond was the Blue Carbuncle, which had recently been stolen. Sherlock's innocent investigation had turned into a serious case. He needed to find the original owner of the hat and goose to find the thief. Sherlock put an ad in the paper saying, "coat and goose found" and soon after a man came to pick up the two items. But when the man came, Sherlock told him he had eaten the goose, but bought him a new one. Seeing that the man didn't react at all, Sherlock knew this man had no idea the diamond was in the goose. In the next few days, Sherlock traced the goose back to a small farm, where they met a boy who was frantically looking for a lost goose. When Holmes told him about the goose and diamond, the boy broke down in sobs and admitted that he stole the diamond.

The Adventure of the Speckled Band

In this adventure, Sherlock and Watson help a young women who has a very interesting story to tell. When she was little, her mother married a man and then a few years later her mom died, leaving a lot of money to the girl and her sister and their step-father. Twenty years later, the two sisters still lived with their step-father, as basically the maids. Their step-dad was a mean man. and when one of the daughters asked to get married, they were surprised he said yes. But a few days before the wedding, the girl died in the middle of the night, and no cause could be found. Now the second daughter was about to get married, so she came to Sherlock for help. In the end, Sherlock found out that her step-father killed the first daughter so he could keep the money. He killed her by placing a poisonous snake into her room through a hole in the wall.

The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb

This story starts alot differently than all the others. In this one, the client comes to Dr. Watson while in all the others they come to Sherlock for help. This man had come at first because of a medical emergency. Somehow his thumb was cut off and was bleeding very badly. Watson had asked the man, Mr. Hatherley, if it was an accident or attempted murder. Watson brought Mr. Hatherley to Sherlock when he said it was attempted murder. Mr. Hatherley then preceded to tell Holmes how he lost his thumb. He was an engineer of sorts, and he told about how bad he had been doing with receiving clients. Until one day a man came to him and asked him to fix his machine that compressed dirt into blocks. This man was paying double the amount that Mr. Hatherley would have asked for. The man then told Mr. Hatherley that the reason for the huge sum of money was that it had to be kept an absolute secret and that he must come in the middle of the night. Mr. Hatherley, of course, asked why he had to keep it a secret, and the man said he had found a rare type of rock in the soil and didn't want anyone to know. Mr. Hatherley agrees to the deal and about midnight sets off to the mans house. He is driven to the house in a wagon with no windows and they drive for about 12 miles before they get there. When they finally reach the house, the press is the size of a small closet, and Mr. Hatherley quickly fixes the problem with the machine. But while he was inside the press, he notices the ground is covered in a golden dust. When he turned around to ask what it was, the man shut the door and started the press. Right before the ceiling could crush him, a secret door opened and a women motioned for him to escape. He got out and was about to jump out of the window when the man saw him and cut off his thumb. Mr. Hatherley didn't make it far before he passed out. When he woke up, he was in town, when he had thought he had passed out at least 12 miles away, in the country. Mr. Hatherley told all of this to Sherlock, who in his mysterious way, figured out that the house was not in the country but the wagon driver had really driven 6 miles into the country and then 6 miles back to town. They caught the man, who had in the past several years had killed several engineers to hide the fact they were making fake money.

The adventure of the Noble Bachelor

In this adventure, Sherlock and Watson help a noble find his missing wife. Lord St. Simon's wife, Hatty had gone missing shortly after their wedding, during the wedding breakfast. She had left in the middle of the meal and was last seen leaving with a woman who had previously threatened who life. Holmes asked Simon many questions, like how she acted before and during the wedding. Simon said that she was happy before the wedding. but as she was walking down the isle, she had dropped her flowers and a man picked them up for her, and that had made her upset. It didn't really say how Sherlock figured out this mystery, but Hatty didn't get kidnapped, but had run away to be with the man she really loved (the man who picked up the flowers), who she thought had died years before.

The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet

It all started with a man who they thought was crazy but really was not. He was just in a lot of trouble. The man's name was Alexander Holder. Alex worked at a bank when a man came in needing to borrow money, and as insurance gave Alex the Beryl Coronet until the loan was paid. Alex agreed and when night came, he took it home for safe keeping. But in the middle of the night, he woke up to find his son tearing the stones out of the Coronet. Alex demanded that his son tell him where he put the rest of the diamonds, but his son refused. Alex came to Holmes for help looking for the stones, but received more help. He proved Alex's son innocent and found the gems.

The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

When Sherlock gets a letter from a Miss Hunter, he is thrown into another mystery. Miss Hunter had come for advice about a job she had been offered as a governess. The man who offered the job was willing to pay her double her usual pay with only a few request, that she must do what ever his wife asked, like sitting someplace and wearing a certain dress, also she must cut her hair. Holmes said she should take the job despite the weird request, but if there were any problems to send him a telegram. A few days later they got a telegram to meet at a hotel. When they got there Miss Hunter told them about how every two days at the same time she would be asked to change into a blue dress and sit by the window. She noticed that every time she did a man was standing by the gate staring at her through the window. Also she said that there was a wing in the house that was always locked up and when once it was unlocked she went in. But when her employer found her, he threatened to kill her. When Holmes heard this he went to the house and found that the daughter of Miss Hunter's employer had been locked up in the house because she had refused to sign all her money to her father. Miss Hunter had been employed because she looked like the daughter, and the man who had been staring at her through the window was worried about the daughter. So to hide the fact that the daughter was hidden away they hired Miss Hunter.

Reflection

I really liked these stories, and because they were short stories it made it all the more interesting. Some of the stories I didn't know the solution to while some I figured out before the end. In a lot of the short stories it doesn't say how Sherlock figured out the mystery, he would go off to investigate and come back with the answer. I think that was the downfall about having the stories be from Watson's point of view. It was funny how none of the villains (robbers, killers and liars) ever went to jail and Holmes never received any money for his help. It really showed the difference between the law systems then and the law now. Overall the books were very interesting and kept you guessing (except on the rare occasion you figure it out before Holmes does).

WARNING

The Sherlock Holmes books are based in the late 1800s and early 1900 the way the characters speak is sometimes confusing and they use a lot of words we don't normally use. Also while reading Sherlock Holmes be prepared not to understand how Sherlock thinks or figures out any of his mysteries unless he out right says it (which isn't very often).

Important Characters

Each story always contains Sherlock and Watson, but because they are short stories it gives the reader the opportunity to meet several important characters. Each story will have at least one person who will be coming to Sherlock for help, they will also have at least one villain and several other characters. This makes it hard to remember names and each person's part in each story, but the plot is unforgettable.

endings

Each story ends with a happy ending, Sherlock find the bad guy, returns the missing item and no one gets in any trouble. Its kinda cliché, when everything turns out perfect in every story. But no one would want to read a story when the villain gets away or the diamonds are never found. Still the fact that every piece of evidence is their untouched ready to be found, makes each story a little hard to believe and makes Sherlock's brilliant mind less extravagant than what he deserves.