Sherlock Holmes Books In Order

Publication Order of Sherlock Holmes Books

A Study in Scarlet (1887) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sign of the Four (1890) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Valley of Fear (1915) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Sherlock Holmes Short Story Collections

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
His Last Bow (1917) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Sherlock Holmes is one of those fictional characters that have been immortalized. Whether it is his piercing eyes, dressing gown, deerstalker cape pipe, or magnifying glass, his appearance is familiar to all. Arthur Conan Doyle created the famous fictional character of detective Sherlock Holmes. The first edition appeared in 1887 and the series includes four novels and fifty-six short stories.

Sherlock Holmes is London based detective known for his logical reasoning, disguise, and use of science to solve mysteries. As novels were conceived during 1880, the backdrop of all stories occurs from 1880 to 1914. Dr. John Watson is another major character in the series. Dr. Watson is a friend but works as assistant and sometimes roommate to Sherlock. Most of the stories are narrated through Dr. Watson.

First book

A study in Scarlet is the first book that introduces detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. John Watson. Story begins when Dr. Watson returns to London from Anglo-Afghan War due to shoulder injury. However, with no place to live, his friend Stamford introduces him to Holmes. As Holmes rents a flat on 221B Baker Street and wants to share rent, Dr. Watson starts living together. Soon Dr. Watson realizes Holmes’ profound knowledge in almost all subjects, especially chemistry and his status as consulting detective.

Holmes receives a telegram from Scotland Yard requesting help in murder case on the Brixton Road. Man murdered was Enoch Drebber from Cleveland. On investigating crime scene, Holmes notices few evidences including carb prints, footprints, and word Rache written over the wall by blood. In addition, a wedding ring falls off when dead body is being carried out and a note to Joseph Stangerson, the secretary of Drebber. Even before Holmes could analyze the facts, Stangerson is also murdered. The method used for killing is stabbing different from poison in case of Drebber. However, the box of the poison used in case of Drebber is recovered from Stangerson’s room. Soon Holmes learns this fact and announces Jefferson Hope, a cab driver, as the real killer. This is the end of the first point of the book.

Second point reveals why Hope killed two people. For Hope, Drebber and Stangerson were responsible for the death of his love interest Lucy and her father John Ferrier. Moreover, Dr. Watson gets first-hand experience of how Holmes worked backwards to solve the case.

Second book

The second installment in the series is The Sign of the Four. Plot is set in 1888, involving East India Company, Indian Revolt of 1857, stolen treasure, and a pact of four convicts. Mary Morstan visits Holmes with a puzzle about the disappearance of her father Arthur Morstan, a British Indian Army captain, in 1878. Mary was supposed to meet her father after his return from India at the Langham Hotel but according to hotel, her father went out on previous night and never came back. Mary contacts her father’s friend Major John Sholto who served in same regiment but he denies of knowing her father’s return. Another thing that puzzled Mary was an anonymous package of pearl that she receives every year since 1882.

As Holmes begins his investigation, he learns that Major Sholto died in 1882 and death time coincides with time Mary started receiving pearls. Only clue Holmes had was a map of a fortress from Arthur’s desk which had few names including, Jonathan Small, Dost Akbar, Mahomet Singh, Abdullah Khan. To learn more about Sholto, Holmes, Watson, and Mary visits Major Shoto’s son, Thaddeus Sholto. To their surprise, Sholto had met Mary’s father the night before his disappearance. According to -Thaddeus, Major Sholto and Mary’s father arranged a meeting to split a priceless treasure but quarrel broke between the two, resulting into the death of Mary’s father by heart attack. To avoid public attention towards treasure, Major Sholto disposed the body of Arthur. However, before dying in 1882, Major Sholto confessed Arthur’s death and possibility of treasure to his two sons. Unfortunately, he died before revealing the exact location.

Thaddeus also tells Holmes about his quarrel with his brother Bartholomew over offering a share to Mary Morstan. Soon after Bartholomew finds the treasure, he is killed and treasure is stolen. With few evidence, Holmes deduces that Jonathan small and another man is involved in the murder. Holmes traces the two man to a boat and captures Small alive while his companion is killed. Holmes also recovers an empty chest, which according to Small was emptied during the chase. Small also explained that he did all this to avenge Sholto’s double cross in India when Sholto, Arthur, Small and small accomplice stole the treasure.
This edition of story also includes an angle of love for John Watson. At the end, Watson and Mary fall in love. Mary happily accepts Watson proposal for marriage.

Other Books

The Hound of the Baskervilles and the Valley of the Fear where other two editions of Sherlock Holmes series written by Doyle. Short stories, which were originally published in magazines where later, collected in the form of five anthologies. Over the years, many writers and play writers have written various versions of Sherlock Holmes like William Gillette’s play called Sherlock Holmes.


Novels and short stories of Sherlock Holmes were huge hit of their time and still today, they are huge. Author Doyle’s creation gave rise to most iconic fictional character in the history of entertainment. The character holds the record of being most portrayed character in films. In 211 films around 71 actors has played the role of Sherlock Holmes. Detective appeared in a film for the first time in 1900 under the title, Sherlock Holmes Baffled. Later, a film based on the play writer by William Gillette appeared in 1916. Film used the elements of two of the novels, a study in Scarlet, and A Scandal in Bohemia.
Character continued to appear in one way or other on TV and films. Even today, there is TV drama called Sherlock where Benedict Cumberbatch plays the Sherlock. Big stars like Robert Downey Jr. has took the responsibility of playing the character on big screen. Even the character has been adopted in modern day video games. There are museums, societies, and honors that have helped flourish the celebrated character of Sherlock.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Sherlock Holmes