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His Last Bow: Short Stories of Sherlock Holmes

His Last Bow: Short Stories of Sherlock Holmes

Written by Arthur Conan Doyle

Narrated by Simon Prebble


His Last Bow: Short Stories of Sherlock Holmes

Written by Arthur Conan Doyle

Narrated by Simon Prebble

ratings:
4/5 (8 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 15, 2010
ISBN:
9781400185207
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Gathering together in one volume the later exploits of Sherlock Holmes, the world's first consulting detective, His Last Bow includes tales published individually between 1908 and 1917. It also contains one early story, 1892's "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box," which, with its themes of adultery, was previously considered too "scandalous" for American audiences.



Here, Holmes must contend with mysterious bearded men, stolen secret submarine plans, a missing lady aristocrat, and his own near-fatal illness. The stories contained in His Last Bow are "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge," "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box," "The Adventure of the Red Circle," "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans," "The Adventure of the Dying Detective," "The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax," "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot," and "His Last Bow."
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 15, 2010
ISBN:
9781400185207
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) was a Scottish writer and physician, most famous for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes and long-suffering sidekick Dr Watson. Conan Doyle was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.


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Reviews

What people think about His Last Bow

4.0
8 ratings / 11 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    (Three-and-a-half stars, really...)

    Conan Doyle's penultimate collection of Holmes short stories really shows the central elements of his work so well: bracing atmospheres, a delightful central pairing, and an eye for acts of murderous legerdemain on the one hand; stilted dialogue, lack of suspects, and often one-dimensional characters on the other.

    All of the stories here are very enjoyable, although I'd probably rank none of them on my list of "Top Ten". Wisteria Lodge, which opens the collection, is almost a novella and certainly has a lot in common - thematically and structurally - with the early novels. The Red Circle and Lady Frances Carfax also offer nothing new in terms of ideas. However, all three stories have an expertly-rendered atmosphere, and play well along the relationship of Holmes and Watson. The Devil's Foot does the same, although it has the added benefit of a truly unsettling mystery set-up. It's easy to see from these stories that, by this point, Conan Doyle knows his strengths lie in the Holmes/Watson pairing and the unsettling atmospheres, and he jumps at the chance to provide those.

    As with all his works, the dialogue can sometimes be stilted. Not so much with the main characters, or the recurring police inspectors, but with the guest characters, who often lack strong voices (although I'm sure some fans will ascribe this to errors on Doctor Watson's part, and not on the author's?). And interestingly (or unfortunately?) most of the stories have very few suspects - indeed, sometimes we only seem to meet one person connected to the deceased in any detail, which may give the game away. In fact, the question tends to be not "whodunnit?" but "howdunnit?". But perhaps this is fair enough, since the overall emphasis is often on the implausibility or seeming incomprehensibility of the case, rather than the nature of the crime itself.

    The Bruce-Partington Plans is an intriguing story, a fusion of spy and detective work which - although, again, means the revelation of the culprit is relatively unimportant - has a fun, pulpy sense of 'the chase'. It allows Holmes and Watson to work as a wonderful team, with a cameo by Holmes' evasive brother Mycroft. The Dying Detective's plot twists will fool no one, but if you've read all the rest of the stories to date, there's plenty to enjoy in a story that so feeds off the relationship of our two heroes.

    And finally there is the title story, His Last Bow. I'm not sure if it was written genuinely as a finale, but it certainly is chronologically. This is a disappointment in some ways, since our heroes feature in it only for a short time. But there's a true sense of separation and loss at the end which affected me a little. Unfortunately, the story itself isn't very good: the dialogue is arch, the villain zero-dimensional, and the actions of our heroes at the end (especially given it is set just days before WWI breaks out) would probably not be advised by the Home Office.

    In closing: this is not a collection for Holmes newcomers. But it's certainly a vital part of the canon, and well worth a look.
  • (5/5)
    The last book in this series that my library has. Bummer. I enjoyed the stories, enjoyed the narration, and I even got used to the musical interludes. My favorite short story in this episode was "His Last Bow". This was an interesting story leading up to WWI and has Holmes getting Watson and others involved in political intrigue. "
  • (5/5)
    This should have been the last Sherlock Holmes story Conan Doyle wrote; being set on the very eve of the First World War (and written in 1917), it has a world-weary and seemingly significantly older Holmes and Watson foiling the plans of a German agent Von Bork to steal vital military and other technical data, and feels in all respects like the end of an era, including being written in the third person, unlike the earlier stories. In fact Conan Doyle published a further twelve stories throughout the last decade of his life, the 1920s, collected together as The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, stories widely seen as considerably inferior to the earlier stories and novellas featuring the Great Detective. This one is a real masterpiece with a strong impact on the reader.
  • (5/5)
    A nice mystery. An older Sherlock reflects on the past.
  • (3/5)
    A fairly typical novel of Sherlock Holmes. Each part is as interesting as the last and it brings about the typical fanfare. The book was decent.3 stars.
  • (4/5)
    I really do enjoy these short works better than the full novels. Every one of them was quite good.
  • (4/5)
    OK, so this isn't as excellent a collection as The Adventures but there are still some funny moments, fine writing and good mysteries. It's flaw is perhaps that it repeats some elements from earlier stories. The Devil's Foot is particularly good, as is The Bruce-Partington Plans with the body on the Underground tracks.
  • (4/5)
    To set what I will say below into perspective: I love Sherlock Holmes. So most likely my thoughts will not be shared by some of you. Yet, to everyone who is not sure whether to read stories about the famous detective, just try a few of the stories and see how you like them. While His Last Bow is not a good point to start when you want to start right at the beginning, it gives a good impression of what Holmes stories are all about. If you are already familiar with the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, this volume of stories is quite likely something you will enjoy.His Last Bow is another of many story colletions centered around detective Sherlock Holmes and his work. As it is a collection of stories I will refrain from going into detail for each one. While His Last Bow features many great stories, "The Dying Detective" is the one I liked best. On the outset, Watson is called to Holmes' rooms at 221b Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes apparently lies on his deathbed as the title of the story suggests. He seems to be terribly sick and is hardly able to speak. After refusing to be treated by Watson, he sends the latter to find Mr. Culverton Smith, who is not a doctor but very experienced with tropical diseases. As the narrative goes on and Smith arrives in Baker Street it slowly becomes clear that Holmes is actually perfectly healthy and that he just pretends to be deadly ill in order to get a confession out of Culverton Smith who murdered his own nephew.Even if it were just for the sake of "The Dying Detective", this volume is highly recommendable to readers of good detective fiction. It is on the whole a good collection of stories, each of its own worth reading. One might think to get bored by a volume of on the outside similar detective stories but this is actually not the case. The stories each have their own little twist that sets them apart from the rest. I think one of the strong points of this volume is that the stories are not overdone and, being rather short, very much to the point.On the whole, four stars.
  • (4/5)
    "I followed you."(Holmes)"I saw no one."(Dr. Sterndale)"That is what you may expect to see when I follow you." (Holmes)This is the fourth out of the five short story collections with the famous detective from Baker Street. It contains eight stories - my favorites were "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box", "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans", and specially "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot" - Watson refers to it as the strangest case Holmes ever handled. A lot of vintage Holmes and Watson in this collection - two severed ears, stolen plans for a secret submarine, a vanished lady, madness and hallucinations, Holmes on his deathbed - or so it seems.The final story "His Last Bow" is not classic Holmes as it is a patriotic spy story written during WW1 - featuring Holmes as an under cover agent. Again Arthur Conan Doyle tries to say goodbye to the detective - the last page has yet another finality to it as Holmes and Watson are going to retire: Holmes to Watson: “Stand with me here upon the terrace, for it may be the last quiet talk that we shall ever have.”Well, it didn't work - Doyle wrote yet another 12 stories that are in the final collection "The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes" - looking forward to that one.
  • (4/5)
    I prefer these longer stories over the earlier ones, but I like the character development in the earliest books the best. More Holmes and Watson is always a good thing.
  • (3/5)
    The reading by Tom Whitworth was hard to follow because the character's voices were too similar.