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As I suspected, Holmes did not stay dead for long (apologies if anyone feels that is a spoiler, but the story of his return was published in 1903 which I think is a decent interval). None of these thirteen stories particularly stands out for me, though I noticed a general trend away from high politics towards domestic drama - for instance in "The Adventure of Abbey Grange", Holmes and Watson confront the murderer but decide that they like him more than his victim so let him go. I also sensed a stronger geographical specificity - one story is set in am unidentified Oxbridge college, another explicitly in Cambridge. There are some fairly blatant retreats as well - "The Six Napoleons" is the same story as "The Blue Carbuncle" but with busts instead of geese. Still, they are all engaging reading; one almost feels that Doyle has stopped trying too hard and found a gear that suits him.

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(Anonymous)
Mar. 5th, 2011 10:56 am (UTC)
Whilst I adore the Holmes stories I agree that some are derivative of each other. I wonder how much of that was Conan Doyle writing "To order" for stuff to appear in The Strand
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