Download the Complete Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Masterpiece


I still remem­ber the thrill I felt when I hap­pened upon a set of the com­plete Sher­lock Holmes sto­ries at an antique store. For a mere ten dol­lars, I acquired hand­some­ly bound, suit­ably pati­na-of-age-bear­ing edi­tions of each and every one of the sleuth of 221B Bak­er Street’s adven­tures that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ever wrote. In addi­tion to this thrill, I also got a few sur­pris­es: first that all of those sto­ries com­bined — the sto­ries that made Holmes and his assis­tant Dr. John Wat­son into house­hold names of near­ly 130 years’ stand­ing — fit into two not-espe­cial­ly-large books; sec­ond, that Holmes solved his mys­ter­ies not just in 56 short sto­ries but four nov­els as well; and third, that many of those short sto­ries and nov­els dif­fered intrigu­ing­ly in tone and con­tent from my expec­ta­tions. So many mod­ern adap­ta­tions — all those tele­vi­sion series up to the BBC’s new and expen­sive-look­ing Sher­lock, the ear­ly CD-ROM com­put­er game, Hayao Miyaza­k­i’s steam­punk ani­ma­tion Sher­lock Hound, Guy Ritchie’s Robert Downey Jr.-showcasing Hol­ly­wood films — have con­vinced us we “know” Sher­lock Holmes, which makes it all the more fas­ci­nat­ing to inves­ti­gate, as it were, the orig­i­nal lit­er­a­ture.

These days, espe­cial­ly giv­en the recent rul­ing (just re-affirmed by the Supreme Court) that Conan Doyle’s Sher­lock Holmes sto­ries “are no longer cov­ered by Unit­ed States copy­right law and can be freely used by cre­ators with­out pay­ing any licens­ing fee to the Conan Doyle estate,” you can down­load the com­plete Sher­lock Holmes canon in a vari­ety of ebook for­mats, from PDF to ePub to ASCII to MOBI for Kin­dle. If you pre­fer lis­ten­ing to read­ing, Lib­rivox has made avail­able three dif­fer­ent ver­sions of Sher­lock Holmes in audio­book form. How­ev­er you choose tech­no­log­i­cal­ly to expe­ri­ence the Sher­lock Holmes canon, I rec­om­mend tak­ing it on chrono­log­i­cal­ly, begin­ning with the 1887 nov­el A Study in Scar­let — less a mys­tery, to my mind, than the scary tale of a mur­der­ous Mor­mon sect — to 1927’s “The Adven­ture of Shoscombe Old Place,” Holmes’ final Conan Doyle-penned adven­ture. Some­where in the mid­dle — in 1893’s “The Final Prob­lem,” to be pre­cise — Holmes’ cre­ator tried to kill the beloved detec­tive off, but the read­ing pub­lic would have none of it. What about Sher­lock Holmes sto­ries had got them so hooked that they could suc­cess­ful­ly demand a res­ur­rec­tion? Now you, too, can find out, with­out even hav­ing to spend the ten dol­lars, let alone go to the antique store.

Bonus: Below, you can lis­ten to The New Adven­tures of Sher­lock Holmes, an old-time radio show that aired in the US from Octo­ber 2, 1939 to July 7, 1947.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Sher­lock Holmes Is Now in the Pub­lic Domain, Declares US Judge

Arthur Conan Doyle Dis­cuss­es Sher­lock Holmes and Psy­chics in a Rare Filmed Inter­view (1927)

Arthur Conan Doyle & The Cot­tin­g­ley Fairies: How Two Young Girls Fooled Sher­lock Holmes’ Cre­ator

Arthur Conan Doyle Fills Out the Ques­tion­naire Made Famous By Mar­cel Proust (1899)

1,000 Free Audio Books: Down­load Great Books for Free 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kin­dle & Oth­er Devices

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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