60 Sherlock Holmes Books in Order: A Complete Guide for Fans

Sherlock Holmes books in order

Looking for the Sherlock Holmes books in order? We’ve got you covered with this complete list of stories starring the most famous detective in the world!

After I read and loved my first Agatha Christie book, my dad decided to hand me The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes. I was so intimidated by the gigantic tome. I thought I would never finish them all.

Little did I know, that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle only wrote four Sherlock Holmes novels. The remaining works are all short stories! 56 short stories to be exact. A much more manageable task than I initially thought.

Since the day my dad gave them to me, I have stayed enamored with Sherlock Holmes novels and stories. I adore a good Sherlock Holmes retelling and the new movie and tv adaptations have brought me so much joy.

Equally as exciting is the fact that on my son’s 11th birthday, my dad gave him his very own copy of Sherlock Holmes. It took him about 6 months to finish the Sherlock Holmes books between his other novels. It’s truly become a family tradition at this point.

I’m delighted to lay out this post of Sherlock Holmes books in order and I’ve decided to share my 10 favorite stories as well as Sir Arthur’s favorites. These stories are a great jumping-off point for anyone new to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved series.

*Sherlock Holmes Books in Order post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.

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Who was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was, like Sherlock Holmes, a man of many talents. He was a physician who later specialized in ophthalmology, a sportsman (he enjoyed soccer, cricket, skiing, golf, and practiced riflery and boxing,) and a father of 5. He also had a brief stint in politics, was an amateur architect, and was a legal advocate.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was most well known for being a prolific writer having penned 4 Sherlock Holmes Novels and 56 short stories alone. In addition to the famous detective stories, he wrote fantasy and sci-fi tales as well.

He was born on May 22, 1859, and passed away on July 7, 1930, at the age of 71.

Sherlock Holmes Novels and Short Stories in Order

The Sherlock Holmes short stories were originally written for various magazines but were later grouped into book collections. For our categorization purposes, we’ve separated the novels from the short stories. We’ve also listed the stories under the name of the collection each can be found within.

Below, you’ll see that we only linked the novels and the short story collections. Each short story costs the same amount as a collection of 12+ stories, so it doesn’t make sense to get them each individually. In truth, the best bang for your buck would be to just get the complete Sherlock Holmes Collection which includes all 60 novels and short stories.

Sherlock Holmes

The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes’ ability to solve each crime is fascinating. His observations are astute and I can never, ever guess who committed the crime.

If you are looking for the best mystery books of all time, Sherlock Holmes cannot be missed. This complete collection has all the short stories and the 4 Holmes novels.

Why I Love It: I am a HUGE detective story lover and no one does detective stories better than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These books have inspired countless adaptations and retellings since their initial publication.

Find this book in Sherlock Holmes Books / Literary Classics / Best Mystery Books / British Mysteries / Short Stories

Sherlock Holmes Books in Order

  1. A Study in Scarlet (1887)
  2. The Sign of Four (1890)
  3. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)
  4. The Valley of Fear (1915)

Sherlock Holmes Short Stories in Order

  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892)
    1. A Scandal in Bohemia (June 1891)
    2. The Red-Headed League (August 1891)
    3. A Case of Identity (September 1891)
    4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery (October 1891)
    5. The Five Orange Pips (November 1891)
    6. The Man with the Twisted Lip (December 1891)
    7. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle (January 1892)
    8. The Adventure of the Speckled Band (February 1892)
    9. The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb (March 1892)
    10. The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor (April 1892)
    11. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet (May 1892)
    12. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches (June 1892)
  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894)
    1. Silver Blaze (December 1892)
    2. The Adventure of the Cardboard Box (January 1893)
    3. The Adventure of the Yellow Face (February 1893)
    4. The Adventure of the Stockbroker’s Clerk (March 1893)
    5. The Adventure of the Gloria Scott (April 1893)
    6. The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual (May 1893)
    7. The Adventure of the Reigate Squires (June 1893)
    8. The Adventure of the Crooked Man (July 1893)
    9. The Adventure of the Resident Patient  (August 1893)
    10. The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter (September 1893)
    11. The Adventure of the Naval Treaty (October–November 1893)
    12. The Final Problem (December 1893)
  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905)
    1. The Adventure of the Empty House (October 1903)
    2. The Adventure of the Norwood Builder (November 1903)
    3. The Adventure of the Dancing Men (December 1903)
    4. The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist (January 1904)
    5. The Adventure of the Priory School (February 1904)
    6. The Adventure of Black Peter (March 1904)
    7. The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton (April 1904)
    8. The Adventure of the Six Napoleons (May 1904)
    9. The Adventure of the Three Students (June 1904)
    10. The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez (July 1904)
    11. The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter (August 1904)
    12. The Adventure of the Abbey Grange (September 1904)
    13. The Adventure of the Second Stain (December 1904)
  • His Last Bow (1917)
    1. The Adventure of the Cardboard Box (1893)*
    2. The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge (1908)
    3. The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans (1908)
    4. The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot (1910)
    5. The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax (1911)
    6. The Adventure of the Red Circle (1911)
    7. The Adventure of the Dying Detective (1913)
    8. His Last Bow (1917)
  • The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (1927)
    1. The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone (1921)
    2. The Problem of Thor Bridge (1922)
    3. The Adventure of the Creeping Man (1923)
    4. The Adventure of the Illustrious Client (1924)
    5. The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire (1924)
    6. The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (1924)
    7. The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier (1926)
    8. The Adventure of the Three Gables (1926)
    9. The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane (1926)
    10. The Adventure of the Retired Colourman (1926)
    11. The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger (1927)
    12. The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place (1927)

* This story sometimes appears in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Favorite Sherlock Holmes Stories

In 1927 Sir Arthur Doyle made a list of his personal favorite Holmes stories as part of a competition. The list of his selections is below.

  1. The Speckled Band
  2. The Red-Headed League
  3. The Dancing Men
  4. The Final Problem
  5. A Scandal in Bohemia
  6. The Empty House
  7. The Five Orange Pips
  8. The Second Stain
  9. The Devil’s Foot
  10. The Priory School
  11. The Musgrave Ritual
  12. The Reigate Squires

10 Best Sherlock Holmes Books and Stories

Now for my rankings. You’ll notice that most of these stories are earlier works. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem because he didn’t wait to continue the series. He resurrected him when the public demanded more stories, but I just don’t think the author’s heart was in them anymore. Do you agree?

a study in scarlet

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Stand Alone Novel

This book is on top of my list because it’s the very first Sherlock Holmes novel and it tells the origin story of Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes. It details how Dr. Watson came to live at 221B Baker Street with Sherlock and sets him up as the narrator for all his adventures.

During the mystery within, readers are also introduced to Scotland Yard Inspectors Lestrade and Gregson. Together, Watson and Holmes tackle the murder of Enoch Drebber which includes the famous “Rache” clue.

The adventures of sherlock holmes

The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Within The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

This is my son’s favorite of the Sherlock Holmes stories and one that stands out in my mind the most clearly. Why? Because I’m pretty sure the solution to this locked room murder mystery is what started a certain phobia of mine. (I won’t tell you because I don’t want to spoil the ending!)

The adventures of sherlock holmes

A Scandal in Bohemia by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Within The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

If you’ve seen any modern adaptation of Sherlock Holmes you are familiar with Irene Adler. She’s often described as the only woman who outsmarted Sherlock and is often portrayed as his love interest. But she was only in one story! While mentioned a few other times in the series, if you want to see Irene in action, you need to read this tale.

Sign of four

The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Stand Alone Novel

The Sign of Four is one mystery that sees Watson get a happy ending. A woman named Mary begins receiving mysterious pearls and she isn’t sure why. As Holmes and Watson work on the case, Dr. Watson and Mary fall in love and eventually get engaged.

hound of the baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Stand Alone Novel

Often considered the best of the Sherlock Holmes novels, this is probably Sherlock’s most famous case. Set in Dartmoor, the eerie setting and supernatural dog in the story make this crime fiction feel more like a horror.

Sherlock has been set to Devon to figure out if the myth of the demonic hound of Baskerville is real and if it’s coming for the heirs to Baskerville Hall.

his last bow

His Last Bow by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Within His Last Bow

While not the last Sherlock Holmes story to be written, this short story is the last chronologically. It shows Holmes’s coming out of retirement in the country where he is a beekeeper, to catch spies during WWI.

I particularly like it because it’s the story that inspired my favorite Sherlock Holmes retelling, Laurie King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

The adventures of sherlock holmes

The Red-Headed League by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Within The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

This is such an original story that even Sir Arthur listed it as one of his favorites. It’s about a man who was employed by the red-headed league for a short period before finding out no such league existed. He’s confused and goes to Holmes for help.

the memoirs of sherlock holmes

The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Within The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Did you know that Sherlock has an older brother? This Sherlock Holmes story introduces readers to Mycroft Holmes, who works for the English government. Watson and Holmes get to visit the famed Diogenes Club in this book too!

Mycroft’s deductive skills are even better than Holmes’s although in this story, he requires Sherlock’s help.

the memoirs of sherlock holmes

The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Within The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle famously tried to kill off Sherlock Holmes during this story, only to bring him back later after significant public pressure. Holmes explains to Watson that he thinks a criminal mastermind is behind a slew of cases – enter James Moriarty, the fight at Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland, and Holmes’s attempted demise.

The adventures of sherlock holmes

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Within The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

What always struck me about the Sherlock Holmes stories is the clever way a new case is discovered. In this case, it was a valuable gemstone found within the body of a goose. That image has stayed with me all these years because it’s such a unique premise to launch a mystery.

Sherlock Holmes Books Merch

If you love the Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes stories, we think you’ll be a fan of this fun merchandise inspired by the books.

Who Is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a doctor and writer most well-known for his series of detective books and stories about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

How many Sherlock Holmes stories are there?

There are 4 full-length Sherlock Holmes novels and 56 short stories compiled in 5 short story collections.

Should I Read the Sherlock Holmes Books in Order?

It doesn’t matter what order you read the Sherlock Holmes books and series in, although we recommend starting with A Study in Scarlet because it establishes how Holmes and Dr. Watson meet.

Did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle write other books and stories?

Yes! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also wrote fantasy and science fiction stories, though his Sherlock Holmes stories are what he is remembered for.

Did you read the Sherlock Holmes Book in Order?

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