Sherlock Holmes was Arthur Conan Doyle's miracle. Like many miracles, it came of its own accord and rather overwhelmed its recipient. There may have been times when St. Paul, after his experience on the road to Damascus, really wished he could go back to his old life, but he couldn't, and he knew it. Conan Doyle, too, reluctantly came to the same conclusion, though only after a desperate struggle. He felt that the Holmes stories were taking time and public attention away from his more serious work. So, with great deliberation he killed off his detective in the 24th story in the series, the ominously entitled "The Final Problem," sending both Holmes and his arch-nemesis created for the occasion, the "Napoleon of Crime," Dr. Moriarty, over the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. That, Doyle sincerely hoped, would be the end of that. But miracles do not stay dead, of course, even if, during the period in which Holmes was officially deceased, the fantasy-humorist John Kendrick Bangs, with permission, depicted the posthumous doings of Sherlock Holmes's shade on the River Styx in The Pursuit of the House-Boat (1897). In his unsuccessful attempt to kill off Holmes, Doyle came very close to creating a second immortal character, in the person of Moriarty, who has certainly had a substantial later career in the hands of other writers. "The Final Problem" appeared in 1893. For all Conan Doyle might have wished otherwise, the world had not seen the last of Sherlock Holmes.
Collected here in this giant oversized volume are nine Sherlock Homes books including A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear, A Double Barreled Detective Story by Mark Twain, and The Pursuit of the House-Boat by John Kendrick Bangs, with an authoritative introduction by Darrell Schweitzer. No other Holmes collection includes the books by Bangs, which was the only use of Holmes that Doyle himself ever authorized, and Twain, who was the most famous author other than Doyle to write a Sherlock Holmes story. More than 1,000 pages of Sherlock Holmes mysteries.