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A comment to my previous DW/LJ post on 4x1 Sherlock got my reply, which compiled a bunch of links to free, public domain Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. So I am copying my reply as a post, so that whoever wants to can find and download the Sherlock Holmes canon. \o/

I said:

Note: I am a more than casual fan of the original stories, not a completist devotee. But I love them as literary "comfort food" and the giant upon whose shoulders all subsequent crime fiction/fictional detectives stand, from House, to Longmire and friend Henry Standing Bear, to Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist.

Note: Conan Doyle began writing these stories in the late 1800s. Expect some matter-of-fact period-typical sexism, racism, and imperialism.

I'll give some personal favorites &/or noteworthy stories off the top of my head, with links. Most (but not all) of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories are available free (!) in the public domain from Project Gutenberg in HTML, epub, Kindle, and mobi formats. Some are available as audio books, e.g. A Study In Scarlet! View the list of public domain Sherlock Holmes stories (sorted by popularity rather than release date or order in which they were written).

A Study in Scarlet was the very first Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so that's a good starting place, as well as a classic -- in fact, I recommend the first four stories: A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and The Valley of Fear.

A Scandal In Bohemia introduced Irene Adler (it is the first story in the first compilation book The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Beware, though: her fate is tragic in Conan Doyle's canon.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is kind of a Victorian horror (and mystery) masterpiece, imo -- it's one of my favorites, really capturing the dread and suspense. It has also been portrayed in film and TV many times. I like The Valley of Fear a lot.

The Final Problem -- the last story in the compilation The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes -- involves Moriarty, though he is not nearly as important in the canon stories as he became in film and TV depictions. He's only actually in 2 stories out of the 50+, though he/his criminal empire gets mention in a few others..

Apparently, in 1927, Conan Doyle himself picked a list of what he considered his best. I can't argue with the author himself!

The many (over 50) stories were fortunately compiled into books (almost all available free now!), starting with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and continuing (in order of publication) with The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, His Last Bow, and The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (unavailable on Project Gutenberg, as it is part of the Conan Doyle estate).

If you need a list of the Sherlock Holmes stories, in the order in which they were written/published, Wikipedia has a helpful entry on the Canon of Sherlock Holmes, with a helpful list of the tables of contents of the five books into which the many stories were collected.

Happy reading!

Cross-posted from DW