In creating this collection of tales, Doyle had lost none of his cunning or panache, providing Holmes with a sparkling set of mysteries to solve and a challenging set of adversaries to defeat. The potent mixture includes murder, abduction, baffling cryptograms and robbery. We are also introduced to the one of the cruellest villains in the Holmes canon, the despicable Charles Augustus Milverton. As before, Watson is the superb narrator and the magic remains unchanged and undimmed.
Thoughts: As a recently converted Sherlock Holmes fan, I was very excited to read this one. Having just seen him fall down a cliff, I was intrigued to see how Conan Doyle would bring our beloved Mr Holmes back. I admit, I was a little underwhelmed at the manner of his survival, but the twist that followed his return in the first story The Empty House, I enjoyed a lot. I think that Conan Doyle's short stories are consistently good, but this collection wasn't quite as good as the earlier ones. Saying that, it contains one of my favourites, The Dancing Men. Although I would not recommend this as an introduction to Sherlock Holmes, the stories are still first class, and Holmes is as brilliant as ever.