Only the novels can convey the mystery, intrigue, and originality of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The Sherlock Holmes stories are engaging and fascinating. You won’t want to miss out on reading these. You will love reading these stories, whether with your family or by yourself.
So, how many books of Sherlock Holmes are there? The entire episodes of this excellent book series will be listed in the article below by Penn Book. Continue reading.
How Many Sherlock Holmes Books Are There Written By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?
Arthur Conan Doyle published 62 stories about Sherlock Holmes between 1887-1927.
There are 62 stories, including four novels and 58 shorter stories. Fifty-six short stories were serialized in US and UK magazines.
They were collected in the volumes The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, His Last Bow, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (x13), The Return of Sherlock Holmes and His Last Bow (x7). Two short stories were also published on special occasions: How Watson Learned the Trick (1924) and The Field Bazaar (1896).
Other stories, even those by Arthur Conan Doyle’s son Adrian, are pastiches. They cannot be used in Sherlock Holmes studies. Untold Stories are the stories Watson mentions but has not published.
Original Sherlock Holmes Books List
Title (1st UK ed. — 1st US ed.)
01. A Study in Scarlet 1887 — 1890
02. The Sign of Four 1890 — 1890
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
03. A Scandal in Bohemia 1891 — 1891
04. The Red-Headed League 1891 — 1891
05. A Case of Identity 1891 — 1891
06. The Boscombe Valley Mystery 1891 — 1891
07. The Five Orange Pips 1891 — 1891
08. The Man with the Twisted Lip 1891 — 1891
09. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle 1892 — 1892
10. The Adventure of the Speckled Band 1892 — 1892
11. The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb 1892 — 1892
12. The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor 1892 — 1892
13. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet 1892 — 1892
14. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches 1892 — 1892
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
15. The Adventure of Silver Blaze 1892 — 1892
16. The Adventure of the Cardboard Box 1893 — 1893
17. The Adventure of the Yellow Face 1893 — 1893
18. The Adventure of the Stockbroker’s Clerk 1893 — 1893
19. The Adventure of the Gloria Scott 1893 — 1893
20. The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual 1893 — 1893
21. The Adventure of the Reigate Squire 1893 — 1893
22. The Adventure of the Crooked Man 1893 — 1893
23. The Adventure of the Resident Patient 1893 — 1893
24. The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter 1893 — 1893
25. The Adventure of the Naval Treaty 1893 — 1893
26. The Adventure of the Final Problem 1893 — 1893
27. The Field Bazaar — 1896
28. The Hound of the Baskervilles 1901 — 1902
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
29. The Adventure of the Empty House 1903 — 1903
30. The Adventure of the Norwood Builder 1903 — 1903
31. The Adventure of the Dancing Men 1903 — 1903
32. The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist 1904 — 1903
33. The Adventure of the Priory School 1904 — 1904
34. The Adventure of Black Peter 1904 — 1904
35. The Adventure of Charles us Milverton 1904 — 1904
36. The Adventure of the Six Napoleons 1904 — 904
37. The Adventure of the Three Students 1904 — 1904
38. The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez 1904 — 1904
39. The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter 1904 — 1904
40. The Adventure of the Abbey Grange 1904 — 1904
41. The Adventure of the Second Stain 1904 — 1905
His Last Bow
42. The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge 1908 — 1908
43. The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans 1908 — 1908
44. The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot 1910 — 1911
45. The Adventure of the Red Circle 1911 — 1911
46. The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax 1911 — 1911
47. The Adventure of the Dying Detective 1913 — 1913
49. His Last Bow 1917 — 1917
48. The Valley of Fear 1914 — 1914
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes
50. The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone 1921 — 1921
51. The Problem of Thor Bridge 1922 — 1922
52. The Adventure of the Creeping Man 1923 — 1923
53. The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire 1924 — 1924
54. How Watson Learned the Trick 1924
55. The Adventure of the Three Garridebs 1925 — 1924
56. The Adventure of the Illustrious Client 1925 — 1924
57. The Adventure of the Three Gables 1926 — 1926
58. The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier 1926 — 1926
59. The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane 1926 — 1926
60. The Adventure of the Retired Colourman 1927 — 1926
61. The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger 1927 — 1927
62. The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place 1927 — 1927
The Essential Guide for Reading Sherlock Holmes Books
It cannot be very clear to read the many Sherlock Holmes books, novels, and short stories collections. It was also impossible to read the books in the correct order. We are here to help you get started with Arthur Conan Doyle’s works.
Below is our reasoning. But without further ado, here are the Sherlock Holmes books in order that we recommend.
- A Study in Scarlet
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
- The Sign of Four
- The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
- The Valley of Fear
- The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
- The Return of Sherlock Holmes
- His Last Bow
- The Hound of the Baskervilles
- Shadows Over Baker Street
- The House of Silk and Moriarty
- The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
- The Final Solution
1. A Study in Scarlet (1887, novel)
It’s no surprise that the first book is so popular. A Study in Scarlet, published in 1887, was the first Sherlock Holmes book. If you’re here to watch BBC’s Sherlock, please take a moment to forget about your smartphones, cars, and GPS systems.
And, although we don’t hate to say this, Benedict Cumberbatch will also have to go. The novel introduces readers to the late Victorian Sherlock and Watson. It’s also the first time they meet.
Watson acts as the narrator and Watson as the protagonist, trying to understand Sherlock’s superhuman mind. They move in together to the fictional apartment at 221B Baker Street, London.
There they work on a complex murder case that involves a wedding ring and several pills. Watson is also present. However, we recommend the reader read the entire novel to get to know the duo chronologically. Please keep reading for the second part it’s worth the effort to get to the end.
2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892, short story collection)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a great way to learn more about Sherlock’s fascinating personality. This collection’s first story, “A Scandal In Bohemia”, features a certain Irene Adler. This story also started the Sherlock fandom, even though it wasn’t the first Sherlock tale published.
We believe it is important to deviate from the publication date better to understand Sherlock Holmes’ fascinating methods and approach. This is a book you can pull out whenever you need the satisfying spark of intelligence Sherlock Holmes always delivers.
3. The Sign of Four (1890, novel)
The Sign of Four is the second Sherlock Holmes book. It is here that Sherlock’s drug use is first described. This is also where readers get to know the man behind the detective. The novel also features Mary Marston, Dr. Watson’s future spouse (130-year spoiler alert).
This darkly atmospheric book is filled with strange London streets, mysterious annual packages of pearls, and a missing father. It has a more intricate plot than most short stories.
4. The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (1927, short story collection)
We are not following the publication order, but this book should be read before The Memoirs or The Return. The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes offers a variety of simple detective adventures that Holmes and Watson pursue. These can be read independently. Sherlock narrates two of these stories, making for an interesting reading experience.
Last note: If you try to be selective but can’t read the whole Sherlock Holmes canon, this book is often considered the weakest Sherlock Holmes book. The author seems tired of the detective at this stage in his career.
It would help if you left nothing out. This is why we don’t recommend reading this book last, even if you are reading them in the order they were published. It’s sadly quite anticlimactic.
5. The Valley of Fear (1915, novel)
The chronology of Sherlock Holmes books shows that The Valley of Fear occurs before The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. This is even though Sherlock claims he has never met James Moriarty. The mysterious murder of a manor house in a book cipher message leads to a series of intriguing but promising clues. This is one of the best Sherlock books.
The plot is well-planned and detailed, and Holmes and Watson’s detective process is conveyed with a suspenseful pace that Conan Doyle doesn’t have in his shorter works. With its intrigue of secret societies and captivating plot, the Valley of Fear is a compelling tale.
6. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894, short story collection)
Did you know that Arthur Conan Doyle became so bored writing Sherlock Holmes books that he decided to kill him in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes? However, he had to come up with a way to bring him alive due to fan outrage.
Yes, that’s correct. Conan Doyle wrote to his mother, saying that Sherlock “took his mind from better things.” But, she was horrified and advised him to stop. The Memoirs also contains the introductions to Sherlock’s archenemy, Professor James Moriarty, and his brother Mycroft, respectively.
7. The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905, short story collection)
Conan Doyle “revived Sherlock Holmes” with The Return of Sherlock Holmes. There is no zombie stuff, though. Conan Doyle found a way for his readers to be satisfied with the ending to Memoirs, and the legend was continued three years after Sherlock’s apparent suicide.
As usual, Dr. Watson is there for the reader: as confused by Sherlock’s return, he helps to clarify the events. Although things aren’t as they used to be, the duo is back in the same area as their Baker Street apartment. However, their humorous dialogue is strong again!
8. His Last Bow (1917, short story collection)
His Last Bow is the final book in the chronology about Sherlock’s life. However, it is not the last book to be published despite Watson’s assurance that Holmes had retired and would not allow him to write more books. (Remember, The Casebook takes place in the past).
His Last Bow, which was published while the First World War was still in progress, features a final story with Watson and Sherlock as part of British intelligence efforts. Their war service included catching foreign spies and feeding Germany unreliable and confusing intelligence.
Gone are the days when the duo was known for their iconic detective work. We recommend that you don’t end this book, regardless of the chronological closure.
9. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902, novel)
The Hound of the Baskervilles, Conan Doyle’s first published book after his initial killing of Sherlock, was set before the story’s events. This novel is widely regarded as the best Sherlock Holmes book. We’ve left the best for last.
Charles Baskerville, a man found dead in Devon’s moors with a horrified expression, leads to speculation that a folk tale about a demon hound living in the area may be true. Sherlock is summoned to investigate and begins this darkly Gothic novel. It features marshes, suspense, and candle signals from nightly windows.
This truly terrifying novel is chilling, immersive, and extremely satisfying. The Hound of the Baskervilles is a literary masterpiece that expertly blends suspense and mystery with supernatural horror.
10. Shadows Over Baker Street, eds. Michael Reaves and John Pelan
Shadows Over Baker Street is an anthology of short stories edited by John Pelan and Michael Reaves. Twenty contemporary writers, including Neil Gaiman, are featured here. Contribute a story in which Sherlock must solve a mystery set in H. P. Lovecraft’s world. These stories are a perfect blend of the supernatural worlds of horror and logic.
11. The House of Silk and Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz
The Conan Doyle estate permitted Anthony Horowitz to write a new Sherlock Holmes pastiche. He is the author of the Alex Rider series. The House of Silk and Moriarty are the two novels that have been published. The first is set in 1890.
Sherlock is hired to investigate an art dealer whose business is in trouble with an Irish gang. However, as the story proceeds, it becomes clear that Sherlock has discovered a loose thread leading to a powerful global conspiracy.
The second novel is set after events in ‘The Final Problem’ and sees Detective Frederick Chase join Inspector Jones to pursue a criminal mastermind who wants to replace Moriarty. These novels offer a great opportunity to return to the world of Sherlock Holmes. They are fast-paced, suspenseful, and extremely satisfying.
12. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is the first of a long-running series. It sees a retired Sherlock and Mary Russell, a teenage detective talent. When she is made the detective’s pupil, her life changes, as they discover that they are facing a formidable opponent, the book follows them from the Sussex Downs to Oxford and Wales, Palestine, and back.
13. The Final Solution by Michael Chabon
The Final Solution by Michael Chabon sees a retired Sherlock Holmes (referred to as “old man”) deciphering the meaning of a parrot’s list of seemingly random German numbers.
A young German-Jewish refugee owns the parrot, and his interest in his mumblings abruptly ends. Sherlock Holmes is now faced with another mystery. Sherlock Holmes fans will love this suspenseful novella for its clever and funny mystery.
What Is The Sherlock Holmes Canon?
The Sherlock Holmes Canon is a set of sixty stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle that focus on the exploits of the world’s most famous detective. The stories were originally published in a series of short story collections and novels between 1887 and 1927.
The Canon has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, television, and radio, and has been the subject of critical analysis and literary criticism since its inception.
The Sherlock Holmes Canon is generally considered to be one of the most influential works of detective fiction ever written, and has been credited with popularizing the genre.
The stories have been praised for their inventive plots, clever deductive reasoning, and Holmes’s impeccable observation skills. The Canon has also been criticized for its racist and sexist undertones, as well as its unrealistic portrayal of police work.
Despite its controversial elements, the Sherlock Holmes Canon remains one of the most popular works of detective fiction, and continues to be an important part of British culture.
What Are The Sherlock Holmes Stories Not In The Canon?
There are a number of Sherlock Holmes stories that are not considered part of the canon. These include stories that were published in magazines or newspapers, as well as stories that were written by authors other than Arthur Conan Doyle. Some of these stories are more well-known than others, and many are still considered to be enjoyable reads.
One of the most famous non-canonical Sherlock Holmes stories is “The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter”, which was published in The Strand Magazine in 1903. The story is set at Rugby School, and revolves around the disappearance of a key player on the school’s rugby team. Sherlock Holmes is brought in to investigate, and ultimately solves the case.
Another well-known non-canonical story is “The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone”, which was also published in The Strand Magazine. This story sees Holmes investigating a theft at the British Museum, and includes one of the most famous quotes from the detective: “I never guess. It is a shocking habit destructive to the logical faculty”.
There are many other non-canonical Sherlock Holmes stories out there, written by a variety of authors. If you’re a fan of the world’s greatest detective, then why not seek out some of these tales and see what you think?
What Other Works Have Been Inspired By The Sherlock Holmes Stories?
The Sherlock Holmes stories have been a source of inspiration for many other works over the years. This is due to the popularity of the stories and the iconic character of Sherlock Holmes himself. Some of the works that have been inspired by the Sherlock Holmes stories include the following:
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – This is a 1984 American television series that was inspired by the Sherlock Holmes stories. The series starred Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Stock as Dr. Watson.
- Sherlock – This is a British television series that started airing in 2010. The series was created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, who are both huge fans of the Sherlock Holmes stories. The series stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson.
- Elementary – This is an American television series that started airing in 2012. The series was created by Robert Doherty and stars Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Watson.
- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – This is a 2011 American action mystery film that was inspired by the Sherlock Holmes stories. The film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson.
There are many other works that have been inspired by the Sherlock Holmes stories, but these are just a few of the most notable ones.
FAQs About Canon Of Sherlock Holmes
What Was The First Sherlock Holmes Story Ever Written?
A Study in Scarlet, his first Sherlock Holmes tale, was released in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887. Once Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales began to appear in The Strand magazine in 1891, he could give up his medical practice and focus exclusively on writing.
When Was Sherlock Holmes First Popular?
A Study in Scarlet (1887) and The Sign of the Four (1890), the first two Sherlock Holmes tales, were only moderately successful. Still, it wasn’t until the first six Sherlock Holmes short stories appeared in The Strand Magazine in early 1891 that the detective gained enormous popularity.
Can You Read Sherlock Holmes Out Of Order?
Because there are so many Sherlock Holmes volumes (novels and collections of short stories), it might be challenging for newbies to know which sequence to read them in. Regarding the plot, the novels were not written in chronological order, and reading them in the order of publication doesn’t help either.
Why Read Sherlock Holmes?
The Sherlock Holmes stories are enjoyable and straightforward to grasp (you might need to look up a word or two if you don’t read the annotated versions). The appropriate amount of mystery, suspense, humor, and incredible brilliance are all present in them.
Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous fictional characters ever created. He has been portrayed in many ways, but the essential character remains the same. He is a brilliant detective who uses his deductive powers to solve crimes.
The Sherlock Holmes books are trendy and translated into many different languages. They are still being read today and are considered to be classics. Thank you for reading!