If you’re looking for the best Sherlock Holmes book and are overwhelmed by the choices, here’s my advice from 6 years of dedicated treasure hunting in bookshops. As you probably know, many of the great books of yesteryear have fallen out of copyright and are published by in countless editions (almost 4 and 1/2 thousand according to Goodreads), many of them cheaply done in mass paperback printings. But this post isn’t about those, it’s about the best volume for the Holmes aficionado.
Here it is: The Complete Sherlock Holmes, published by Doubleday & Company Inc.
Yes, that’s my cherished antique copy in the above photo. Hidden underneath the rather ordinary dust-jacket is a perfectly handsome, deep-dark navy, cloth-bound hardcover with lovely gold lettering on the spine.
Here’s what makes it so grand:
- It’s a COMPLETE collection. When I love a character I want to read every single story he’s in. And when there are over 50, as in the case of Holmes, it can be quite trying to search out every single last one~especially as so many of the books overlap stories or publish only the popular titles… Here in one volume are all four full length novels and all 56 short stories. You can rest assured that you are not missing out on even one adventure Sir Arthur Connan Doyle penned about the detective.
- It’s not abridged! Need I say anything else? Not a speck has been edited or changed from the originals.
- The mysteries are not loose or randomly ordered, but rather arraigned by book, as they were originally grouped when published (eg. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Return of Sherlock Holmes, etc.)
- It is a handsomely bound book. Aesthetics are important. This book, especially when devoid of the dust jacket, is beautiful, dark, and rich, with gilt letterning that gleams when it catches a ray of light. Even when not being read it enriches a room merely by it’s visual addition to the decor.
- It’s an antique, a vintage book from the past, you wonder who has held it and where it has been. In short, mystery shrouds the very volume you hold–filling the imagination with delightful possibilities of it’s history…
- Quality. Printed in the United States of America. Soundly bound and a sturdy hardcover that was published by arrangement of “the Estate of Sir Arthur Connan Doyle” itself!
Now for the technical details:
Published by Doubleday & Company Inc.
Forward written by Christopher Morley
Measures 9.5″ x 6.5″ x 2.25″
One Note of warning: this book was published many different years and all of them don’t have the same cover under the dust-jacket. So make sure you see a photo of the actual book cover to be sure you like it. Not all of them look like mine. 🙂
Now to the true Homes collector more Sherlock may be added to your shelves, I have quite a few others myself. Just because I have THE Sherlock Holmes book doesn’t mean that I’m adverse to owning a leather bound Hound Of Baskervilles novel. Such books have their time and place and are perfect for loaning to friends or slipping into your suitcase on your next trip, especially when visiting a majestic old mansion in the country for one night and you don’t want to lug around the weight of a large collection.
However this Complete Sherlock Holmes cannot be topped for true fans who want all of the mysteries. It makes a grand gift.
This book can be found many other places ~ it just takes a little sleuthing to find a really nice antique copy. This very same book is nowadays published in a paperback, but there is a fine leather edition that looks quite stunning.
What do you think? Do you have any favorite editions of Sherlock stories? I’d love to hear about them!
I have some vintage western treasures coming into the shop soon! If you’re on the lookout for a particular title (or author) just leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!
“The Flying U Strikes” by the famed author B. M. Bower was just added today, go on over and take a look!
I read 70 books in 2015, many of them were outstanding. Below is a list of 10 excellent non-fiction volumes I read, in no particular order.
- I Married Adventure by Osa Johnson
- The Institutes of Biblical Law by R.J. Rushdoony
- Drawing The Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis
- Paris Underground by Etta Shiber
- Assignment: Churchill by Walter Thompson
- Apostate by Kevin Swanson
- The Road to Surfdom by F. A. Hayek
- Effortless Healing by Dr. Mercola
- To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak The Truth by Jeff Cooper
- Reforming Marriage by Doug Wilson
Among the fun fiction books I read last year that were enjoyable are these 10:
- Bulldog Drummond by Cyril McNeile
- Anne of Green Gables & Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
- Bransford of Rainbow Range by Eugene Manlove Rhodes
- Left-Hand Kelly by Elisabeth Foley
- Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
- The Comings of Cousin Ann by Emma Speed Sampson
- Mutiny On The Bounty by Nordoff & Hall
- Dr.. Jekel and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Belle-Hellen Mine by B. M. Bower
- Red and Black by Grace S. Richmond
Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? I’d love to hear about the books you’ve read in 2015!
Thank you to all of my wonderful customers! I appreciate your business very much and am grateful that you chose to shop in my corner of the internet! I am looking forward to serving you this year and have many great plans for Box Thirteen and mountains of book treasures to present in the shop in 2016!
May we all build grand libraries and fill our homes with the handsomely bound volumes from generations past! Happy New Year to you all!
“I have trained myself to notice what I see.” ~Sherlock Holmes