The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is the second collection of short stories Arthur Conan Doyle wrote chronicling the various cases that Sherlock Holmes works on accompanied by Dr. John Watson, the narrator of the tales. Originally, there were twelve stories that were each individually published in The Strand Magazine prior to being released together as a whole novel in 1894. However, for unclear reasons, only eleven of these stories were put into the first London edition and subsequent U.S. editions of this collection. The omitted story was later published in the fourth collection of short stories, His Last Bow.
Arthur Conan Doyle creates literary magic once again, continuing the adventures of his great detective. I was equally as absorbed by these new mysteries as I was by those in the previous novel. I found myself falling in love all over again with these iconic characters and Doyle’s extraordinary storytelling style. There were more surprising twists and turns, and each case kept me on my toes in the way I so enjoy.
This is the collection that contains some of the most iconic stories and characters of the Sherlock Holmes series, including Holmes’s brother, Mycroft. We also finally see him face off against his arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty, arguably one of the most famous characters from the novels.
Not only do we get new cases, but we are also given a glimpse into Holmes’s past. We see how he got his start, how he became the master of deduction. We are also treated to what I felt was a more thorough depiction of Holmes’s more human side; no matter how astounding he is, Doyle never lets us lose sight of that aspect of his character.
Doyle goes more in-depth in his intriguing juxtaposing of Holmes and Watson, further demonstrating Holmes’s remarkable abilities while allowing the highly intelligent doctor to hold his own. I felt there was even more of an equal display of their individual talents throughout these stories than in the first collection. Watson is given many an opportunity to show off his invaluable medical skills during a number of cases.