9 ways to experience "The Speckled Band" - the best Sherlock Holmes story of all time

"Holmes gave me a sketch of the events."

You can't be knowledgeable about deception without knowing about Sherlock Holmes, the most famous fictional detective. A group of Sherlock Holmes fans voted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventure of the Speckled Band, written in 1892, as his best short story. When you read the story you'll be very surprised to find out how good it really is. It was one of Conan Doyle's favorites as well.

For your enjoyment, here are nine different ways to enjoy the story. Now you have no excuse not to experience the story in some form or another. (But really, you should go ahead and read the original story.)

#1 - Read the original story

"Holmes lashed furiously."

Read the original story: "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," the complete 9,000 word short story from 1892 (the file's right here at Deceptology)>>

#2 - Listen to the original story 

Basil Rathbone reads the stories of Sherlock Holmes

Hear actor Basil Rathbone reading the story in 3 parts, via audio on YouTube, below.

The Speckled Band read by Basil Rathbone - part 1

- The Speckled Band read by Basil Rathbone - part 2>>
- The Speckled Band read by Basil Rathbone - part 3>>

# 3 - Listen to a different reading of the story

 The Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective sign

Listen to an audio reading of the entire story, from Project Gutenberg (mp3 file)>>

#4 - Read the story as it looked in 1892

The Strand - an illustrated monthly
Read the story as it looked when it was first published in "The Strand" magazine, 1892, with illustrations by Sidney Paget, at Google Books>>

#5 - Read it along with many other stories

Paperbacked Holmes 

Read "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" - a complete short story collection, ("The Speckled Band" was one of the stories), at Project Gutenberg>>

# 6 - Watch the first "talkie" movie version

Raymond Massey played Holmes in the first movie 
version of "The Speckled Band" with sound 

"The Speckled Band" (1931) with Raymond Massey as Holmes

# 7 - Listen to it as you would on a radio in 1943

 Nigel Bruce as Watson and Basil Rathbone as Holmes 

Listen to a radio program from 1943, with Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce and vintage commercials. (Link directly opens an mp3 file) from Old Time Radio Fans>>

#8 - Listen to it as a radio program from 1948

This Wassell Radiola radio would 
have been brand new in 1948.

Listen to a vintage U. S. radio program of "The Speckled Band" from 1948, starring John Stanley, from the Internet Archive>>

#8 - Watch it as seen on British TV in 1964

Watch this 1964 British TV program from the UK, starring Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock, from Hulu.

#9 - Watch the 1984 TV version with Jeremy Brett

Jeremy Brett was a masterful Sherlock Holmes

The 1984 Granada TV episode of "The Speckled Band"
with Jeremy Brett and David Burke.

All the pieces on YouTube:
The Speckled Band, part 2>> 
The Speckled Band, part 3>> 
The Speckled Band, part 4>>
The Speckled Band, part 5>>
The Speckled Band, part 6>>

Pay to watch the Jeremy Brett and David Burke TV episode, 1984, at Amazon, as one continuous file>>

#10. Read it as an original play with some additions

A Holmes enthusiast alerted me to an expanded version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original play from 1910, called The Speckled Band Author's Expanded Edition>>


  1. You might want to add this book to this page:


  2. Davilance:

    Noted and added. Thanks!


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