From Goodreads: “The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 13 Sherlock Holmes stories, originally published in 1903-1904, by Arthur Conan Doyle. This was the first Holmes collection since 1893, when Holmes had “died” in The Final Problem. Having published The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1901-1902 (although setting it before Holmes’ death) Doyle came under intense pressure to revive his famous character. The first story is set in 1894 and has Holmes returning in London and explaining the period from 1891-94, a period called “The Great Hiatus” by Sherlockian enthusiasts. Also of note is Watson’s statement in the last story of the cycle that Holmes has retired, and forbids him to publish any more stories.”
I love Sherlock Holmes stories. I remember watching the old Basil Rathbone films and then the Jeremy Brett series on ITV. I also loved listening to the BBC Radio 4 series with Clive Merrison and Michael Williams, and of course the new incarnations with Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr (I preferred RDJ’s version to BC, but that’s another story.) I’m not a super fan, but I do consider that I know a little bit about Conan Doyle’s famous detective and how I personally prefer him to be portrayed.
I’d like to think that I know most of the stories but when I started listening to this collection I realised that perhaps I knew only some of the earlier stories. This collection was published in The Strand between October 1903 and December 1904, but the stories are still set in the Victorian era along with the recognisable handsome cabs. This was Conan Doyle’s new Holmes stories written because the of public outcry when he killed him off in the infamous fight with Professor Moriarty. Apparently the public were so upset about it that men were wearing black armbands as they mourned the famous character. Imagine that in Victorian Britain!!
I enjoyed this stories immensely, and would maybe even call them some of my favourites. I particularly enjoyed The Adventure of the Dancing Men and The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton. They were extremely good mysteries that I got lost in.
Stephen Fry’s narration is of course perfect, especially as he is a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and introduces each collection with information about Conan Doyle, the era and of course the stories.
Highly recommended if you love Sherlock Holmes or Stephen Fry as a narrator.