The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes #6)

Genre: Classics, Mystery
Page #: 474
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published in: 1993

Official Synopsis

The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 13 Sherlock Holmes stories, originally published in 1903-1904, by Arthur Conan Doyle. This was the first Holmes collection since 1893, when Holmes had “died” in The Final Problem. Having published The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1901-1902 (although setting it before Holmes’ death) Doyle came under intense pressure to revive his famous character. The first story is set in 1894 and has Holmes returning in London and explaining the period from 1891-94, a period called “The Great Hiatus” by Sherlockian enthusiasts. Also of note is Watson’s statement in the last story of the cycle that Holmes has retired, and forbids him to publish any more stories.

My Review

A couple of years ago, I managed to snag this really nice hardback copy of all of the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. It could probably be used as a murder weapon; it’s so big and heavy. And–this is the best part–it was only $6. I read about half of it before I got burnt out.

I obviously like the relationship between Sherlock and Watson. It’s classic. It’s also really interesting to see how the modern mystery story archetype was established. Plus, reading Sherlock Holmes stories is a great way to cope with the Sherlock hiatus. Just saying.

If you’ve read one Sherlock Holmes story, you’ve pretty much read them all. I’m not a big fan of mystery as a genre in the first place, so reading story after story with the same overall plot got really repetitive. If you love mystery or classic fiction, Sherlock Holmes is a must. And, if you’re looking for a way to survive until the next episode of the BBC show airs, why not try a little original Sherlock?

Rating: 2/5

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes #5)

Genre: Classics, Mystery
Page #: 232
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published in: 2009

Official Synopsis

In this, one of the most famous of Doyle’s mysteries, the tale of an ancient curse and a savage ghostly hound comes frighteningly to life. The gray towers of Baskerville Hall and the wild open country of Dartmoor will haunt the reader as Holmes and Watson seek to unravel the many secrets of the misty English bogs.

My Review

This is probably the most famous of all of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and for good reason. It’s really interesting because of the aspects of the curse and the manor on the moor. Of all the Sherlock Holmes books, this one has a definite Gothic feel that I really appreciate.

This story is definitely one of the darker, creepier Sherlock Holmes stories. It was almost like a ghost story. The scene of the climax–where the killer is caught in the act–is definitely the best.

Rating: 3 / 5

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes #4)

 

Genre: Mystery, Classics
Page #: 321
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published in: 1993

Official Synopsis

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes are overshadowed by the event with which they close – the meeting of the great detective and Moriarty, the Napoleon of Crime. Their struggle, seemingly to the death, was to leave many readers desolate at the loss of Holmes, but was also to lead to his immortality as a literary figure.

My Review

I love Sherlock Holmes. I love the character, the series…everything. Sherlock Holmes is one of the most beloved characters in classic literature, and one of the most influential. Obviously, the style of the stories and the nature of Holmes’ character has inspired basically all modern mystery novels and TV shows. Also, the characterization and relationship between Holmes and Watson is iconic, for good reason.

Sometimes the stories can be a little confusing, because Watson is telling the reader about a case that Holmes is relating to him. This makes it slightly difficult to follow at times. There’s not really much of an overarching plot either, but that’s okay. The main emphasis of these stories is on the characters, whom Sir Arthur Conan Doyle clearly executed brilliantly.

Rating: [3/5]

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes #3)

Genre: Classics, Mystery
Page #: 339
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published in: 1998

Official Synopsis

Comprising the series of short stories that made the fortunes of the Strand, the magazine in which they were first published, this volume won even more popularity for Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Holmes is at the height of his powers in many of his most famous cases, including The Red-Headed League, The Speckled Band, and The Blue Carbuncle.

My Review

This is my personal favorite of the Sherlock Holmes short stories There were so many of them that were so interesting. Most of the episodes of the BBC show are based off of the cases from this book. A must for anyone who’s a fan of Sherlock Holmes, and if you don’t want to read the whole series, I would choose this one over any of the others.

Rating: 3 / 5

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes #1)

Genre: Classics, Mystery
Page #: 200
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published in: 2009

Official Synopsis

The first of the Sherlock Holmes stories, this was also the first of Conan Doyle’s books to be published. In this fascinating and exciting tale, the two towering creations of detective fiction–Holmes, the master of the science of detection, and Watson, his faithful companion–make their auspicious debut. The two detectives are immediately in fine form as Holmes plucks the solution to the mystery from the heart of Victorian London.

My Review

This was a really strong start to the Sherlock Holmes saga. It’s clear why this duo became one of the most famous literary partnerships. I love the characters so much and I love how they get along. The BBC adaptation of Sherlock Holmes is one of my favorite shows ever, so I actually got in to these books to hold me over until new episodes. Ultimately, the book was a huge success in my mind and a must-read for any mystery lover.

Rating: 3 / 5

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes #2)

Genre: Classics, Mystery
Page #: 200
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published in: 1993

Official Synopsis

A beautiful young lady finds herself in the midst of a mystery and enlists the help of the great detective Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr Watson. What follows is a tale of treasure, intrigue, betrayal and murder, as they unravel the truth behind her father’s disappearance and the mysterious Sign of Four.

My Review

This is not my favorite Sherlock Holmes novel. It was difficult for me to follow, and the colonialism bothered me quite a bit. I do like that it’s Mary Morstan as the client. This novel also solidifies the relationship between Watson and Holmes, and delves deeper into Holmes’s character. Overall, the characters and their relationships are my favorite part of the novel.

Rating: 2 / 5

Deluge by Lisa T. Bergren (River of Time #4)

 

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance Religious Fiction
Page #430
Publisher: Bergren Creative Group
Published in: 2014

deluge_7_13_14-e1405311011805Official Synopsis

The Bettarinis and Forellis have found rich fulfillment together in medieval Italia. But after fighting off countless enemies, they now must face the worst foe of all. As the Black Death closes in upon them, threatening everything and everyone they hold dear, Lia and Gabi–and the knights they love–must dig deep within to decide how they might remain safe…and if they need to risk it all in order to truly live as they’re called.

My Review

I really like how the author did such a good job with the characters and their relationships. Some very difficult things happen in this book, and I thought they were handled well even if they were heartbreaking. I also liked how the book was split into sections, so the plot was able to cover all that it needed to in one book without feeling too choppy.

The ending scene itself was incredibly disappointing and unsatisfying for me. The whole ending sequence was pretty emotional and profound, but the ending scene itself kind of felt like whiplash.

You definitely have to read this book if you liked the rest of the series. Grab the tissues, though. And if you like historical romance, I would definitely recommend this series to you.

Rating: 4 / 5

Tributary by Lisa T. Bergren (River of Time #3.2)

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Page #: 163
Publisher: Bergren Creative Group
Published in: 2012

Official Synopsis

TRIBUTARY, a novella (1/2 the length of a normal novel), picks up a year after BOURNE… Lia struggles to overcome the fear that constant battle has heaped upon her; Gabi and Marcello face an unexpected crisis; and Lord Greco just may be ready to leave the grief and loss of his past behind him, so that he might grab hold of the future…

My Review

I really enjoyed Tributary. I’ve loved this entire series, actually. I think the strongest aspect of the River of Time is its characters. Each character is different, well-developed, and lovable in their own way. Not to mention the fact that the author has this incredible way of getting the reader horribly invested in the relationships. I also really enjoy all of the female characters. They’re all tough and independent, while still being feminine. I love the new characters in this book, and I love Greco, as always. I just want to hold him.

On the whole, there wasn’t really anything I didn’t like about Tributary. It wasn’t my favorite in the series, but it was still enjoyable. At times, the writing seemed a little messier when compared to the other books in the series. It’s also a novella, so it’s significantly shorter, which is disappointing for people like me.

Rating: [4/5]

Bourne by Lisa T. Bergren (River of Time #3.1)

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Religious Fiction
Page #: 116
Publisher: Bergren Creative Group
Published in: 2012

Official Synopsis

BOURNE picks up right where TORRENT left off…Find out what has happened to men returning from the battle, gravely wounded, to the Betarrinis, fighting for the men they love, and just who is hunting them next…

My Review

I love how much this book focuses on Lia and Luca. They’re kind of my favorite. They’re just so sweet and funny together. The synopsis does not lie; it really does throw you in right where the last book left off.

It’s a little confusing to me because this novella and the next novella kind of act as a bridge to the fourth book, but I think it would have worked better of the two novellas were combined into a single book. I still liked this one a lot, but it’s definitely not my favorite in the series.

Rating: 4 / 5

Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren (River of Time #3)

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Religious Fiction
Page #: 388
Publisher: David C. Cook
Published in: 2011

Official Synopsis

When Gabi and Lia finally learn to surf the river of time, they realize they must make hard choices about life and love in the third and final book in the River of Time series.
Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.
But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.

My Review

Despite what the synopsis says, this is not the last book in the series. There are like two more that the author self-published. However, this book has even more of my most favorite character, Greco. I literally adore Greco. Like, I don’t even understand how Gabi is in the middle of a love triangle at all because to me, the choice is obvious. This book definitely delivers in terms of action and romance. There are so many swoon-worthy moments and characters. If you’re looking for great romance, this is definitely a great series to pick up.

Rating: 4 / 5