Since THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES consists of a collection of short stories, I’ve divided my thoughts according to each story:
A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA: This was an interesting one for the sheer fact that Holmes isn’t entirely successful. He figures out the culprit, but the culprit has also caught onto him, and uses one of Sherlock’s favorite tricks (a disguise) to gain the upper hand on him. Irene Adler seems like the kind of character Conan Doyle may bring back again, or a character that a clever writer could turn into a character in their own Sherlock adaptation.
THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE: Conan Doyle’s Sherlock short stories seem to be more light-hearted than his novels, and while this case winds up dealing with a bank robbery, the setup is amusing, as Sherlock and Watson are put on the case by a man who was briefly hired by a “Red-Headed League” that paid him to copy the encyclopedia for four hours every day in their office,. then abruptly closed shop.
A CASE OF IDENTITY: Another amusing little story in which a woman hires Sherlock to figure out what happened to her fiance, who disappeared on the day of their wedding. The conclusion is a neat little twist.
THE BOSCOMBE VALLEY MYSTERY: Again, a solid, enjoyable short story. And I’m proud to say that I figured out the murderer pretty quickly, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the tale.
THE FIVE ORANGE PIPS: This was probably the weakest of the stories since it required the reader to be unfamiliar with the meaning of KKK to uphold the mystery. It probably worked better if you were reading the story in Britain in the 1800s and didn’t have much knowledge of the Klu Klux Klan. It is kind of interesting how oftentimes the villains in these Sherlock stories are American organizations (Mormons, the KKK).
THE MAN WITH THE TWISTED LIP: Nice plot “twist.” Ha!
THE BLUE CARBUNCLE: Kind of an interesting Christmas story. For some reason, I love these stories set in 1800s London in the winter. I think of the city in stories like “A Christmas Carol” or “Oliver Twist” and I just really like that setting. This is one of the best Sherlock stories in terms of taking advantage of that feeling of being on the London streets. I’ve heard there’s been a movie based on this short story that’s supposed to be pretty good.
THE SPECKLED BAND: This story is kind of weird, but it’s enjoyable.
THE ENGINEER’S THUMB: Another Sherlock story where Sherlock and Watson don’t arrive in time to actually catch the bad guys — instead, Sherlock figures things out after the fact.
THE NOBLE BACHELOR: This one wasn’t too hard to figure out.
THE BERYL CORONET: This was a good one. There were so many characters that it made it hard to figure out the puzzle until Sherlock explained it.
THE COPPER BEECHES: This was a strong way to end the book.