Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Last Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes - Review

Sherlock Holmes, the gaunt, ascetic, ruthlessly logical pursuer of crime and mystery created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle needs no introduction. The adventures of this sharply witty and moody detective and his lovably pedantic and faithful friend Dr. Watson are a perennial source of inspiration to lovers of crime fiction.
Sherlock Holmes a predecessor of a long line of amateur detectives elevated criminal investigation to a fine art. His original and imaginative plot races along like a furious roller coaster, leaving the reader guessing which way it will turn next...
Read on to find out how Holmes and Dr. Watson solve mysteries of
• Wisteria Lodge
• The Cardboard Box
• The Red Circle
• The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax
• The Bruce-Partington Plans
• The Dying Detective
• The Devil’s Foot

About the Author
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle KGStJ, DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer who is most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. He is also known for writing the fictional adventures of a second character he invented, Professor Challenger, and for popularizing the mystery of the Mary Celeste. He was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, and historical novels.

“My dear Watson” – and you know you are all set for another rollicking adventure.

Such is the magic of Sherlock Holmes, a character so intriguing and fascinating that you can’t afford to ignore him. Numerous adventures, resolving mysteries and finding solutions to problems that seem impossible are the traits of this fictional detective. Described by Watson, his friend and companion, as eccentric and bohemian, and as the one possessed with a high degree of logical reasoning, Sherlock Holmes is a legendary creation, a character that can never be replicated. His dominion over the ‘mystery and detective’ genre stamps his authority on our minds, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s hero has thus lived across the ages, attaining fame and immortality in literature over the years.

‘The Last Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ is a collection of eight stories. Seven of them are narrated by Dr. Watson, while one follows the third person narrative style.

‘Wisteria Lodge’ is the first story in the book, and is divided into two sections – ‘The Singular Experience of Mr. John Scott Eccles’ and ‘The Tiger of San Pedro’. A murder takes place and John Scott Eccles reports the ‘grotesque’ event to Holmes. The plot has several twists and turns, and one finds it difficult to jump to a conclusion, until the mystery is finally resolved. This surely is a well knitted story and will keep you glued.

In ‘The Cardboard Box’, Miss Susan Cushing receives two severed human ears that are carefully packed. Initially, she suspects this to be a prank by some medical students. However, upon further investigation, a darker secret comes to light. What appeared seemingly harmless takes a sinister shape, and we are mesmerized by the brilliant deduction capability of our detective.

‘The Red Circle’ describes a mysterious lodger who is rented a room by Mrs. Warren. However, after the first night, no one catches sight of him. He insists on having the Daily Gazette on a daily basis, and all his requests are printed on a slip of paper that is placed outside the room. Though there appears to be no evil initially, as the plot progresses, the affair does turn serious. Unexpected happens and you are drawn into the adventure.

Holmes’s brother Mycroft visits him with ‘The Bruce - Partington Plans’ case. A secret submarine plan goes missing, with a few pages of it is found with Arthur Cadogan West’s body, a government clerk. Was he a traitor, who had stolen the plans for some nefarious motives? The plans are essential for the security of the country, and Holmes knows he has to deliver. And he does. This is one of my favorite stories in the book.

Sherlock Holmes is seriously ill and appears to be on his deathbed in ‘The Dying Detective.’ He has contracted an Asian disease and asks Watson to fetch Mr. Culverton Smith as he only can cure the disease. However, Holmes has other motives in mind, and as the events proceed, we are left gaping wide in amazement and appreciation over the brilliance of this master detective.

In the next story, Holmes sends Dr. Watson to investigate ‘The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax.’ The case seems more difficult than the rest, and until the final moment Holmes doesn't have a clue and is still struggling for the solution. However, it’s never too late, and just at the right instance, Holmes is able to deduce the entire scene. This is another well told story.

‘The Devil’s Foot’ is a remarkable adventure involving Holmes. Mr. Mortimer Tregennis visits him regarding a mysterious case according to which his two brothers had gone insane, and his sister was found dead with an expression of fear on her face. The causes of death and insanity are unknown, and Holmes takes upon himself to find out the solution. With the assistance of Watson, Holmes finally figures out the events. This story surely ranks high due to its sheer craftsmanship.

In ‘His Last Bow’, the narration shifts to third person style. This is a spy story where Holmes comes out of retirement for the benefit of his country. The story has patriotic sentiments and is a fitting conclusion to the book.

It’s always a pleasure reading classics, and reading Sherlock Holmes does boost up your idle mind. The best thing about these stories is that they can be read anywhere, any time, and any number of times. The magic of Doyle will never fade, and his legacy will continue in form of his beautifully crafted words.

‘The Last Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ is a must read for all, anywhere, everywhere.

Title: The Last Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 
Authors: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Short Fiction, Mystery
No. of Pages: 200
Price: Rs 135
My Rating: 4/5

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