Audie Award Winner, Classic, 2014
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales are rightly ranked among the seminal works of mystery and detective fiction. Included in this collection are all four full-length Holmes novels and more than forty short masterpieces - from the inaugural adventure A Study in Scarlet to timeless favorites like "The Speckled Band" and more. At the center of each stands the iconic figure of Holmes - brilliant, eccentric, and capable of amazing feats of deductive reasoning. By his side is Dr. John Watson, his steadfast assistant and our trusty narrator. This set is a must-have for every discriminating bibliophile and Sherlock Holmes fan.
Public Domain (P)2013 Brillance Audio, all rights reserved.
Fifty two hours is a long time to pay attention to a narrative but don't let that dissuade you from giving this a go.
The audiobook contains many different stories that are usually 30 - 120 minutes in length so everything can be broken down into much smaller chunks. Audible has also sliced the book into seven downloads so it doesn't fill your device for months on end.
I listen most days for about thirty minutes and it has taken me about five months to get through it and I'm very pleased I did.
The whole book is narrated by Simon Vance who is, as you would expect, wonderfully versatile as his craft. The distinction between the characters is very clear but the main vocal contrast between the two main characters - Holmes and Watson is perfectly pitched. Vance's Sherlock booms with confidence, mischief and intrigue whilst Watson semi-simpers three paces behind his better, hoping that Holmes will propose and they can run off and keep bees together on the South Downs.
Vance's remarkable vocal talent is not to be glossed over and only the imperious Jim Dale could produce the wide range of voices needed for this book.
The stories themselves are mostly well known and Conan-Doyle’s crown jewels such as Hound of the Baskervilles and A Study in Scarlet or The Sign of the Four are brilliantly realised but many of the lesser known treasures really do come to life.
Some of the language is now archaic and sometime a little unpalatable particularly on subjects of race or religion. One should remember that most of the stories are well over a century old and the world has turned since.
However the archaic language provides some laugh-out-loud moments for a puerile mind such as my own - Watson will constantly 'ejaculate' his exclamations and one scene sees a lady arrive at Baker Street on a cold, damp evening where she proceeds to pull and handkerchief from her muff and blow her nose on it - all perfectly innocent but very snigger-able is the mood takes one.
There is a downside and it's a technical one.
The producers of the book or Audible have labelled each of the chapters numerically which fulfils a function but could be so much better over a long book such as this (or indeed any book). The audiobook standard allows for chapters to properly names and it would have been great to have each chapter named according to the story being read. A couple of times, my MP3 player has dropped my position and it has taken me a long time to find it again. Properly labelled chapters would really help this and it wouldn't take much extra effort from the people producing the books.
This is THE download of your ENTIRE - LIFE.
If you read, you need this download. There are other complete Sherlock Holmes - they're badly read. Simon Vance is why God invented audiobooks.
I actually look forward to listening to this again. It is a pleasure to listen.
This is the best audiobook I've got so far - absolutely captivating and it really captures the flavour of the original, legendary, stories.
One of my favourite collections, I wasn't sure this would translate well to audio but have been pleasantly surprised and it feels like discovering them all over again.
Excellent performance - capturing Holmes and Watson very well - without making any real effort to "act" the parts. His voice is a perfect vehicle for these stories.
No chance! This is an audiobook that I will be dipping in to for a long, long time to come!
Highly recommended - whether you have read Conan Doyle before, or not!
This audiobook is superb! I'm new to Sherlock Holmes but am now a convert and intend to read all the stories. Sherlock is a great literary creation, who it seems has not been done justice by the various TV and films I've seen. I've had this on while decorating the house for hours on end and I'm just not tiring of hearing of Holmes' and Watson's adventures. The narrator has just the right voice and he does a great job of bringing the characters to life, particulalry Holmes. For stories and narrator performance this is the best audiobook I've bought so far. Add to that the superb value and you just can't go wrong. If you have been disappointed as some other listeners have by other readings of holmes with "unusual" accents or pronunciation, give this a try.
Oh yes, I would recommend this book. The stories are good and Simon Vance performes it with great gusto. The whole is very enjoyable indeed!
It's hard not to pick Sherlock Holmes himself. Mr Vance gives him such a great character, it's a joy to listen to. He really comes to life.
My Vance uses his voice to his best advantage by giving all the characters their own voice, he even does a reasonable female voice! And when he doesn't keep up the, of necessity rather strenuous, use of these female voices continually, they still remain believable. In short, a joy to listen to, time and time again!
The unabridged Sherlock Holmes - come and see!
A must for all Sherlock Holmes lovers!
I listen to the this complete collection over and over again. I find something different everytime and have now bookmarked each chapter so I can find my favourite stories eaaily. Simon vance is brilliant and really brings these amazing stories to life.
The hound of baskervilles and charles august milverton are memorable stories..
Simon vance voice acting is brilliant and I now deliberately listen to books he has voiced as he brings the books to life.
There's been plenty of film adaptations and tv series of the books. The latest being on the BBC, set in modern day andbcompletely faithful to Arthur Conan Doyle's stories
It's Holmes, what's not to like? It feels to me like everyone must be familiar with these stories....
There's nothing quite like the orginal Holmes stories....there are many imitators, but that's not quite the same thing now, is it?
Vance's performances are uniformly excellent and were the main reason for me choosing to re-visit the Holmes canon in audibook format. I first came across his work many years ago in a performance of Arturo PerezReverte's "Purity of Blood" and since then I've yet to be disappointed by anything of his to which I have listened.
Holmes stories are many things to many people but I can't really imagine any of them being described as 'moving'. This is not a fault, in my opinion. To use a much-overused phrase "they are what they are".
Even though the Sherlock Holmes stories are familiar to almost everyone through the printed page, films and TV series, the audiobook is a new and refreshing way of experiencing them. Great on car journeys and good value for one member credit: the quantity of material will last for many miles!
Surprisingly, Dr Watson, who emerges as a sympathetic and emotional character.
Simon Vance has a pleasantly mellifluous voice and distinguishes between the dialogue of the different characters effectively but without overdoing the changes of timbre and accent.
Just enjoyable to follow the plots.
I have always loved to read, mainly classic detective stories, and audible allows me to 'read' whilst I'm cooking dinner 😀
The narration is perfect for these well-known characters
Impossible to pick one moment from the entire works!!
The individual characterisations were well maintained.
I did find it hard to turn it off
I was nervous that there would be catch with buying the whole works, but I'm over halfway through and still going strong
my favourite stories from when I was a child, read perfectly by simon vance
classic literature - you can't fault it
I have listened to his anne rice narrations and everything he does is excellent
"A Table of Contents & Audible Part/Chapter Notes"
I purchased the Kindle version of this 4-volume Complete Sherlock Holmes set before this was available. Hopefully, Amazon will Whispersync this pair some day. In the meantime I hope that this TOC outline will help some listeners find particular stories they might be looking for.
The Audible Part/Chapter Notes refer to the 7-part download. My setting is for downloading in one file, but on very large volumes Audible breaks them up anyway. My notations for (Part # Chapter #) refer to the Audible download "Part" and the "Chapter" within each part.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (Part 1 Chapter 1)
A STUDY IN SCARLET
Part 1 BEING a REPRINT
1 Mr. Sherlock Holmes
2 The Science of Deduction (Part 1 Chapter 2)
3 The Lauriston Garden Mystery (Part 1 Chapter 3)
4 What John Rance Had to Tell (Part 1 Chapter 4)
5 Our Advertisement Brings a Visitor (Part 1 Chapter 5)
6 Tobias Gregson Shows What He Can Do (Part 1 Chapter 6)
7 Light in the Darkness (Part 1 Chapter 7)
Part 2 The COUNTRY of the SAINTS (Part 1 Chapter 8)
1 On the Great Alkali Plain
2 The Flower of Utah (Part 1 Chapter 9)
3 John Ferrier Talks with the Prophet (Part 1 Chapter 10)
4 A Flight for Life (Part 1 Chapter 11)
5 The Avenging Angels Part 1 Chapter 12)
6 A Continuation of the Reminiscences of John Watson, M.D. (Part 1 Chapter 13)
7 The Conclusion (Part 1 Chapter 14)
THE SIGN OF FOUR (Part 1 Chapter 15)
1 The Science of Deduction
2 The Statement of the Case (Part 1 Chapter 16)
3 In Quest of a Solution (Part 1 Chapter 17)
4 The Story of the Bald-Headed Man (Part 1 Chapter 18)
5 Tragedy of Pondicherry Lodge (Part 1 Chapter 19)
6 Sherlock Holmes Gives a Demonstration (Part 1 Chapter 20)
7 The Episode of the Barrel (Part 1 Chapter 21
8 The Baker Street Irregulars (Part 1 Chapter 22)
9 A Break in the Chain (Part 1 Chapter 23
10 The End of the Islander (Part 1 Chapter 24)
11 The Great Agra Treasure (Part 1 Chapter 25)
12 The Strange Story of Jonathan Small (Part 1 Chapter 26)
ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (Part 1 Chapter 27)
A Scandal in Bohemia
The Red-Headed League (Part 2 Chapter 2)
A Case of Identity (Part 2 Chapter 3)
The Boscombe Valley Mystery (Part 2 Chapter 4)
The Five Orange Pips (Part 2 Chapter 5)
The Man with the Twisted Lip (Part 2 Chapter 6)
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle (Part 2 Chapter 7)
The Adventure of the Speckled Band (Part 2 Chapter 8)
The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb (Part 2 Chapter 9)
The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor (Part 2 Chapter 10)
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet (Part 2 Chapter 11)
The Adventure of the Copper Beeches (Part 2 Chapter 12)
VOLUME II (Part 3 Chapter 1)
MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (Part 3 Chapter 2)
The Yellow Face (Part 3 Chapter 3)
The Stock-Broker’s Clerk (Part 3 Chapter 4)
The "Gloria Scott" (Part 3 Chapter 5)
The Musgrave Ritual (Part 3 Chapter 6)
The Reigate Puzzle (Part 3 Chapter 7)
The Crooked Man (Part 3 Chapter 8)
The Resident Patient (Part 3 Chapter 9)
The Greek Interpreter (Part 3 Chapter 10)
The Naval Treaty (Part 3 Chapter 11)
The Final Problem (Part 3 Chapter 12)
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (Part 3 Chapter 13)
Dedication THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
1 Mr. Sherlock Holmes
2 The Curse of the Baskervilles (Part 3 Chapter 14)
3 The Problem (Part 3 Chapter 15)
4 Sir Henry Baskerville (Part 3 Chapter 16)
5 Three Broken Threads (Part 3 Chapter 17)
6 Baskerville Hall (Part 4 Chapter 2)
7 The Stapletons of Merripit House (Part 4 Chapter 3)
8 First Report of Dr. Watson (Part 4 Chapter 4)
9 Second Report of Dr. Watson (Part 4 Chapter 5)
10 Extract from the Diary of Dr. Watson (Part 4 Chapter 6)
11 The Man on the Tor (Part 4 Chapter 7)
12 Death on the Moor (Part 4 Chapter 8)
13 Fixing the Nets (Part 4 Chapter 9)
14 The Hound of the Baskervilles (Part 4 Chapter 10)
15 A Retrospection (Part 4 Chapter 11)
VOLUME III (Part 4 Chapter 12)
THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
The Adventure of the Empty House
The Adventure of the Norwood Builder (Part 4 Chapter 13)
The Adventure of the Dancing Men (Part 4 Chapter 14)
The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist (Part 4 Chapter 15)
The Adventure of the Priory School (Part 4 Chapter 16)
The Adventure of Black Peter (Part 4 Chapter 17)
The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton (Part 5 Chapter 2)
The Adventure of the Six Napoleons (Part 5 Chapter 3)
The Adventure of the Three Students (Part 5 Chapter 4)
The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez (Part 5 Chapter 5)
The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter (Part 5 Chapter 6)
The Adventure of the Abbey Grange (Part 5 Chapter 7)
The Adventure of the Second Stain (Part 5 Chapter 8)
THE VALLEY OF FEAR (Part 5 Chapter 9)
Part 1 THE TRAGEDY OF BIRLSTONE
1 The Warning
2 Sherlock Holmes Discourses (Part 5 Chapter 10)
3 The Tragedy of Birlstone (Part 5 Chapter 11)
4 Darkness (Part 5 Chapter 12)
5 The People of the Drama (Part 5 Chapter 13)
6 A Dawning Light (Part 5 Chapter 14)
7 The Solution (Part 5 Chapter 15)
Part 2 THE SCOWRERS (Part 5 Chapter 16)
1 The Man
2 The Bodymaster (Part 5 Chapter 17)
3 Lodge 341, Vermissa (Part 5 Chapter 18)
4 The Valley of Fear (Part 6 Chapter 2)
5 The Darkest Hour (Part 6 Chapter 3)
6 Danger (Part 6 Chapter 4)
7 The Trapping of Birdy Edwards (Part 6 Chapter 5)
Epilogue (Part 6 Chapter 6)
HIS LAST BOW
PREFACE His Last Bow
The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge
The Adventure of the Cardboard Box (Part 6 Chapter 7)
The Adventure of the Red Circle (Part 6 Chapter 8)
The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans (Part 6 Chapter 10)
The Adventure of the Dying Detective (Part 6 Chapter 11)
The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax (Part 6 Chapter 12)
The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot (Part 6 Chapter 13)
HIS LAST BOW An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes (Part 7 Chapter 2)
THE CASE BOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (Part 7 Chapter 3)
PREFACE The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes
The Adventure of the Illustrious Client
The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier (Part 7 Chapter 4)
The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone (Part 7 Chapter 5)
The Adventure of the Three Gables (Part 7 Chapter 6)
The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire (Part 7 Chapter 7)
The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (Part 7 Chapter 8)
The Problem of Thor Bridge (Part 7 Chapter 9)
The Adventure of the Creeping Man (Part 7 Chapter 10)
The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane (Part 7 Chapter 11)
The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger (Part 7 Chapter 12)
The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place (Part 7 Chapter 13)
The Adventure of the Retired Colourman (Part 7 Chapter 14)
"Excellent value for money"
It took some time for all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories to be collected into one audio omnibus. It took me almost just as much time to listen to Brilliance Audio’s ‘The Complete Sherlock Holmes: The Heirloom.’
This enormous collection of the whole original Sherlock Holmes canon is read by Simon Vance from the 1887 edition of ‘A Study in Scarlet;’ 1890 ‘Sign of Four;’ 1891 ‘Adventures of Sherlock Holmes;’ 1892 ‘Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes;’ 1902 ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles;’ 1903 ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes,’ 1914 ‘The Valley of Fear;’ 1917 ‘His Last Bow’ and 1927 ‘The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes.’ In short the whole collection of Sherlock Holmes stories by the original author is contained in this audio production, not only the best adventures of Sherlock Holmes but every single one of them. It adds up to more than 56 hours of listening time.
By adding Simon Vance’s voice to the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, you don’t only get to listen to all the stories about the great detective. Vance has been awarded 10 Audie awards and 48 Earphone awards and has over 30 years of experience in recording audio books as a voice artist. He is an excellent narrator who has the ability to enliven the world of the narrative, helping you live through every moment of suspense, violence and intriguing detective work.
In ‘The Complete Sherlock Holmes: The Heirloom’ the master of freelance crime investigation is paired with a master of voice. It becomes extremely affordable when you pair this powerful combination with an Audible credit. It is one of those quality bargains you should not resist!
Simon Vance is the perfect narrator for Holmes; I was hoping he'd do them someday, and now suddenly out of nowhere he's done all of them. Absolutely no complaints about the narration. I recently listenend to all the stories read by Derek Jacobi, and now I'm in the process of listening to them again. As always, Vance's perfectly modulated voice brings out nuances I've missed, despite having read (and listened to) the stories many, many times.
Despite the crime-solving framework, these really aren't plot-driven stories. What I enjoy more than anything - and the thing I remember most vividly - is the wonderful variety of characters that inhabit this world. Holmes is at the top of the list, but Watson has his own charm and mystery (not the least of which is the way his war wound moves around). And the clients! Jabez Wilson. All the women named Violet. The wonderful thumbnail sketch of the budding young psychopath in "The Copper Beeches." The dying John Turner. Mycroft. Stapleton. Barrymore and his wife. And to top them all off, the dog in the night-time.
The stories are not all first-rate. I could do without most of the stories in "The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes," and there are a couple of duds in the earlier collections. But even some of the duds - like "A Case of Identity" - have a fascinating character study at their core. And the duds are outnumbered by one tightly-packed gem after another.
My only complaint is the same one others have mentioned: the way the books have been divided up across the files. It would have been convenient if the series were grouped into files by book rather than by an arbitrary file length.
But that's really a minor quibble, and in any case it may change if the publisher listens to feedback. It doesn't affect my rating. If you're on the fence about which Holmes collection to get, get this one.
"Great voice for this book"
No, but that is almost impossible. Any reading is just a reading of a masterful work. There are many artists who recorded the various Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. An there will be more, but Simon Vance is the best that I've encountered yet.
My only complaint is that this is one file. You won't be able to go to a specific book or short story. This is 58 hours in one file. This would have been much better as 9 works, each with chapters. Still, this is a good way to listen to all the books beginning to end.
"Case of the Glowing Review"
Of course I love Sherlock. But a great thing about this edition is that the books are in chronological order, which makes it easy to distinguish between the crisp analytical Sherlock of the late 19th century and the more philosophical moralizing Sherlock of the 20th.
The reader was perfect for the part.
"The Original. Still the Best."
I grew up on Sherlock Holmes. I have raided these stories countless times over my life, and I've compared them endlessly to the pastiches, knock-offs, parodies, and various screen and radio adaptations. This is no small feat, considering that perhaps only Dracula rivals the Great Detective in sheer amounts of spin-off material. As a result, I am going to be unabashedly biased here and just say this straight out:
You will not find a better audio version of these works anywhere, and the only competition this collection has is the print equivalent. For a single credit? This is more than a bargain; it's a steal.
This is Holmes and Watson, in their original forms, as products of their time and place, unabashedly Victorian and ahead of their time right from the outset, regardless of how many religious groups or racist cults they anger in the process. There is nothing remotely politically correct about them, and in the case of Holmes himself, it would be completely against his abrasive character to be toned down. The result is that you get some screwball historical curiosity mixed in with the otherwise astounding adventures within this collection.
For those well-versed with the classic canon, I did notice that "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" is posted later, within His Last Bow, rather than within The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Look up Memoirs on Wiki for the story behind that, but suffice to say, it does mark this collection as an American edition. Seems wrong for something so British, but hey, if this is the worst thing I can say about this collection, that makes me a very happy fanboy. My hardcover leatherbound collection has the same issue, so I kind of expected it. Note to self: fix that someday.
As narrator... I could not ask for better than the great Simon Vance, save for maybe a resurrection of TV's Jeremy Brett. Even then, it's a toss-up. Vance is one of my favorite Audible narrators, and I've had his voice along for more modern Holmes short story collections. As both Holmes and Watson, he is perfect. He also does an amazing job juggling the other characters and their myriad accents throughout the stories, bringing the tales of the Great Detective to uncanny life. If it were possible for him to play Holmes' violin during the recording, I half expect he'd try it. As it is, I can almost hear it anyway, such is the quality.
Collections like this will always affirm for me that no matter who tries to modernize them to make them somehow "more relevant," the truly great stories and characters, especially of this caliber, are beyond reproach and beyond improvement.
"I'm in heaven"
Can you ask for anything better than the complete Sherlock Holmes collection narrated by Simon Vance and for just one credit. When I found this selection it went immediately into my wish list and downloaded as soon as my new credit came up. I have not had time to listen to all 58 hours yet, but have been skipping around, sampling old favorites, starting with "A Scandal in Bohemia". Holmes has never sounded so good. For Sherlock fans this is a must.
As other reviewers have noted, the downloads do not give the names of the selections - just chapter numbers. But thanks to reviewer "Santa Fe Painter" the table of contents for each download part is listed. I did a cut-and-paste and printed out this list for reference. I did note that the numbering on his list is slightly different from how my download appears - for each download part, where his list says Chapter 2, make it Chapter 1 and adjust the numbering from there. Then off you go - the game's afoot!
"The True Mystery is where to start"
I need an index of where the stories are otherwise you cannot argue with the greatness of Sherlock nor Simon Vance's performance.
"Perfection for Holmes Fans"
What could be more perfect? The brilliant Arthur Conan Doyle and the impeccable Simon Vance.
Simon Vance is the perfect narrator. He is so talented and so good in the narration of his characters that no one else could do this work justice. If there is a genius narrator, Mr. Vance is it.
If you are a Holmes fan, I don't have to say it. You already own this book!
Simon Vance captures Victorian England superbly, as I've recently learned in his work in Dickens.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.