Last week it was announced that Rachel McAdams had joined Guy Ritchie’s upcoming “Sherlock Holmes” adaptation as Irene Adler, a possible love interest for Sherlock Holmes, who is being portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.  Other cast members include Jude Law as Dr. Watson, and Mark Strong as Blackwood. With such a strong cast and plenty of excellent source material, I think this is a perfect follow up to Ritchie’s new crime film, “RockNRolla“, which has been getting a lot of positive buzz and early word of mouth is saying that it is a return to form for the director.

And thanks to google, you can read some of Sherlock Holmes’ earliest short stories online from their original texts. Continue reading to investigate Holmes’ roots.

“The Sign of Four” is the second collection of short stories focused on the famed detective. Written by Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Kerr, it was published 3 years after the serialized “A Study in Scarlet”. he collection is 283 pages and includes such shorts as The Story of the Baldheaded Man, The Tragedy of Pondicherry Lodge, The End of the Islander, and The Strange Story of Jonathan Small, among others. You can view the full text here.

After that, if you still want to continue sleuthing, you can read the more popular “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”. These adventures were written by Doyle and published by Harper & Row in 1900. Included in the mix of stories are The Redheaded League, The Man with the Twisted Lip, The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor, and A Scandal in Bohemia, which features the character of Irene Adler (McAdams in the new film). Read the full text of “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by clicking here.

Guy Ritchie’s new “Sherlock Holmes” film is expected to be released in mid 2010.