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Summary Book

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of a dozen stories, written by Arthur Conan Doyle, and the first was published on October 14, 1892. It contains the first stories with the private detective Sherlock Holmes, which were published in twelve monthly issues from The Strand Magazine from July 1891 to June 1892.

The stories are grouped in the same order of publication, which does not correspond to any chronology. The only characters common to the twelve cases are Holmes and Dr. Watson, and they are all related in the first person from Watson’s point of view.


Summary and synapse

All stories are told by Dr. Watson and speak about the exploits of the genius, Sherlock Holmes. As an advocate for the innocent, Holmes helps people find justice, especially if problems are difficult or nearly impossible to solve.

The first of the twelve stories is “A Scandal in Bohemia”. The King of Bohemia has an affair with the beautiful Irene Adler. There is a photograph of the two of them together that asks Sherlock to bring him Irene. Sherlock goes undercover and manages to get the photo.

But before she can do it, Irene leaves the country with her new husband and the photo. She leaves a letter for Sherlock and a portrait of herself for the King. In the end, the King gives the portrait of Irene to Sherlock.
“The Redhead League” is about a bank robbery, and “An Identity Case” is about a woman who is tricked by her stepfather into keeping control of her money. Scotland Yard Inspector Lestrade plays a leading role in the upcoming story, called “The Boscombe Valley Mystery.” A young man is falsely accused of murder, and Lestrade asks Holmes for help.

In “The Five Orange Seeds,” Sherlock must help a man who receives an envelope with orange nuggets and the initials K.K.K. Their father and grandfather also received them and died days later.

He tells the man to follow the instructions in the letter, but he dies before he can. Sherlock realizes that the Ku Klux Klan is behind the murders who have arrived by boat. Send an envelope with five orange nuggets to the ship, and it sinks.

A beggar is the basis for the next story, “The man with the crooked lip.” A woman goes to Sherlock because her husband has disappeared. She thought she had seen him in an opium den, but all she found were beggar rags. She arrests him because she believes he murdered her husband, but Holmes discovers that the beggar is actually her husband. He discovered that pay was better as a beggar, and that is his profession. When confronted, he vows to stop, if Holmes does not tell his wife.

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In “The Adventure of the Blue Anthrax” Holmes finds the stolen anthrax in the throat of a Christmas goose. He discovers that the thief was an assistant in the hotel where the goose was going to be served.

“The Speckled Band Adventure” is about a newly engaged woman who believes her stepfather is trying to kill her. Holmes discovers that it is true when a snake enters the girl’s room through the vent.

“The Engineer’s Thumb Adventure” involves a patient of Dr. Watson’s. The man comes in to see the doctor because his thumb was cut off at work. This sounds very suspicious to Holmes. When he investigates, he discovers a counterfeit ring.

An escaped girlfriend makes up the following story. In “The Noble Bachelor’s Adventure” Sherlock must help Lestrade find a woman who disappeared while walking towards the altar. He discovers that her dead husband from America was not dead and found her just in time.

A frustrated robbery is the subject of the next story, “Beryl’s Crown Adventure.” A banker keeps a jewel crown in his house, but his niece almost steals it. When her son stops the crime, he is believed to be guilty of stealing it, but will not implicate his cousin, whom he loves.

And last but not least, it is “The adventure of the copper beech trees”. This story involves pieces from the other stories. A lost love, a mistaken identity, a manipulative father and a flight.

They hire a young woman for a good paid job as a governess, but it seems strange. She asks him to investigate it. They discover that someone had been locked in one of the rooms. And it was a father who had locked his daughter to prevent her from marrying the man she loves. But, she ran away and eloped.

Although the stories are not in chronological order, they remain through time. Today’s readers are just as enthralled with Sherlock Holmes as they were when the stories first came out, over a hundred years ago.

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Genre: Detective story

The adventures of Sherlock Holmes, when compiled in a single edition, become an anthology of detective stories. Whose plot centers on a crime or mystery that must be solved through the ingenuity of a leading detective, in this case, Holmes with the help of his faithful companion, Dr. Watson.



  • Sherlock Holmes: The main protagonist of the stories, Sherlock Holmes is a private detective with a knack for seeing details that many people often miss. He shares an apartment at 221B Baker Street with his friend and close companion, Dr. Watson.
  • John H. Watson: Also known as Dr. Watson, he is certified as a physician and joined the British Army as an assistant surgeon after receiving his medical degree. He was wounded in action and released on a monthly pension. He is a close friend of Sherlock Holmes.


  • Irene Adler: is a New Jersey-born opera singer and former lover of the King of Bohemia.
  • Lestrade: He is a veteran Scotland Yard detective.
  • Henry Baker: is an older British gentleman who loses his hat and his goose after being attacked by a gang.
  • Inspector Bradstreet: Inspector Bradstreet is the London detective who watches over the beggar Hugh Boone.
  • Breckenridge Breckenridge – Manage the market stall in Covent Garden.


In every Sherlock Holmes story, the cause of the external conflict is usually some kind of villain who has caused mischief, and Sherlock Holmes tries to stop them. As shown in The League of Redheads, Holmes is very intrigued by the story his client tells him. You are always looking for a case to solve.

Holmes’s initial reaction to any conflict he encounters is the natural need to solve any problem that comes his way through the logic of small details. This generally involves a full investigation with the help of Dr. Watson, and can take several weeks or days. As stated by Watson in a Scandal in Bohemia, “I was at work again. He had come out of his drug-created dreams and was smelling of some new problem. ” This shows that Holmes is very dedicated in his work.