The Best of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Explain how Watson's habit of embellishing both helps and hinders a reader's attempt to solve the mystery before Holmes does.

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William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I do not believe that all the readers of the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels are attempting to solve the mystery before Holmes does. Some readers are intrigued by the settings, the costumes, the dialogue, the elements of danger and adventure, and the different characters who existed in Victorian times and who often seem so strange to us now. Holmes is featured as a genius at logic and deduction, but the stories would become pretty routine if they were only intellectual puzzles. Doyle knew that readers wanted excitement. This is provided mainly by Watson's "embellishments." Holmes provides the brain work; Watson provides the excitement. Watson does not...

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treborfairwell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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