Sherlockian Shorts – An Explanation

There’s a problem with calling myself a fan of mystery fiction – the man in the street knows, on average, no more than three literary detectives – Miss Marple, Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Now I consider myself well-read on the first two – 100% on Marple and about 90% on Poirot, but I freely admit that I’ve read only a small part of the Holmes canon. I think it’s time to correct that. There’s a lot of Sherlock Holmes around at the moment, most notably in the BBC1 series Sherlock – see my reviews of Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3, but also in the high quality audio dramas from Big Finish.

Starting, hopefully, tomorrow, I’ll be posting hopefully regular “Sherlockian Shorts” – mini-reviews of the multitude of Holmes short stories, as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – concentrating on, as is the theme of my blog, whether they are, in fact, mysteries at all and if they are fair-play mysteries at that.

I’m going to be picking the stories at random – I’m starting, perversely enough, with The Final Problem, then the next two will by The Illustrious Client and The Reigate Problem. No spoilers, but enjoyed two out of the three. I know that I’ll miss out on the progression as Doyle writes more about the master detective by reading them out of order, but it just seemed like an interesting experiment.

They will be a tab at the top of my site to keep track of my progress. Let’s see how it goes.


  1. I’m looking forward to your reviews of the short stories. Most of them, I think, are pretty good. I’m not as big a fan of the novels, except for “The Hound of the Baskervilles” – they all feel padded out to me, particularly by the sections which lay out the backstories. The sections with Holmes and Watson are good and generally enjoyable, though. My 2 cents.


    • Cheers, Les. I was pleasantly surprised by one of the stories that I read recently, so I thought it was well past time to work through them. The novels are also on my new page, but it might be a while before I get to them. Let’s see…


  2. Thank goodness for the Kindle, right? Previously I had the entire Holmes canon bound within this enormous, clunky A4 volume – lovely to look at but you can’t exactly dig it out on the train.

    There are some great short stories – following with interest.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.