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Lobby 2. Welcome The Reading Room Reading Challenges, 2010 topic #30
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Subject: "18. Sherlock Holmes" Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #565 "18. Sherlock Holmes"
Author ca.bookwyrm     Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jan 10th 2006
414 posts
Date Sat Apr-03-10 01:06 AM
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Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

(mystery, classic)

The main reason I picked up this book (one of the collections of short stories, rather than any of the longer works) is because I am writing a novella set in Victorian London, and wanted to get in the mood. The secondary reason is because I had just watched “Sherlock Holmes” with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law when I placed the hold at the library. Either reason was a good one, and I’m glad to have returned to the stories. (Though… One book was enough. I don’t think I could have comfortably kept reading more Holmes stories without a break for something else in between.)

Of this batch of stories, there was only one I can recall having read before: the one about the Speckled Band. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that of these stories, there was only one I guessed correctly before Holmes revealed the answer to Watson. Yes, there were parts I got right and parts I suspected even though I couldn’t give any reason why. But there was only one I actually knew.

On the other hand, this was a good reminder of what makes a mystery story interesting to the reader. There have to be enough clues that the reader thinks he had a chance to figure it out. There can’t be too many things left out so that there’s no possible way for a reader to guess the correct answer. And yet the story must always be just one teeny step away from the obvious answer in order to keep the reader’s interest.

Doyle did this well. Part of the reason he was able to is because Watson is the POV character, and not Holmes. Another part of why is because the clues which point obviously to the true culprit are often the ones that Holmes notices but doesn’t point out until later. Regardless, however, the reader is left feeling like there was a chance he could have solved the mystery… though, in truth, there wasn’t.

Grade: A

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Bookwyrm's 5(2) Books in 2010 [View all] , ca.bookwyrm, Sat Jan-02-10 08:22 PM
  1. Urban Shaman (Walker Papers #1), ca.bookwyrm, Feb 06th 2010, #1
2. Hunter's Need, ca.bookwyrm, Feb 06th 2010, #2
3. Sorcery & Cecilia: or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot, ca.bookwyrm, Feb 06th 2010, #3
4. Heart's Blood (Blood Magic #2), ca.bookwyrm, Feb 06th 2010, #4
5. Daily Life in Victorian England, ca.bookwyrm, Feb 06th 2010, #5
6. Heart of Ice (e-book, no review), ca.bookwyrm, Feb 23rd 2010, #6
7. Hurts So Good (e-book, no review), ca.bookwyrm, Feb 23rd 2010, #7
8. Silent Night (e-book, no review), ca.bookwyrm, Feb 23rd 2010, #8
9. Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changeling #3), ca.bookwyrm, Feb 23rd 2010, #9
RE: 9. Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changeling #3), bonnieann, Apr 06th 2010, #18
10. Grace Hammer, ca.bookwyrm, Feb 23rd 2010, #10
11. Ecstasy Unveiled (Demonica #4), ca.bookwyrm, Feb 23rd 2010, #11
12. Mine To Possess (Psy-Changeling #4), ca.bookwyrm, Apr 03rd 2010, #12
13 - 17. Twelve Houses series, ca.bookwyrm, Apr 03rd 2010, #13
18. Sherlock Holmes, ca.bookwyrm, Apr 03rd 2010 #14
19. Broken, ca.bookwyrm, Apr 03rd 2010, #15
20. Crimson & Steam, ca.bookwyrm, Apr 03rd 2010, #16
21. Winter Moon, ca.bookwyrm, Apr 03rd 2010, #17

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