The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)


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The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes comprises four novels and fifty-six short stories revolving around the world’s most popular and influential fictional detective—the eccentric, arrogant, and ingenious Sherlock Holmes. He and his trusted friend, Dr. Watson, step from Holmes’s comfortable quarters at 221b Baker Street into the swirling fog of Victorian London to exercise that unique combination of detailed observation, vast knowledge, and brilliant deduction. Inevitably, Holmes rescues the innocent, confounds the guilty, and solves the most perplexing puzzles known to literature.

Volume I of The Complete Sherlock Holmes starts with Holmes’s first appearance, A Study in Scarlet, a chilling murder novel complete with bloodstained walls and cryptic clues, followed by the baffling The Sign of Four, which introduces Holmes’s cocaine problem and Watson’s future wife. The story collections The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes feature such renowned tales as “A Scandal in Bohemia,” “The Red-Headed League,” and “The Musgrave Ritual.”

Tired of writing stories about Holmes, his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, killed him off at the end of “The Final Problem,” the last tale in The Memoirs. But the public outcry was so great that eight years later he published the masterful The Hound of the Baskervilles, which supposedly takes place before Holmes’s death.

The separate Volume II of The Complete Sherlock Holmes collects the remaining accounts of Holmes’s exploits, including “The Adventure of the Empty House,” which reveals the elaborate circumstances behind Holmes’s literary resurrection.

Kyle Freeman, a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast for many years, earned two graduate degrees in English literature from Columbia University, where his major was twentieth-century British literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593080341
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 09/01/2003
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 752
Sales rank: 3,968
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 8.66(h) x 1.53(d)

About the Author

A prolific author of books, short stories, poetry, and more, the Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) is best known for the creation of one of literature’s most vivid and enduring characters: Sherlock Holmes. Through detailed observation, vast knowledge, and brilliant deduction, Holmes and his trusted friend, Dr. Watson, step into the swirling fog of Victorian London to rescue the innocent, confound the guilty, and solve the most perplexing puzzles known to literature.

Date of Birth:

May 22, 1859

Date of Death:

July 7, 1930

Place of Birth:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Place of Death:

Crowborough, Sussex, England


Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885

Read an Excerpt

From Kyle Freeman’s Introduction to The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I

Arthur Conan Doyle began writing A Study in Scarlet in 1886 while waiting for patients in his newly furnished doctor’s office in Southsea, Portsmouth. He sent it to what seemed like every publisher in England before it was finally accepted by a small firm called Ward, Lock & Co. He was paid a one-time sum of £25, relinquishing all other rights to the publisher. The company thought it would be most effective in one of its big holiday issues, Beeton’s Christmas Annual, so Conan Doyle had to wait nearly a year before seeing it in print in December 1887. Thus after this long and uncertain gestation the world finally saw the birth of the resplendent career of the character who would become the greatest literary detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Conan Doyle got the idea for a detective story from the acknowledged creators of the genre. Edgar Allan Poe had written three short stories featuring Parisian sleuth C. Auguste Dupin: “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” and “The Purloined Letter.” Conan Doyle lifted so much detail from Poe that he seemed a plagiarist to some. He took several key components from Dupin. Holmes, like Dupin, is a prodigious pipe smoker. He also places ads in the newspaper to lure the perpetrator of the crime to his apartment. He goes to the scene of the crime to find clues the police had overlooked. Yet another component borrowed from Dupin was his trick of breaking in on his companion’s thought process by guessing the links in his train of thought. Ironically, Holmes complains in this first story that this habit of Dupin annoys him, but apparently not as much as he claims, as he adopts it himself in two later stories. Most important, like Poe, Conan Doyle decided to give his detective a companion to narrate the case.

Such a narrator provides several advantages. He can frame the story more dramatically than the detective could because the companion is in the dark about the outcome. He therefore can sustain suspense and share his surprise with us when the mystery is solved. The narrator also has the freedom to glorify his friend, something the detective as narrator couldn’t do for himself without suffering the inevitable backlash from readers who don’t usually take kindly to braggarts.

Conan Doyle also borrowed from the work of Émile Gaboriau, a Frenchman who wrote the first police novels. His Inspector Lecoq uses scientific methods to build a solid case against the criminal piece by piece. Holmes’s scientific method owes the most to this source. Gaboriau also divides his novels into two equal parts, with flashbacks to prior action, a device Conan Doyle copied in the first two Holmes novels. Conan Doyle based Holmes’s deductive process—lightning quick and seemingly intuitive, though informed by careful observation of detail and mountains of precise knowledge—on Conan Doyle’s teacher at the medical school at Edinburgh, Dr. Joseph Bell.

Once embarked on the process of stirring all these ingredients together, Conan Doyle had to choose a name for his detective. The first he chose was J. Sherrinford Holmes, then Sherrington Hope, and finally the one we know today. We don’t know where he got the name Sherlock, but we can be sure that the last name was a tribute to Oliver Wendell Holmes, the American physician and author, father of the great U.S. Supreme Court justice of the same name. Conan Doyle had read and greatly admired his work, saying of him, “Never have I so known and loved a man whom I had never seen.” On his first trip to America Conan Doyle made a reverential visit to the author’s grave.

A Study in Scarlet introduces the formula that almost all the other Holmes stories will follow. Someone seeks out the detective at his Baker Street rooms to solve an unusual mystery. Holmes and Watson then set out to explore the scene of the mystery. The police are often involved, but of course they never have a clue. After an adventure or two that builds suspense, Holmes solves the case in the most dramatic way. The two investigators end up back at Baker Street, where Holmes explains any point in his chain of reasoning that might have escaped Watson’s understanding, and all’s once again right with the world. Doyle varies this formula in minor ways in a few of the stories in this first volume, but not often. (He will cleverly foil our expectations of this pattern in later stories.) This plot repetition, which might seem a weakness, turns out to be a strength. It contributes to that sense of solidness we get from this world in which logic triumphs over superstition, and where justice in one form or another is meted out to violators of the social order. The sense of order that runs through this world is one of the great satisfactions of these stories. No matter how bizarre the circumstances, Holmes will tender a rational explanation for everything. Criminals are caught not because they make a fatal error, but because all human actions, good and bad, leave traces behind. If you pay close enough attention to the causative chain of events in everyday life, and you’ve trained yourself to think logically, you’ll be able to follow that chain when someone has committed a crime.

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The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1450 reviews.
sherlock201 More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of books in my life, but nothing even comes close to Sherlock Holmes. It is without a doubt the best book I have ever read. The way Sherlock's mind works blows me away. When he makes his deductions, I can't figure out how he could have possibly gotten all of that information just from that little piece of evidence. But then, he explains it all and it makes perfect sense and I don't know how I didn't see that in the first place. Sherlock has a very good sense of humor, too. He's sarcastic, like myself, and I always find myself laughing out loud. The cases he works on are sometimes very dark, so without his humor to lighten things up, it would be very dreary indeed. The mysteries he gets involved in are very dramatic and thrilling. It's so suspenseful and fun to read, I can't put it down. Sherlock and Watson have a funny relationship, too. The two of them together crack me up. They are very different, but they are the perfect team when they work together. I saw the movie and I loved it. Afterwards, I instantly wanted to read the books. I hope they make more movies, because Robert Downey Jr. was amazing in it, and same with Jude Law. If you haven't seen the movie, you have to go see it right now. And after, pick up a copy of Sherlock Holmes and start reading. You won't regret it!
purrfectmatch More than 1 year ago
Started watching the Jeremy Brett TV series of Sherlock Holmes on PBS. When I was twelve, I read The Readers Digest, A Study in Scarlet and The Hounds of the Baskervilles edition. Fell in love with Sherlock Holmes, and though it took a while, found a sale and was able to begin my dream of reading everything Sherlock Holmes. A quirky, talented, highly intelligent, skilled detective and his chronicler a former army surgeon and practicing doctor, a classic is born. Most of these mysteries are short so you don't have to make a big commitment into the cases, if you don't usually read mysteries.
Anthrogrl More than 1 year ago
No fictional character has been portrayed more on film, television, and literature than A. Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. This 2-volume edition is an excecllent bargain, and contains all of Doyle's short stories and novels. For those who are not familiar with the original Holmes stories, the B&N editions are an excellent way to start. "A Scandal in Bohemia", "The Speckled Band", and "The Red-Headed League" are some of the most well-known stories. I would like to add that Dr. John Watson, the narrator of Holmes's adventures, is portrayed entirely different that in some film adaptations. In the original stories, Watson was a capable doctor and loyal friend to Holmes, who never failed to chastise his friend when he felt that Holmes had gone too far. Watson repeatedly demonstrated his loyalty and worth as a partner to Holmes, particulary in "The Hound of the Baskervilles." Indeed, Holmes often commented that he held Watson in the highest regard, and trusted him completely. Also included in the B&N edition is an introduction that gives more information on Victorian England and the events that shaped Doyle's stories. Give it a try- you won't regret it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you have not yet read the complete works of Sherlock Holmes then you are truely ignorant to the influence Holmes' character has had over so many different things. I cannot even begin to surmize this book in under 500 words so I won't begin to try more than this read this book as well as vol. II. Your mind will thank you.
Dragongirl7 More than 1 year ago
Sherlock Holmes stories are AMAZING!!!! Just don't read them if you have a short attention span as they can be a bit dry at times, due to the time period in which they were written. The full-length stories aren't AS good as the short ones, with the exception of Hound of the Baskervilles, because they go into a lot of background information with no Holmes-Watson-deduction action going on whatsoever. But other than that they are fantastic! This edition was really great, besides being really fat. I didn't have to worry about which story came chronologically next, and there were interesting little footnotes that tell you things that you wouldn't have otherwise found out unless you are an expert on Holmes and Watson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was extremly good if you are a big mystery fan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont understand why some people have found this boring. Obviously some people cant appriciate good books and classics. I have read a lot of classics in my lifetime but never, NEVER have i found one as easy to ready and enjoyable as sherlock holmes. Doyle keeps you interested in the clues to the cases and keeps you wondering what will happen and who will be the culpret. Sherlock holmes is a fantastic read and you will never regret reading the brilliance that is john watson and sherlock holmes. +kayley holtom
seniorchief More than 1 year ago
The writings of Sir Doyle are classic. Sherlock Homes is a great character for his time. What I liked best about this volume was the history of Sir Doyle. I also like at the end of the volume the extra information about the book from a variety of people. Very interesting book. You have to like classics to read this one, there are many dry spots. whats great is to see what people were reading long before I was born and how different writing was from todays novels. Download and read.
Word36 More than 1 year ago
Love the tales, the author, the genre, the character, such fantastic writing and a true legendary image within that of Literature and such genre itself. What i want to point out, excuse me if i am seeming rather foolish, in said publication i bought, i couldn't help but notice (and this is probably not the only one but it caught my eye)that on page X of The World of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes, under the year 1897, Bram Stoker, for the fact that his first publication of Dracula has come forth, Mr. Stoker is written wrong, as Brain Stoker, has anyone else noticed such mistypes and such? Just got to me is all, but other then that, a fantastic collection of this author's marvelous talents and mind.
nsx2000 More than 1 year ago
I looked hard to find this edition of the Sherlock Holmes Volume 1. The hardbound detail is very nice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got the paper book for Christmas and really loved reading through the stories. The added notes on the bottom are helpful and not excessive at all. A definate five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really lived up to my expectations of the casebook of the world's greatest detective
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this book. The Sherlock Holmes stories are for sure classics. I really enjoyed the links in the story that explained what certain items or references were or meant. It is by no means a fast read but it was definitely a great book!
Classicslover528 More than 1 year ago
I am reading this right now and absolutely love it! The detail is amazing and it helps me figure out how Holmes' mind works, even though there will no way i will even be fully able to. It is one of the best books i have read and i recommend it to anyone who loves classic literature!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Implausible short stories by most authors would be seen as silly. Not so Sherlock Holmes. Mr. Conan Doyle's stories are still engaging and entertaining reads. And The Hound of the Baskervilles is a teriffic novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A classic work of art
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After watching the two recent movies I was curious about the original stories. What a great book! Every case was so interesting and really draws you into trying to figure out the end on your own. If you love period murder mysteries you will love it.
newsluthe More than 1 year ago
So far this volume has been a easy read with the text being well formatted. There is a long introduction, maybe too long, but does go into some of the influences that Dole used to create his character. I would recommend this to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sherlock is truly an epic book all the way around! The mystreys and bond bertween Sherlock and Watson will keep you transfixed throughout the entire book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have this and volume 2 and I have always really thought of Sherlock Holmes as my hero even from when I found a shortened version in my library as a child. I guess I am still a child, but every time I read one of these marvelous stories I can not help but marvel at the talents of Sherlock Holmes. This book is just like the original versions of the first few books. I often think about how clever Sir Arthur Conan Doyle must have been because he wrote them. Sherlock Holmes is a marvelous story about a lifelong friendship and a brainteasing mystery all in one. Everytime I read one of these books, I can not help but smile at these marvelous tales and wish that I too was there with Holmes and Watson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many times I will read a short mystery about Sherlock Holmes in between novels. The plots are always twisted, and Sherlock's art of deduction and disguise are always so clever. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an short, easy read that reels you in and keeps you interested.
cindy deforne More than 1 year ago
I read this book (i love mystrerys) and i thought that it was to long and was gonna be boring.... but i was totally wrong. When i first got a nook i said " The first book im gonna sherlock holmes." I would recommend vthis book to people who like mystery!!!!
Lindsey Wildschuetz More than 1 year ago
I loved every story that was written! They were all interesting and wonderful to read, I highly recommend this book!
lizPA More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book.
c1rcu1tn3rd More than 1 year ago
This fatty book is worth every penny. It truly draws you in and makes you want to find out more about the story. Sherlock Holmes is a classic. You can't go wrong with this book. I strongly recommend it.