On the first day of Bookgiving, my true love gave to me...
All of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Hey, might as well begin at the beginning! This is the book that launched me on my mystery-reading career. I think it is fair to say that no more influential fictional detective than Sherlock Homes has ever existed. 128 years after A Study in Scarlet first appeared serialized in a magazine – Beeton’s Christmas Annual of 1887 – Holmes as a character and as an influence on the whole realm of detective fiction continues to astound us. He is the subject of new movies, new television adaptations, new literary pastiches and parodies. Why not show that friend of yours, the one who won't miss a TV episode of Sherlock, where the character originated? Let him or her feel the excitement you felt when you first heard "The game's afoot!" or the thrill you still get from "Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!"
Hard to believe that Conan Doyle wrote just four novels and 56 short stories about Holmes. Give them all. The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Illustrated) looks like a good, inexpensive but comprehensive collection. If you prefer, there is a Kindle edition and an audio book edition as well. Most of the stories are out of copyright, and a little hunting may yield free e-book editions of the ones which are available, but I think you'll want a good hard copy.
(If you came in late, here's what we're doing - I hope you'll join in!)