"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."
~Arthur Conan Doyle
Phoenix Lodge No. 257, England
For Valentine's Day, my wife gave me a wonderful gift--The Annotated Sherlock Holmes: Volume 1. I've had my eye on them for a long time, but they were a little pricey (about $120 for all three volumes). She knows me well, and it was a great gift. For the past week, I've been slowly working my way through the stories from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. It's a huge 10 x 8 book, over six hundred pages in length, and featuring more than 450 illustrations (not counting margins crammed full of detailed notes.)
The edition includes all of Sidney Paget's original illustrations from The Strand Magazine, and also include many of the illustrations created by the American press when the stories were reprinted here. It was kind of entertaining to see the dramatic differences in a scene illustrated by Paget and the same scene illustrated by an American magazine.
These books are a little pricey, but well worth it for fans of the Sherlock Holmes stories. If I'm good, maybe I'll get the second volume for my birthday--that one includes stories from The Return of Sherlock Holmes, His Last Bow, and The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. The third volume contains the four Sherlock Holmes novels.
And in case you're wondering--in all, there are 56 short stories, and four novels in what Sherlockians call "the canon." If you haven't read them, you should give them a try--they're timeless.