The World’s Greatest Detective


Coralie at Penguin Books sent through these cover designs today, a splendid “collect the set” republication of the Sherlock Holmes stories which should be on the shelves early next month. This follows last year’s collection of similarly repackaged Edwardian thrillers which included Conan Doyle’s dinosaur tale, The Lost World. Having recently watched the Granada TV adaptations of the Holmes stories now would be a good time to go back to the books, especially since I only recall ever having read The Sign of Four and a couple of the stories.


And on the technical side, I’ll note that my typeface mania identifies the font used for the titles of these books as Gable Antique Condensed, a contemporary design by Jim Spiece based on a Bauer typeface from around 1900. Unless it’s one of the variants mentioned by Identifont….

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“The game is afoot!”
Boys Own Books

3 thoughts on “The World’s Greatest Detective”

  1. Hmm, I must say I find these a little too… sensational and gaudy. And besides, Penguin will rape you on the price of each book, when it would be better just to get a single volume complete set. And yet again, another illustration of the Hound of the Baskervilles looking too wolfish, and highly inaccurate. Sorry if I’m being a bit persnickety, but incorrect illustrations (particularly of the hound- there are so many) are one of pet peeves.

    I’m quite happy that you didn’t make these, so I can remain fully satisfied with every piece of John Coulthart art I’ve seen. I would find it quite interesting to see your artistic take on the eerie, dark Baskerville Hall and the mysterious Hound. Has the thought ever crossed your mind?

  2. Hi Troy. Different books serve different purposes and these would certainly be easier to carry around when travelling than a collected edition. I should also have mentioned that they’re well presented otherwise, with textured card covers and good paper and printing inside. I think Sherlock Holmes can stand a degree of sensationalism after years of creeping reverence. These were popular tales, after all, not high-flying literary works.

    I’ve never considered doing anything with Holmes myself since there’s been more than enough of that already. Unless you can think of a new approach–and have an outlet for it–it doesn’t seem worthwhile. Regarding the hound here, it doesn’t necessarily have to be seen as a depiction of the real beast in the story, it could easily be a depiction of the legendary apparition, in which case any exaggeration is fitting.

  3. For me Sherlock Holmes is great but not the greatest detective!!!Columbo is the best of them all in my book!!!

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