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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
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About the Author

Arthur Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh into a prosperous Irish family. He trained as a doctor, gaining his degree from Edinburgh University in 1881. He worked as a surgeon on a whaling boat and also as a medical officer on a steamer travelling between Liverpool and West Africa. He then settled in Portsmouth on the English south coast and divided his time between medicine and writing.

Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in A Study of Scarlet, published in 'Beeton's Christmas Annual' in 1887. Its success encouraged Conan Doyle to write more stories involving Holmes but, in 1893, Conan Doyle killed off Holmes, hoping to concentrate on more serious writing. A public outcry later made him resurrect Holmes. In addition, Conan Doyle wrote a number of other novels, including The Lost World and various non-fictional works. These included a pamphlet justifying Britain's involvement in the Boer War, for which he was knighted and histories of the Boer War and World War One, in which his son, brother and two of his nephews were killed. Conan Doyle also twice ran unsuccessfully for parliament. In later life he became very interested in spiritualism.

Conan Doyle died of a heart attack on 7 July 1930.

Reviews

Edward Hardwicke, who played Dr. Watson to the late Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes in the celebrated television series, is in top form for this second installment of Conan Doyle's classic mystery stories. Hardwicke's narration is perfect as he again brings to life the lovable Watson and guides the listener through some of Holmes's most exciting and intriguing cases: the adventures of the Sussex Vampire, Creeping Man, Speckled Band, Crooked Man, Greek Interpreter and Naval Treaty. As the great detective gathering clues, utilizing his famed methods and unraveling each mystery, Hardwicke provides a superlative rendering of these treasured stories, which might leave listeners longing to hear Brett's Holmes reply to Hardwicke's Watson, and creates an audio book that will be adored by Holmes fans and provide newcomers with a compelling introduction to the gentlemen at 221B Baker St. (Aug.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

This is a nice but flawed entry in an already crowded field (a WorldCat search for Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle produces 137 records for audiobooks). Five of these six stories were written after Doyle resurrected Holmes following the character's death in "The Final Problem." While none are especially well known, all are worth hearing. Actor Edward Hardwicke, who played Dr. Watson in the BBC/PBS adaptation of these tales, does an excellent job narrating. Overlooking the omission of a portion of "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans," which makes for a confusing conclusion to the story, this fine production is recommended for all collections.--Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Lib., Parkersburg Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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