Mystery and Imagination
Sherlock is everyone’s hero, now more popular than ever as a result of his recent television exposure.
Now Tony Evans’ masterful retellings of Arthur Conan Doyle’s three Sherlock Holmes novellas, accompanied by Felix Bennett’s wonderful illustrations, bring the longest and most compelling Holmes stories within the reach of every reader.
To complement Holmes in the Real Reads Mystery and Imagination series are Wilkie Collins’ spine-tingling classics, The Woman in White and The Moonstone; Edgar Allan Poe’s spine-chilling The Pit and the Pendulum and his Murders in the Rue Morgue, one of the first true detective stories; and Oscar Wilde's macabre tale of The Picture of Dorian Gray.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Upon the ground around the body were the footprints of a gigantic hound!
When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead, his face distorted with shock and horror, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are faced with a sinister and difficult puzzle.
A fearsome creature stalks the wild and barren hills of Dartmoor. Is it a demon from the spirit world? Will it defeat their skill and courage?
Who is the tall, mysterious figure seen lurking on the moor at night?
Can Holmes save Sir Henry, the new owner of Baskerville Hall, from the ancient family curse? Or will the terrifying hound claim yet another victim?
The Sign of the Four
‘I find myself in a very strange and mysterious situation.’
When Miss Mary Morstan is invited to meet a secretive stranger, she asks Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson to help her.
Captain Morstan has disappeared from his hotel without a trace. Should Miss Morstan dare to hope that her father is still alive?
What horrible scene awaits the famous detective and his friend when they break down the door to Bartholomew Sholto’s attic room?
Who is the man with the wooden leg, and why is he so full of bitterness and hatred? Will Toby, the cleverest tracker dog in London, help Holmes and Watson solve one of their most difficult cases?
A Study in Scarlet
‘On his rigid face was an expression of horror and hatred such as I had never seen before upon human features.’
When Dr Watson agrees to share lodgings with Sherlock Holmes, he soon finds himself involved in a shocking and mysterious murder case.
What will Holmes discover when he examines the body? There are no marks on the dead man, so why is there so much blood at the scene of the crime?
Inspector Lestrade and Inspector Gregson have asked Holmes to help them. But will they listen to his advice?
Can the famous detective and his new friend discover the truth before the murderer strikes again?
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
Here is a test, a puzzle for you. It is a faithful account of two most gruesome murders. Can you work out what actually happened in the early hours of one fateful morning in the Rue Morgue?
Before you start, here are a few tips. To be a good detective you need the same skills as a good card-player. You must consider and examine every detail, not just the obvious ones. You have to observe every change in a person’s face, everything they say, everything they do and you must always expect the unexpected. And finally, you must remember it all.
In this most strange tale, you’ll see a friend of mine at work. He has an astonishingly analytical mind. So, pit your own powers of analysis against his – and against mine. Can you solve the mystery of the murders in the Rue Morgue?
The Woman in White
A strange figure stood in front of him, dressed from head to foot in white clothing. The moonlight showed her pale, youthful face.
When Walter Hartright meets the woman in white, it is the start of an exciting and dangerous adventure. Who is she, and what does she want?
At first Walter is happy at Limmeridge House, teaching painting and drawing to Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe, but a wicked plot soon threatens to destroy the woman he loves.
Will their courage and determination be enough to defeat the powerful forces ranged against them? Is the mysterious woman in white their friend, or their enemy?
Rachel opened the box and lifted out the diamond. She held it up in a ray of sunlight that poured through the window, and cried out in amazement.
When Rachel Verinder inherits the Moonstone from her uncle on her eighteenth birthday, the wonderful jewel is intended to make her rich and happy. So why is her mother so worried about this valuable gift?
Rachel seems very fond of her cousin, Franklin Blake. When trouble strikes, why does she refuse his help? What has he done to offend her?
Can Sergeant Cuff, the famous detective, solve the dangerous mystery of the Moonstone before it is too late?
The Pit and the Pendulum
The blackness of eternal night encompassed me. The intense darkness oppressed and stifled me so that I struggled for breath.
Having been condemned to death by the Spanish Inquisition, the narrator descends into a kind of hell. Dizzy with weakness and fainting with fear, he experiences such torments that death itself would be welcome. What troubles him most is the eternal question: how will he die?
Toledo Prison is notorious for the torture of the condemned. What minds have dreamed up the terror of the pit in the centre of the cell? What is the significance of the painted figure of Time with his menacing pendulum? Why do the walls glow with heat?
Experience with the narrator the intensity of his suffering when death seems inevitable but its form uncertain. Can anything, or anybody, help him?
The Picture of Dorian Gray
‘I believe the only way to live, is to be true to oneself. The only way to get rid of temptation is to give into it.’
Young, rich and handsome, Dorian Gray seems to have it all. So why do people who were once his friends leave the room when he enters? Can there really be any truth in the dark tales that are told about him? And why does he keep his portrait locked away in an attic room?
Two men hold the answer to Dorian’s secret. One is the artist, Basil Hallward, who paints Dorian’s portrait. The other is Lord Henry Wotton, who convinces the impressionable Dorian that youth and pleasure are the only things worth living for.
Is Dorian Gray really as innocent as he seems? Can love and friendship save him from himself? Or will the secret of the picture of Dorian Gray be a secret he takes to his grave?
‘Dat gold-bug was a vicious bug. Massa caught it first but it bit him. I think da bite has made Massa poorly. It has affected him in da head.’
William Legrand has found a new type of bug, a golden bug, unusually heavy. His servant, Jupiter, is worried. Why is Legrand behaving so oddly? Has the bug’s bite made him mad? When Legrand shows his friend a drawing of the gold-bug, it looks more like a skull. What can this mean?
The arrival of the gold-bug leads the three men on an exciting adventure towards skeletons, a skull, and a hunt for buried treasure.
Should we believe Jupiter’s superstitious fears, or is there a more logical explanation of events? If there is, can you, the reader, discover it?
© Real Reads 2017.