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Arthur conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes: The rediscovered railway mysteries Recommended by Margret

imagesThese four short stories are reasonably true to Conan Doyle’s original Holmes, not quite as good as his best known, but good enough for a casual fan of the great detective. The readings by Benedict Cumberbatch are wonderfully sublime; he is eloquent and clear throughout, reading with great enthusiasm, and has a good voice for story-telling. He ‘narrates’ the stories as Dr John  Watson but then does all of the voices, of Holmes himself, but also the other acquaintances whose paths cross his own. I found myself captivated by his different characters.

I couldn’t help but smile at his Cockney villain voice in the first story and laugh at his imitation of a female voice in the later. It is one of the best performances – and performance here, rather than reading as he very much acts the characters – I’ve heard on audio-book. I felt that there was also some humour written in to the stories, and Benedict draws this out expertly, delivering the puns and quips with perfect pacing. These four new stories are written in a very authentic style by John Tayor and at only 30 minutes duration each, great as a bed time listen.The stories themselves are not too complicated and you don’t need to be a Sherlock Holmes yourself to work them out! With his perfect cut glass diction and  soothing velvety tone, I’m sure he could read my car mileage and I’d want to buy an Audio- book version of it. Fun stories written and read in great style. Well done Shoe Lane for stocking such a gem.

Margret

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The Adventures and memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ; recommended by Lynn

9780140437713_p0_v1_s260x420After watching two series of the unmissable BBC drama ‘Sherlock’, and having fallen slightly in love with Sherlock Holmes (or was that just Benedict Cumberbatch?) I decided it was about time I read some of the original stories for myself. Not being a huge fan of crime fiction or a big reader of Victorian literature, I wondered if they would really be my cup of tea but once I began reading any doubts quickly evaporated. I was completely hooked!

I loved reading Dr Watson’s accounts of Holmes’ cases and each story left me wanting more. I can certainly understand the public outcry after The Final Problem (included in this volume) was published (I admit I got a bit emotional reading that one!) and why Conan Doyle eventually bowed to pressure and brought Holmes back. With their intriguing set ups, plot twists and often surprising denouement, it’s easy to see why these clever and entertaining stories and the unique friendship between the world’s only consulting detective and his loyal companion John Watson are still inspiring TV series, films, books and stage shows over a hundred years after they were originally published.

— Lynn

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