Arthur Conan Doyle famously killed off Sherlock Holmes in 1893, in the short story 'The Final Problem', but was tempted to bring him back to life ten years later, in the thirteen tales that comprise The Return of Sherlock Holmes.While the outcry that supposedly followed Holmes' death was mostly apocryphal (the claim that readers wore black armbands in mourning has been frequently cited but never actually proved), by 1893 there was a substantial readership for Holmes' two series of adventures published in the Strand Magazine and two earlier novels. Doyle returned to Holmes in 1901-2 with The Hound of the Baskervilles, a novel set before the events of 'The Final Problem'; the commercial success of the serialisation in the Strand led Doyle to consider reviving the Holmes stories on a longer-term basis. Accordingly, in 1903 Doyle was contracted by the American magazine Collier's Weekly to supply six more Holmes stories; the agreement was extended to six more, with a final extension for a thirteenth story ('The Second Stain') that Doyle (mistakenly) believed to be the closing episode of the Holmes adventures. These thirteen tales make up this volume.
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