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I reviewed all four novels and six short story collections as I heard them on unabridged audiobooks narrated by John Telfer. I started the first book in early July and finished mid September; that is a lot if listening. I enjoyed it for the most part. I really think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has an ability to entice. Even though I found myself predicting the results of some of the mysteries, I still liked how…

The first three stories of His Last Bow have Conan Doyle's themes of revenge and vengeance. Other stories include the Case of the Bruce Partington Papers is a complicated, longest of the mysteries with a spy thriller aspect and the Case of the Dying Detective has Holmes acting mad and mean to Watson. This anthology is notable for containing the last chronological story in the Holmes canon. All of the next collection takes place before…

In The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes and Watson commit a crime for good and even witness a greater crime, but do nothing. This collection has quite a few stories which highlights Sherlock Holmes as someone between the gray area of the official law and that of private matters. He is not amoral nor a vigilante, but he is not a police man; if law is broken, he is not obligated to reveal all. The…

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is the second of the Sherlock Holmes short stories has his first case (as recounted to Watson), another early case, and introductions to Sherlock's brother Mycroft and his archnemeis Professor Moriarty. It's not as varied as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, but it does have a couple of interesting cases. It reveals a lot about the Holmes so I think it's worth the read in the canon. By this book,…

The first short story collection with most of the famous cases being detailed here. I can understand why many find the short stories better than the novels as a whole. Holmes is better is in short, small doses. He seems more humanized and emotional in these stories. Though he is still obviously cold and conceited, but more tolerably so. I really adored this collection. More than ever I think Holmes and Watson are the perfect…

Daphne du Maurier was partially inspired by Jane Eyre when writing this book, so I could not help compare it to that book which I love. The characters are not exactly the same, but I enjoyed reading this book almost as much. It is very well written. I'm not someone who reads a lot gothic or mystery literature, but the atmosphere is almost perfect. Du Maurier is an excellent writer. The prose can be poetic.…

The last of the Sally Lockhart quartet. Published in 1994, Pullman notes on his website how this was the most enjoyable of the books to write. This book is different from the first three books in two major ways: 1) It is not set in Victorian England, and 2) Sally Lockhart is not the protagonist and remains missing for most of the novel. The setting is a fictional kingdom in Prussia called Razkavia involving the…

When I read the summary for this, it seemed very psychological and intense. I've grown quite attached to Sally Lockhart and the other characters. Sometimes I think Pullman is as good as Dickens when making up Victorian characters. The actions in this novel were very horrible to read about because the idea of having one's child taken away from you especially in a patriarchal, puritanical society such as Victorian England is extremely cruel. I can't…

My original plan after reading The Ruby in the Smoke was to write a big review of the whole Sally Lockhart quartet because I wrongly assumed the other three books would be as short as that first book. I should have foreseen this as it happened with the His Dark Materials too. Unlike HDM, these books can stand alone, but that doesn't mean there is not a not a hook to connect these Victorian mystery…