Book Review: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
#4
by Arthur Conan Doyle

My rating: 3.5 / 5
Genre: Classic mystery

Part of me thinks that I need to make sure to start spreading out the shorter stories within one collection. But another part of me wonders if that would help. One of the things that’s starting to wear on me with these stories is the way most cases are presented the same way—a big info dump to explain the case to Holmes and/or Watson. Sometimes, the person telling the story will share dialog from someone else, and I often find myself asking how the person could be so precise in telling the story. And then there was at least one of these stories where the person telling the story related dialog from someone else who was also relating an event that included further dialog. There came a point where my mind was completely muddled and I couldn’t remember who was talking. When you’re 3+ deep in quotation marks (“‘”You astound me!”‘”) to get the story across, it’s getting a little ridiculous.

Some of the cases were still intriguing, while others were a bit more obvious. I think I’m starting to get the hang of Doyle’s pattern with these cases, though that doesn’t mean I can figure them all out before the end. I think what surprised me the most was the introduction of Professor Moriarty, whom everyone knows as Holmes’s arch-rival. But that story was more about Holmes trying to escape the man, with his brilliance and nefariousness only told to us, not really shown in any way. He’s dangerous and worthy of Holmes’s attention only because Holmes says so. I have no idea if the man will appear in any other stories, but to be honest, this one was kind of a dud for me. I did question partway through this book whether it was worth continuing. I think I will, as I don’t think I can really judge the entire character without reading everything Doyle wrote about him. But when I come to the next short story collection, I’ll probably take my time with it.

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