The Adventure of the Speckled Band (1892)
The title of this short story from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes may not ring any bells, but where better to start than Conan Doyle’s personal favourite? At its core, this is a locked-room mystery about an inexplicable murder. It takes Holmes and Watson to an eccentric tumbledown manor house to help a young woman who believes her stepfather wishes her harm. It’s not yet inspired the BBC series, but has been adapted into a play, an anime series, a video game, and even a puppet show. And if you want to keep reading in Conan Doyle’s order of preference, he chose The Redheaded League and The Adventure of the Dancing Men as his number two and three.