Sherlock Holmes
Created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Yes, SHERLOCK HOLMES was a private investigator.
Yes, he called himself a "consulting detective," and yes, he took money to invesigate crimes on behalf of private citizens, on a freelance basis. And yes, to deny his very real influence on almost every fictional detective, private, public and amateur, that followed would be mere folly.

But calling him a private eye, at least as the term is defined on this site, is a bit of a stretch, and at the same time, not enough. And, more to the point, to cover this magnificent, seminal figure of crime and mystery fiction in anything less than the manner in which he deserves would prevent me from ever doing anything else on this site.

So, suffice it to say, yes, he laid the ground work for all that followed, and yes, more than one mystery fan far smarter than me (like Edgar Award winner Leslie Klinger) has called The Valley of Fear "The first real hardboiled detective story," and no, I won't tarnish his reputation by doing a half-ass job of summary here.

Instead, check out the original work by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
This is the real deal. Accept no substitutes.


NOVELS

A Study in Scarlet (1887, Beeton's Christmas Annual)

The Sign of the Four (1890)

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)

The Valley of Fear (1915)

SHORT STORIES

"A Scandal in Bohemia (July 1891, The Strand)

"The Red-Headed League (August 1891, The Strand)

"A Case of Identity" (September 1891, The Strand)

"The Boscombe Valley Mystery" (October 1891, The Strand)

"The Five Orange Pips" (November 1891, The Strand)

"The Man with the Twisted Lip" (December 1891, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" (January 1892, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Speckled Band" (February 1892, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb" (March 1892, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor" (April 1892, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet" (May 1892, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Copper Beeches" (June 1892, The Strand)

"Silver Blaze" (December 1892, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" (January 1893, The Strand)

"The Yellow Face" (February 1893, The Strand)

"The Stockbroker's Clerk" (March 1893, The Strand)

"The Gloria Scott" (April 1893, The Strand)

"The Musgrave Ritual" (May 1893, The Strand)

"The Reigate Puzzle" (June 17, 1893, Harper's Weekly; aka "The Reigate Squires")

"The Crooked Man" (July 1893, The Strand)

"The Resident Patient" (August 1893, The Strand)

"The Greek Interpreter" (September 1893, The Strand)

"The Naval Treaty" (October-November, 1893, The Strand)

"The Final Problem" (December 1893, The Strand)

"The Field Bazaar" (November 20, 1896, The Student)

"The Adventure of the Empty House" (September 26, 1903, Colliers)

"The Adventure of the Norwood Builder" (November 1903, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist" (December 26, 1903, Colliers)

"The Adventure of the Dancing Men (December 1903, The Strand)

"The Adventure of Black Peter" (February 27, 1904, Colliers)

"The Adventure of the Priory School" (February 1904, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Six Napoleons" (April 30, 1904, Colliers)

"The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" (April 1904, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Three Students" (June 1904, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez" (July 1904, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter" (August 1904, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Abbey Grange" (September 1904, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Second Stain" (December 1904, The Strand)

"The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge" (August 15, 1908, Colliers)

"The Singular Experience of Mr. J. Scott Eccles" (August 15, 1908, Colliers; aka "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge")

"The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" (December 1908, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Devil's Foot" (December 10, 1910, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Red Circle" (March-April 1911, The Strand)

"The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax" (December 1911, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Dying Detective" (November 22, 1913, Colliers)

"His Last Bow" (September 1917, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone" (October 1921, The Strand)

"The Problem of Thor Bridge" (February 1922, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Creeping Man" (March 1923, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire" (January 1924, The Strand)

"The Adventure of the Three Garridebs" (October 25, 1924, Colliers)

"The Adventure of the Illustrious Client" (November 8, 1924, Colliers)

"The Adventure of the Three Gables" (September 18, 1926,Liberty Magazine)

"The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier" (October 16, 1926, Liberty Magazine)

"The Adventure of the Lion's Mane" (November 27, 1926, Liberty Magazine)

"The Adventure of the Retired Colourman" (December 18, 1926, Liberty Magazine)

"The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger" (January 22, 1927, Liberty Magazine)

"The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place" (March 5, 1927, Liberty Magazine)

COLLECTIONS

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892)

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894)

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905)

His Last Bow (1917)

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927)


UNDER OATH

On Holmes being hard-boiled:
"Holmes brooded, he was a loner, he was tough, he walked some mean streets and he was not himself mean -- the more I go on the more I can see the case for it--but I'd never consider him a part of the hard-boiled canon. And I don't think a bit of mild recreational cocaine use counts for much, either.
.
He was a Victorian gentleman, and the whole package of the era, his nature, his habits, Conan Doyle's (or Watson's) writing, the mysteries themselves, all combine to exclude him. The stories have been favourites since I was 10, but I wouldn't count Holmes in with Spade, Marlowe, and all the rest. Some traits in common, but things are just shifted a bit too far out of line."
(Bill Denton, who knows his hard-boiled, on Rara-Avis)


Holmes' beloved deerstalker cap and magnifying glass have become such powerful icons, acheiving almost totemic stature in our culture, that Apple Computer simply called their (very cool, in fact, for the time) internal search engine system software "Sherlock," and used them as its logo. Yep, that's a registered trademark and copyrighted artwork up there. Sosumi.


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