Friday, September 30, 2016
FFB: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The forgotten part, for me, was the edition of this book that I read as a kid.
A few days ago, Patti Abbott, on her blog, asked the question: “Who were the first adult crime fiction writers you read?”
Right off the bat, I knew the first was Conan Doyle, and the book was The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I was hooked on Holmes after reading the first story, “The Red-Headed League.”
But “The Red-Headed League” is not the first story in the collection. So how did I come to read it first?
Traditionally, the stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes are:
“A Scandal in Bohemia”
“The Adventure of the Red-Headed League”
“A Case of Identity”
“The Boscombe Valley Mystery”
“The Five Orange Pips”
“The Man with the Twisted Lip”
“The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”
“The Adventure of the Speckled Band”
“The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb”
“The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor”
“The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet”
“The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”
Still, I was sure “The Red-Headed League” was my introduction to Sherlock Holmes. I could not check the book because I have not seen it in years. One of my siblings might have it, and I’ll bet I know which one – the one who saved all the board games we had as kids.
A quicker way to find it than rummaging around in an attic, is rummaging around on the Internet. And that is what I did. There, I found the book, identified by the cover art of Cheslie D’Andrea (pictured here).
This version of Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, put out by Whitman Publishing, was an abbreviated collection in that it contained only eight of the Holmes stories:
"The Red-Headed League"
"The Boscombe Valley Mystery"
"The Five Orange Pips"
"The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle"
"The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb"
"The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor"
"The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet"
"The Adventure of the Copper Beeches"
Whitman, I learned, was part of Western Publishing of Racine, Wisconsin, a company that also published Golden Books for young children.
How this particular book first came into my hands, I do not know, but it made me a lifelong Holmes fan.
And, by the way, "The Red-Headed League," which I reread for this post, is even better than I remembered it.
(For more forgotten books, please see Patti Abbott’s blog.)