Celebrate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday with some detective stories

By Chris Jarosh

A collection of book covers for Sherlock Holmes stories
A collection of Sherlock Holmes book covers, from Rare Autumn.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s was born on this day in 1859. To celebrate his birthday, we’ve collected together some titles inspired by his famous creation, Sherlock Holmes.

It’s probably for the best that Sherlock was the first detective story hero, because as a character he would not have bothered to read the kind of stories that were written about him. “His ignorance,” Watson remarked in A Study in Scarlet, “was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing.” Watson’s surprise that Holmes knew nothing of the earth’s orbit around the sun was met with indignation: “‘What the deuce is it to me?… if we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or my work.'”

It’s fair to say that Sherlock didn’t read for pleasure – and one can only assume that’s why he was a bit of a misery-guts. Luckily for young readers today, there are plenty of books available that will entertain amateur sleuths and test their detective skills at the same time.

On the Case with Holmes and Watson (MY)

A book cover from the series On the Case with Holmes and Watson

Several of the best-known Sherlock Holmes mysteries have been re-told in this series of graphic novels from Lerner Books. Each book includes a section where it’s clearly explained how Sherlock managed to use the clues to catch the criminals.

Quizzes are available for six books in the series:

  • Sherlock Holmes and a Scandal in Bohemia
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure at the Abbey Grange
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Blue Gem
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Dancing Men
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Speckled Band
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Sussex Vampire

Baker Street Boys (MY)

Book cover for the Baker Street Boys title, the Case of the Racehorse RingerSherlock Holmes has a group of street-urchin detectives to assist him when solving crime. This series from Anthony Read, published by Walker, sees the Baker Street Boys take centre stage in the detective work. Along the way, the boys encounter super-criminal masterminds and even Holmes’ nemesis, Moriarty.

Title Quiz #
The Case of the Disappearing Detective 207886
The Case of the Captive Clairvoyant 210887
The Case of the Ranjipur Ruby 210919
The Case of the Limehouse Laundry 213319
The Case of the Stolen Sparklers 215559
The Case of the Haunted Horrors Forthcoming
The Case of the Racehorse Ringer 222697

The Baker Street Irregulars (MY)

Another series of graphic novels, Tony Lee’s Baker Street Irregulars books follow the gang as they move into Sherlock’s 221B Baker Street residence and take up cases while he is missing. They are published by Franklin Watts under their Edge label. Quizzes are available for:

  • The Adventure of the Missing Detective
  • The Adventure of the Phantom of Drury Lane
  • The Adventure of the Charge of the Old Brigade
  • The Adventure of the Family Reunion

Young Sherlock Holmes (UY)

Book cover for Andrew Lane's Young Sherlock Holmes book Death Cloud

Sherlock’s younger years are the subject of Andrew Lane’s Young Sherlock Holmes series. The stories are authorised by the Conan Doyle’s estate, and give a credible background to the sleuth we know from the original mysteries. The teenage Sherlock finds himself in Scotland, America, Russia and the Home Counties of England, uncovering crime and solving the mysteries behind them. We’re currently preparing a quiz for the fifth book in the series, so watch this space for news when it’s available!

Title Quiz #
Death Cloud 219978
Red Leech 220066
Black Ice 221147
Fire Storm 221152
Snake Bite Forthcoming


Posted on 22 May 2013 at 3:01 pm
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