Oh dear, we are at the end of an exciting adventure. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes is the last collection of stories that Sir Conan Doyle has written about his beloved character. I was thinking, and I believe the genius of the character is mirrored in the vast number of future detective characters (literary or on-screen) inspired by him. My version of the book contains a preface written by the author himself, and it must be my favorite preface ever written. He explains, that he has written so much about Sherlock, he’s afraid he’s going to overdo it, so it is time to say good-bye. As I have written in a previous post, he already tried killing him off once, but was determined by the fans to bring him back to life.
Let me just quote him: ‘ One likes to think that there is some fantastic limbo for the children of imagination, some strange, impossible place where the Beaux of Fielding may still make love to the belles of Richardson, where Scott’s heroes still may strut, Dicksen’s delightful Cockney still raise a laugh, and Thackeray’s wordlings continue to carry on their reprehensible carreers. Perhaps in some humble corner of such a Valhalla, Sherlock and his Watson may for a time find a place, while some more astute sleuth with some even less astute comrade may fill the stage wich they left vacated.‘
Well, isn’t that a lovely thought? Although I enjoyed the dozen stories contained in this book, this passage must be my favorite. I love the idea of such a place, where all my favorite character carry on their adventures. Can you imagine, sitting with Watson and Sherlock in front of the fire, sharing some brandy, while outside there’s a curtain of rain pouring? Or sharing some bread and cheese with Bilbo in his little house in the Shire? Or riding on a bike next to Lisbeth Salander? I know what I’m thinking about next time I’m standing in line at the shop. 😀
Many people said Sir. Conan Doyle was running out of steam while writing this last collection. It may be so, but I still enjoyed reading them just as much as the ones before. There are two stories narrated by Sherlcok himself, and one, The adventure of the three Garridebs, in which Sherlock, perhaps for the first time shows his genuine feelings for dr. Watson, when he gets shot in the leg while on a case.“It was worth a wound, it was worth many wounds, to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask.”(Dr. Watson) This one has a very similar plot to ‘The Read-Headed League‘, which is part of an earlier collection.
Even though the way in wich Holmes and Watson investigate their cases has become a little bit formulaic, I still enjoyed them all the way to the end. The title of The andventure of the Sussex vampire really got my attention, but of course, being a Sherlock Holmes story, you realise there must be something else behind it, other than a supernatural being. (Which you are really trying to figure out on your own, before Holmes does 😀 ). In The adventure of the creeping man Sherlock send Watson his famous message: “Come at once if convenient-if inconvenient come all the same. SH” 😀 (It is included in the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes as well).
Overall, reading the Sherlock Holmes series has been an enjoyable experience. It has kept me good company and I grew fond of the characters, so as always in such cases, finishing the book had a bittersweet feeling to it. 🙂
“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
As an ending note, I found another little Sherlock Holmes story on Goodreads, that I’m gonna share with you 😀 :
“Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson went on a camping trip. After sharing a good meal and a bottle of Petrie wine, they retire to their tent for the night.
At about 3 AM, Holmes nudges Watson and asks, “Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see?”
Watson said, “I see millions of stars.”
Holmes asks, “And, what does that tell you?”
Watson replies, “Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and we are small and insignificant. Horologically, it tells me that it’s about 3 AM. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Holmes?”
Holmes retorts, “Someone stole our tent.”