Sherlock Holmes Short Stories

List of Sherlock Holmes Short Stories and Novels

Check out OUR brilliant analysis of the short stories that would stun even Sherlock himself

Sherlock Holmes Books In Order

We use this numbering system to list the 60 stories (4 novels and 56 short stories) in the 9 books they were published in. See below for the list of short stories in each book. A couple of insignificant notes for those interested in fine details. The short story "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" is included in The Memoirs of some versions and His Last Bow in others. Also the dates above for short stories indicate the dates they were originally pubished in magazines. The book collections were usually published the same year as the last story in the collection. You will see minor discrepencies as some stories were published in different magazines. Also note these are the dates of publication, not the date of the fictitious events that occured, which we refer to as the setting.

56 Sherlock Holmes Short Stories

While the first two novels introduced Sherlock Holmes to the public, it was the short stories that ensured his lasting success. They were published almost monthly at first, then collected and bound into books. Those stories for which we have pages of literary analysis of live links below.

C. Adventure of Sherlock Holmes

Published October 1892

The young detective has started to gain recognition by out-witting Scotland Yard. He further demonstrates his sagacious powers in these 12 adventures:

D. Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Published July 1891

Some of the best cases of the now-famous detective are included in this set of stories. They culminate in the death of Sherlock Holmes, who Sir Arthur Conan Doyle desired to assassinate so he could get on with his own more serious writing. The stories include:
From The Adventure of the Empty House - Holmes: Describing his escape from death to Watson:
"There I was when you, my dear Watson, and all your following were investigating in the most sympathetic and inefficient manner the circumstances of my death. At last, when you had formed your inevitable and totally erroneous conclusions, you departed for the hotel and I was left alone."

F. The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Published 1905

Okay, so what does a famous author do when the public demands he resurrect their favorite detective after his death? Doyle had ho choice but to bring him back to life, which he fortunately could do by the way he originally wrote of Sherlock's death.

Of course life can't be that perfect, so he trades Mrs. Watson's life for Sherlock's. Nice dramatic touch there, Sir Doyle!

His fans forgave him for killing Mrs. Watson (hah, he never even mentioned what happened to her) as they enjoyed the next series of Sherlock Holmes short stories including:

G. His Last Bow

Published October 1917

Unique feature of this collection The entire collection of 7 stories (eight in some American versions) bears the name of the final story: His Last Bow Therefore, when reading or writing about His Last Bow it is necessary to differentiate between the individual short story or the volume of 7 (or 8) stories. These were intended to be the final collection of Sherlock Holmes short stories. (Hmmm, where did we hear THAT before?)

Watson's Preface to His Last Bow collection
A one paragraph preface alerts fans that the aging detective is retired, "somewhat crippled by occasional attacks of rheumatism" and living on a small farm. He had a brief but temporary return to practice in 1917 in which time he patriotically aided his government as the Great War loomed large. Watson took this opportunity to present to the public seven additional cases that he had in his portfolio from prior years.

In the final tale we meet Sherlock and Watson together one last time after his retirement - somewhat reminiscent of Robin Hood and Little John reuniting in Sherwood Forest. We learn that Sherlock has taken up bee-keeping and international espionage.

I. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes

Published June 1927

The previous Sherlock Holmes short stories all appeared in more-or-less chronological order - and were written somewhat close to the year in which the events were said to occur. In this final set of stories, Doyle gifted his readers with another 12 stories that Watson recorded in his later years and told of events that occured in the earlier career of the now-retired Sherlock.

These stories include

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