On June 16th…

John Murray cover of The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927)

On June 16, 1927, fans of Sherlock Holmes had a bittersweet first opportunity to purchase The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, the last collection of Sherlock Holmes cases.

From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s preface to the first edition:

I fear that Mr. Sherlock Holmes may become like one of those popular tenors who, having outlived their time, are still tempted to make repeated farewell bows to their indulgent audiences. This must cease and he must go the way of all flesh, real or imaginary.

The reviews were a mixture of compliment and criticism of the latest stories, and some reviewers were still hopeful that the “literary agent” might not retire after all. The reviewer for the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer suggested that “the vitality of Sherlock Holmes may once again prove too much for his creator.”

A century later, it certainly appears that Holmes and Watson remain alive and well!

Source: A Curious Collection of Dates: Through the Year with Sherlock Holmes, by Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”).