The Final Tales and Beyond
This group of stories was written after the death of Conan Doyle's first wife and his re-marriage. The author had purchased a country house, and the final Holmes tales were written in his study there. Dr. Watson notes in "his" preface that "The approach of the German war [Watson's term for World War I] caused him, however, to lay his remarkable combination of intellectual and practical activity at the disposal of the Government …" Conan Doyle's patriotism was doubtless a factor in Sherlock Holmes coming out of retirement to serve his country. This collection also reprints "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box," which had been suppressed from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.
Manuscript of "The Adventure of the Red Circle," which first appeared in The Strand Magazine (March-April 1911) and in book form in His Last Bow.
Also written from Conan Doyle's country home, The Valley of Fear is the last of the four Sherlock Holmes novels. The frontispiece by Frank Wiles clearly indicates the enduring influence of Sidney Paget.
The final collection of the stories of Sherlock Holmes appeared in 1927, three years before the author's death. It includes in the preface Conan Doyle's own summary of the career of his famous creation, to which the volume is opened.
Throughout the Holmes stories, through the comments of Dr. Watson, Conan Doyle made reference to various cases which had not yet been presented to the public in Watson's chronicling of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle's son, Adrian Conan Doyle, joined forces with the award-winning mystery writer and official biographer of his father, to take these references from the official Holmes canon and, as authentically as possible, create the stories at which Conan Doyle had only hinted.
Bloomington by Gaslight: