The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (book review).

May 23, 2019 | By | 1 Reply More

Co-produced by the Sherlock Holmes Museum, this eye-catching hardback, ‘The Complete Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle, asserts it has every Holmes story written by Arthur Conan Doyle. Let us consider its merits. The volume is substantial and runs to over a thousand pages. The edges of the pages are tinged scarlet and the binding is supple, the book opens easily and rests nicely with the pages sitting where they should.

There is no sign of cracking on the spine. The cover is kept simple with the logo of the museum and features items of significance to the great detective. There is a clear contents list of the sixty original stories and a warm introduction from Ryan Callander of the Sherlock Holmes Museum. The paper, too, is reasonably sturdy and feels good quality.


The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (book review).

The stories speak for themselves and I won’t be reading the whole volume to check for typos neither as I trust this is a handed down and computer stored facsimile and not pressed by hot metal letter by letter. Looking at random pages, the spacing is even and the font size just about acceptable to my old eyes. What I cannot find is what font this is printed in. Those lovers of traditional fonts will have to investigate for themselves to determine it but I imagine from examination that it is the original as it includes unattributed illustrations.

The downside and this has nothing to do with the quality of the book or its contents is that this is published in China which presumably kept the costs down. How strange Holmes would have found it that his stories have been outsourced to the far flung continent. This neatly sums up how far we have come since the great fictional detective strode like a colossus through the pages of the Empire.

This is very much a gift book and something to accessorise a shelf. ‘The Complete Sherlock Holmes’ no doubt comes in many forms but this is an attractive copy to browse and occasionally dip into. I’m assuming many visitors to the Sherlock Holmes Museum will leave clutching a copy and some copies will even end up in an unexpected plot twist, in the place of their birth.

Sue Davies

May 2019

(pub: Prion Books/Carlton/Sherlock Holmes Museum, 2019. 1096 page hardback. Price: £30.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-91161-024-3)

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Category: Books, Cri-Fi

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Comments (1)

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  1. Julian White says:

    The illustration is for a different book…

    I don’t know this edition – but I have to agree about the substantial nature of a book with over a thousand pages; it becomes unwieldy at best and almost impossible to read without wrist strain – and potential damage to the book!

    Beyond pure reading the stories I’d probably go for one of the annotated collections. The one I used to have is the two volume Baring-Gould edition from 1979 – which has all the stories and novels in publication order, with illustrations (mostly, from memory, the Strand Magazine drawings by Paget). A4 sized, more or less, totalling 1500 pages over the two volumes – not a pocket edition!

    There is a later ‘New Annotated’ edition from 2005 but this splits the novels into a third volume. I don’t know this edition – but the preview pages on Amazon give a feel for the layout; similar to the earlier edition the notes are a substantial column alongside the text – which is interspersed with illustrations.

    One of these years I may get round to buying this set – again, not a pocket version, though. It’s the sort of book that would be ideal as an ebook (for the mass alone) but there are dire warnings about the kindle versions…

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