About the BookThe Return of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of thirteen very interesting Sherlock Holmes stories that were published in 1903-04 in the Strand Magazine in UK and Collier’s in the United States.
The first story, “The Adventure of the Empty House”, set in 1894, shows Holmes returning to London and explains the events of period 1891-94, which Sherlock’s enthusiastic readers called “The Great Hiatus”. Holmes dramatically returns after being presumed dead earlier. He, along with Watson, venture to take down Colonel Moran, a would-be assassin of Holmes and murderer of Ronald Adair. With Moran behind the bars, Holmes can safely resume his detective work in London.
In “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder” a young man named John Hector McFarlane is falsely accused of murdering Jonas Oldacre. No evidence is found in his defence until Holmes takes his case and flushes Oldacre, who had faked his death, out of his hiding and saves McFarlane.
The last story “The Adventure of the Second Stain” shows that Watson and Holmes are hired by the Prime Minister and the European Secretary to help recover a stolen document. If the document falls in the wrong hands, it could spark a war. Holmes and Watson track the document to Eduardo Lucas, a spy who has recently been murdered by his wife. The man was actually Trelawney Hope and the wife had married one of his assumed identities. She was being blackmailed by him and gave the document, which was in her possession, to him, not realizing the trouble it may cause. After his murder, she stole the document back. Holmes recovers it and thus the crisis is averted.
The Return of Sherlock Holmes is among the most popular English classics. The stories have seen several TV adaptations.About the Author/sARTHUR IGNATIUS CONAN DOYLE (May 1859 – July 1930), a British writer and physician, is most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes. His stories are widely acclaimed as milestones in the field of crime fiction. Doyle is also known for writing the fictional adventures of Professor Challenger, another character created by him, and for popularising the mystery of the Mary Celeste. He was a prolific writer and his writings include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.
From 1876 to 1881, Doyle studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. He began writing short stories while studying. His first published piece, “The Mystery of Sasassa Valley”, a story set in South Africa, was printed in Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal in 1879. The same year, he published his first academic article, “Gelsemium as a Poison” in the British Medical Journal, a study which was regarded by the Daily Telegraph as potentially useful in a 21st century alleged murder investigation.
Doyle’s first work featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson was A Study in Scarlet, which appeared in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1886 and received good reviews in
The Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald.
It is said that despite the roaring success of Sherlock Holmes, he wanted to wind up the character “for good and all” as he “took his mind from better things.” But the publishers demanded more Holmes stories and were willing to pay him the large sums he asked. As a result, Doyle became one of the best-paid authors of his time. Holmes featured in a total of 56 short stories—the last published in 1927—and four novels by Doyle, and has since appeared in many novels and stories by other authors.
Arthur Conan Doyle influenced Agatha Christie and many other detective fiction writers with his famous detective/fiction stories.