221b Baker Street. Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and his colleague John H. Watson, M.D., spent many years at this address in London, England, under the rent of Mrs. Hudson. Characters of every type have frequented the rooms of this place, calling on Mr. Holmes for help and assistance on mysteries only the finest criminal detective could unravel.
Sherlock Holmes, the amateur detective, chemist, violin player, boxer, and swordsman (among other talents), first appeared in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet in the Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887.
It was pleasant to Dr. Watson to find himself
once more in the untidy room of the first floor in Baker Street which had
been the starting-point of so many remarkable adventures. He looked round
him at the scientific charts upon the wall, the acid-charred bench of
chemicals, the violin-case leaning in the corner, the coal scuttle, which
contained of old the pipes and tobacco.
The Canon refers to the set of 60 original stories (56 short stories, 4 novels) by Conan Doyle. Any book written by another author, while still being a Holmes story, is considered outisde the canon. In the United Kingdom and Canada, the stories are now out of copyright. In the United States, the last dozen of them, those published after 1919, are still protected by copyright. Therefore, 48 of the 60 stories are available below in text format.
Click on the tiny Adobe Acrobat icon () for the PDF format version if available.
"By a man's finger-nails, by his
coat-sleeve, by his boots, by his trouser-knees, by the callosities
of his forefinger and thumb, by his expression, by his shirt-
cuffs -- by each of these things a man's calling is plainly revealed. That all united should fail to enlighten the competent
inquirer in any case is almost inconceivable."
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I knew that seclusion and solitude were very necessary for my friend in those hours of intense mental concentration during which he weighed every particle of evidence, constructed alter- native theories, balanced one against the other, and made up his mind as to which points were essential and which immaterial. I therefore spent the day at my club and did not return to Baker Street until evening. It was nearly nine o'clock when I found myself in the sitting-room once more.
My first impression as I opened the door was that a fire had broken out, for the room was so filled with smoke that the light of the lamp upon the table was blurred by it. As I entered, however, my fears were set at rest, for it was the acrid fumes of strong coarse tobacco which took me by the throat and set me coughing. Through the haze I had a vague vision of Holmes in his dressing-gown coiled up in an armchair with his black clay pipe between his lips. Several rolls of paper lay around him.
- From The Hound of the Baskervilles