Did your search for a Sherlockian support group go well? Was Anderson there? Well today we’re going back – way back to were it all began in fact! Don your Victorian cape and
deerstalker death frisbee ear hat, we’ll be alighting at the year 1887.
Day 2 – Reading Canon
Whether you’re just beginning your foray into Sherlock Holmes or your a seasoned Sherlockian who’s read every Holmes story Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has penned, now is the perfect time to start reading or rereading the canon (original works). The first Sherlock Holmes story published was A Study in Scarlet, one of the four Holmes novels Conan Doyle wrote. The Sign of Four followed, another novel, before the consulting detective’s escapades began being published in The Strand magazine as a series of short stories.
Sure, A Study in Scarlet introduces the characters to us, but there really is no strict order you need to follow when tackling the canon. You know these characters, plus John Watson himself isn’t always the most reliable narrator, and we’re dealing with the (lovably referred to as) Sir Arthur ‘Continuity’ Doyle. So yeah, you’re good. Begin wherever you want, with whatever you can get your hands on! I began reading Holmes with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and had zero trouble jumping right in.
Now maybe you have read all of them. Well, this is the perfect opportunity to reread your favorites while you wait for Series 3 to begin! Perhaps go back and read The Final Problem and The Adventure of the Empty House to really prepare yourself for the return of Sherlock.
You can read the complete works on Read Sherlock for free, actually, as Sherlock Holmes resides within the public domain. The website has the complete works – novels and short stories alike – compiled for easy reading and navigating (which means you can start reading immediately!).
Go read/reread to your hearts content and leave a comment with your favorite Holmes stories! I’m currently making my way through the canon for the first time, but I have to say that one of my favorites so far is The Man with the Twisted Lip. Not as remarkable as others, perhaps, for their gripping sense of creepiness and danger (uhh, The Adventure of the Speckled Band anyone?) or introduction of iconic characters (totally looking at you Scandal and Final Problem), but I’m fond of it all the same. Perhaps for no other reason than it ends up being so simple, not to mention that the Mrs. St Claire kind of seems like a total badass.
Honestly though, it’s so hard to pick favorites as they are all fun to read. So go on now, you’ve got 14 days to get started reading/rereading the canon before Series 3 premiers on PBS Masterpiece Mystery on January 19. Seriously, there is no better way to contain our manic excitement than getting back to where it all began with the genius of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Prepare to fall in love with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson all over again – they may even find ways to surprise you!
Hit the books (and I don’t mean go study – unless it’s in scarlet) and sail right through Day 2 of our 15 Days of Sherlock countdown. Check back in tomorrow for our Day 3 Sherlockian tip for a spoiler-free wait!
‘I have seen too much not to know that the impression of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical reasoner.’ – The Man with the Twisted Lip (Damn straight.)
Thanks for reading, cheers! Until then…