Tag Archive for Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (George Newnes, 1892); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (ABC, 2017) The first and arguably most accomplished batch of Sherlock Holmes short stories. The cases are consistently ingenious and Holmes is full of a vitality that Conan Doyle would not always muster. Stephen Fry reads with the obvious relish of a lifelong…

The Feng Shui Detective

The Feng Shui Detective by Nury Vittachi (Chameleon Press, 2000) This collection of short stories begins with a shout-out to Arthur Conan Doyle, and justly so; Vittachi crafts mysteries that are mostly about setting and character. Feng shui master C.F. Wong and his assistant (17-year-old westerner, Joyce) form a memorable cross-cultural duo.    

A Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (Ward Lock & Co, 1887); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (ABC/Audible, 2017) This would have made a fine short story—introducing the great detective to his chronicler—yet the lengthy second part serves only to demonstrate Conan Doyle’s dependence on Holmes and Watson. In the absence of these seminal characters, the prose turns flaccid.…

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (George Newnes, 1902); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (Audible, 2017) Despite lacking its protagonist for extended periods and being little more complex a mystery than those of Conan Doyle’s short stories, The Hound of the Baskervilles sustains itself quite charmingly at novel length. The unhurried telling affords added solemnity to the…

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (George Newnes, 1893); audiobook ready by Stephen Fry (ABC, 2017) Despite coming across as increasingly distant from modern times, these tales of Sherlock Holmes retain their appeal. Simply put, Holmes and Watson are great characters, and the mysteries themselves have a charm that rests enduringly in Conan Doyle’s (and Stephen…

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (George Newnes, 1905); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (ABC, 2017) Stephen Fry takes seriously the task of voicing Conan Doyle’s stories, yet with faint echoes of his own comedic characters seeping through (in contrast sufficient to add further gravitas to the great detective). Sherlock Holmes resumes practice post-Reichenbach, as superior…

Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries

Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries by John Taylor; audiobook read by Benedict Cumberbatch (AudioGO, 2010) Although contrived in places, these four Sherlock Holmes pastiches are of sufficient quality that they feel like original Conan Doyle stories. Benedict Cumberbatch, at the time having just concluded series one of Sherlock, narrates from Watson’s perspective without unduly distracting the listener.    

The Bone is Pointed

The Bone is Pointed by Arthur W. Upfield (Angus & Robertson, 1938); audiobook read by Peter Hosking (Bolinda, 2010) This mystery doesn’t take much solving, but neither did many of Arthur Conan Doyle’s. As with Sherlock Holmes, it is the character of half-caste Aboriginal detective Napoleon Bonaparte that bewitches the reader, plus in this case Upfield’s vivid descriptions of outback…

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (John Murray, 1927); audiobook read by Derek Jacobi (Bolinda, 2015) Derek Jacobi proves a narrator par excellence in bringing to life cases from late in the career of Sherlock Holmes; but then, that most enduringly beloved detective has always excelled as much from good delivery as from ingenuity or complexity of…