The Return of Sherlock Holmes

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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A young gambler is found shot dead in a closed room. Dr. Watson, who still mourns the disappearance of his famous friend is intrigued enough to step out of his house and take a look at the crime scene. A crowd has gathered there, curiously gazing up at the room where the crime is supposed to have taken place. Watson inadvertently jostles against an elderly, deformed man and knocks a stack of books from the fellow's hand. The man curses Watson vilely and disappears into the throng. It suddenly occurs to Watson that one of the books that he had helped the stranger pick up had seemed familiar... Thus begins the first thrilling story, _The Adventure of the Empty House,_ in _The Return of Sherlock Holmes_ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which was published after what Holmes enthusiasts call the Great Hiatus. _The Return of Sherlock Holmes_ was published in 1905. In 1891, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was completely exasperated by the seemingly endless appetite of readers who welcomed each new Sherlock Holmes story with the greatest delight. He wrote to his mother confessing that he was “thinking of slaying Holmes... He takes my mind from better things.” His mother's famous reply, “You won't, you can't, you mustn't!” only echoed the voice of his readers. However, in 1893, Conan Doyle did the unthinkable; he finished off Holmes in the Reichenbach Falls in _The Final Problem_ and thought he had done with the man for good. He hadn't reckoned with his readers. There was a flood of protest. Letters to the editors of newspapers, a stream of mail to his publishers and himself, all demanding that Holmes be kept alive. Finally, he gave in and _The Return of Sherlock Holmes_ was greeted with huge delight. Though _The Hound of the Baskervilles_ came out in 1902, it was set in a time before Holmes' “death.” _The Return of Sherlock Holmes_ is a collection of 13 stories. Among them are _The Adventure of the Norwood Builder_, a tale of a reclusive old bachelor who suddenly vanishes, _The Adventure of the Dancing Men_, a delightful puzzle involving a mysterious message that contains a series of stick figures, _The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist_ in which a lovely young governess is being stalked by a man on a bicycle, and many others. The last story, _The Adventure of the Second Stain_ has Watson revealing that Holmes is now completely retired and would not like Watson to write any more stories about him! _The Return of Sherlock Holmes_ is indeed a delightful continuation of the Holmes saga and a great addition to your repertoire!

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