Sherlock Holmes: Further Collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – BBC Audio

Masters at work…

pipepipe pipe pipe pipe


sherlock holmes further collection

Master actor, Carleton Hobbs, plays master detective, Sherlock Homes, created by master storyteller, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Bliss!

This collection of twelve short stories, adapted into half-hour radio plays and recorded in the 1950s and 60s, captures the true spirit of the Sherlock Holmes tales. Unlike many dramatisations over the years, these stick rigidly to the original tales and are the better for it. Carleton Hobbs is a superbly sardonic Holmes and is ably assisted by the excellent Norman Shelley, playing a bluff and genial Watson. The two work seamlessly together and are supported by a cast of fine actors and actresses, often reappearing as different characters.

Seven of these stories are from the final section of the Holmes’ collection, The Casebook. Written at a time when Conan Doyle had lost his enthusiasm for Holmes, but couldn’t resist the enormous fees he was being offered for more episodes, these are often considered weaker than the earlier works – but in the hands of Hobbs, Shelley et al they reveal themselves to be little masterpieces. The other five episodes are randomly selected from across the whole collected works. Watch out for A Case of Identity – the performance of the actress playing our put-upon heroine, Mary Sutherland, is a little gem. Unfortunately, no cast lists are provided in this collection so I had no idea who she was while listening, but a fellow reviewer later informed me she is none other than Ysanne Churchman, perhaps better known as Grace Archer!

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his moustache
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his pet moustache

A brief introduction to each story is provided by Nick Utechin, a former editor of The Sherlock Holmes Journal. His enthusiasm for the stories shines through as he sets the scene for the episode to come.

There is a warning on the box that the sound quality is variable, particularly on the last two discs. The Cardboard Box and The Naval Treaty do suffer quite a bit from quality issues but not badly enough to spoil the enjoyment they provide. Otherwise the quality is remarkably good considering the age of the recordings. The box also tells us that 4 of the stories were missing from the BBC archives and were provided by a Holmes enthusiast – the box doesn’t specify but I’m guessing these are the four with the poorer sound quality on the last two discs. A measure of quality loss is a small price to pay for the recovery of these lost little treasures.

The test of an audio-CD for me is will I listen to it more than once. For this collection, the answer is a resounding yes. Highly recommended.

Carleton Hobbs and Norman Shelley
Carleton Hobbs and Norman Shelley

The stories are: The Copper Beeches, Thor Bridge, The Three Garridebs,
The Sussex Vampire, The Three Gables, The Retired Colourman,
The Boscombe Valley Mystery, The Crooked Man, The Cardboard Box,
A Case of Identity, The Naval Treaty
and The Noble Bachelor.

NB This disc set was provided for review by Amazon Vine UK. These are also available as an Audible download.

Amazon UK Link
Amazon US Link

41 thoughts on “Sherlock Holmes: Further Collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – BBC Audio

  1. 😀 I love the pipes! (I’m working on what you taught me. Will appear soon. :))

    You’re review made me want to listen to these! I can see it now: The professor sitting in a fireside chair smoking his pipe,swearing considerably, and listening attentively!

    Doyle’s moustache is spectacular. If only he would have allowed Malone that excessive facial hair…then Malone might not have been an un-interest!


    • Now why would you be swearing? Otherwise I think that’s a charming picture. You do know I’m going to keep on with the Holmes reviews till you finally break down and read them??

      The moustache is excellent, isn’t it? I rather regret my inability to grow one now – maybe I should get a stick-on one…


      • I’m not really sure. I suppose swearing is the way with gentlemen. That’s what MT tells me anyway.

        You’re making Holmes sound awfully exciting. One more review, and I’ll probably break. As of now, this professor is reading The Mystery of the Yellow Room. Tis definitely rippable. 🙂

        (How’s the Hounds of Baskerville? Or something like that.)

        Yes, especially the curled (or twisted) ends. A stick-on one? 😆 Get one for the professor too!


  2. OK, seriously, what is there not to like about this collection? I’m so glad you had the chance to get your hands on it 🙂


  3. These are my favourite recordings of Holmes and I must have listened to them all at least a dozen times. They are often broadcast in the middle of the night on Radio 4 Extra and they certainly make a sleepless night much better.


    • It makes you wonder why they can’t make a modern production without changing the stories or the characters, when the originals have stood the test of time and still work so well.


            • Have you seen he’s disappeared from my ‘currently reading’? Which can only mean….

              (Or maybe I’ll just post tomorrow to say my review will be delayed…) 😉


            • Ah! You’ve finished! Now isn’t this…I really can’t think of a word. Never mind.

              I do believe you are picking on the professor. You don’t know how frustrating Mic can be. I tried, I tried real hard. Can’t you wait a week?

              I like how you say leave a comment. But you don’t mention that you’d like people’s opinion on Darcy…


            • I’m not sure I can wait for a week – we’ll just have to see how good the fill-in is..

              You see, people might have a different opinion about a book, life, even chocolate, but no-one could possibly disagree about Darcy…


            • His first name doesn’t suit him and anyway it would be too familiar for a commoner like me (or indeed a colonial like you)…in fact I should really call him Mr Darcy-Darby – or sir.

              Both, I think. 😀 😥


            • You must! You can’t let your adoring public down! Friday without a Punchy vid? Unthinkable!!

              Should I be happy or sad that you’re neither, Yankee?


            • I just watched it. I do think you’d be better off just imagining one…

              Should I be happy that I was thrown over for Ratherquite? You don’t know what you’re doing! (My real name is Professor VJ Fitz Duke.)


            • I bet it’s much better than you think, but your fan-club would forgive you even if wasn’t quite as good as your usual.

              I only threw you over because you tried to poison me with dodgy lemonade – in all other ways of course you’re vastly superior to Mr Ratherquite, Fitz!!


            • Fine then. It shall be posted tomorrow–unless I change my mind. I just can’t take it! Agh!!

              What’s dodgy mean? Definitely not professorish, or American, or any language I hold dear.

              😀 I’m glad you think I’m superior–and you don’t even know Mr. Ratherquite yet!


            • Do Yankees really not use dodgy? How on earth do you describe politicians, used car salesman and other well-known con artists then?

              It’s true I don’t know Mr Ratherquite terribly well, but Lizzie didn’t have to know every man in the world to recognise Darby’s superiority… 😉


            • OK, you tried to poison me with dadblamed, maburned lemonade, then…see, now you’ve reminded me why I turned to Mr Ratherquite for consolation in the first place.

              You’re awfully familiar with P&P given your supposed aversion to it…


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