book crush thursday: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

"There are always some lunatics about. It would be a dull world without them." -- Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of the Three Gables," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"We are before our time, and suffer the usual penalties." -- Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear

"It is my business to know things. That is my trade." -- Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier."

"How often is imagination the mother of truth?" -- Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear

Whew! It's been a long and a busy day, but it's still Thursday for a couple of hours yet, so here I am with this week's book crush. Sherlock Holmes! Absolutely! One of the great literary icons, and totally worth his own little slice of fame.

I recently finished reading the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels, and I thought they were complete fun. Really. The short stories get downright addictive, each with its portion of weirdness (grinning murder victims, cryptic last words, dwarves and giants, religious rites), each with its essential details (the scratched stone, the dog's walk, the behavior of the child, the unlocked door).

As each finishes, it's all too easy to start the next, to stay in 221B a bit longer, until by the end I can recite the familiar lines alongside Holmes: Ah, Watson, we both saw it, but only I observed it...

(The novels are great as well, though a few of them get a bit longwinded. Hound of the Baskervilles was probably my favorite.)

As these summer weeks continue to bake, I'm eager enough to be transported to London, to read about autumnal or wintry mysteries--it's like literary air-conditioning. Or, to be sympathized with, as Holmes and Watson swelter in their stuffy apartment.

Yes, it's perfect getaway reading. Do a bit of traveling this August, to the dreary side of London in the 1890s, to spend some time with the perpetually surprised, loyal Watson, and the quick and snarky Holmes.

About the movie? I totally loved it. I think it captures a side of Holmes that's less often clear in the stories, yet it's there all the same. It certainly has the same amount of weird and the same amount of clear logic as the stories. And heck, I just love the idea of Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock. This too: Jude Law is a better Watson than Watson. So yes--see the movie.

Meanwhile, short stories to pass the time, eh? This one's fun. Oooh, and this one. And with a title like this, how could you go wrong?

And a recommendation: For some reason, sticky pecan rolls are on my mind. Is that Holmes-y? Not sure. Whatever would suit your teatime. Tea & Holmes. Not a bad combination.

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