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The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes #7)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  19,696 Ratings  ·  1,015 Reviews
The plot of the novel is based very loosely on the real-life activities of the Molly Maguires and, particularly, of Pinkerton agent James McParland.
The novel is divided into two parts: in the first, Holmes investigates an apparent murder and discovers that the body belongs to another man; and in the second, the story of the man originally thought to have been the victim i
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ebook, 158 pages
Published by Feedbooks (first published September 1914)
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Dill Isaac in the Epilogue of the novel is stated that the survivors of the Scowrers Gang consulted Prof Moriarty on how to kill Jack Douglas (AKA Birdy Edwards…morein the Epilogue of the novel is stated that the survivors of the Scowrers Gang consulted Prof Moriarty on how to kill Jack Douglas (AKA Birdy Edwards AKA Jack McMurdo) on British territory... as they failed he took the case personally and 'stepped in himself with a master touch'(less)

Community Reviews

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Stephen
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Let’s face it, Sherlock Holmes is a prig. A vainglorious bombast whose every breath seems devoted, at least in part, to extolling his prodigious and ubiquitous knowledge and singular mastery over every form of argument, logical deduction or investigative strategy (he's a little like that last sentence). It’s amazing the man can dress himself given that one arm is forever employed in the constant motion of slapping palm to his own back in congratulations for his monumental genius.

Now when faced
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Henry Avila
Dec 08, 2016 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sherlock Holmes receives a message from the mysterious "Porlock" , a nom-de plume, as he tells the curious Dr.Watson, in their residence, at 221 B Baker Street, in London...coded, they will have to find a particular book to decipher it, but clues are given, and though a second note promised, never arrives, from the obviously very nervous man, soon they do succeed...Alec MacDonald of Scotland Yard, enters the room, unexpectedly, disclosing a murder has just occurred, a Mr. John Douglas, was shot ...more
Kirstine
Nov 14, 2015 Kirstine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got tricked.

Except that's probably not what you call it when you commit the hubris of presuming to know what's going on in a Sherlock Holmes story. I didn't even assume, I thought I knew. I was so absolutely certain I knew where that last part of the story went, that I didn't even consider other options; but I was wrong. I unwittingly handed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the honor of throwing my ego around like a ragdoll. Well deserved, I say.

On the bright side, nothing keeps you hungry for a myster
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Dan Schwent
Holmes and Watson investigate a murder in a country mansion, a man shot in the face with a sawn off shotgun. Things quickly prove not to be as they seem. But what does the murder have to do with the Valley of Fear...

First off, I'm not the biggest Sherlock Holmes fan and was at a loss when Valley of Fear was announced as a book in the Hard Case line. While I respect Arthur Conan Doyle as one of the pioneers of detective fiction, I was never really interested in him or Holmes. In my quest to read
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K.D. Absolutely
This is the least enjoyable compared to his earlier 3 novels. The reason is that the plot is a lot thinner and there is almost nothing that Holmes and Watson do except the display their usual power of deduction. Together with the two detectives, the duo go to the scene of the crime and do their usual investigation and after a day or two, are able to solve the crime. The revelation in the end felt so simple and did it not really surprise me at all. I also suspect that I may have been feeding my b ...more
Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Mar 07, 2008 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction, mystery
Not enough Holmes!
Finally found a copy of this to read and, unfortunately, it is too much like The Scarlet Thread. NO ONE wants to read a book about some whackjob American with a secret mysterious past! We already did that once! We want to hear about HOLMES, by God! That's why we are reading this book-- because it is a SHERLOCK HOLMES BOOK. I don't care how spectacular Birdy Edwards is. I don't care what became of him. I want to see a classic character being classic.
Surely, by the time Conan Doy
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Diane
This was my least favorite of all the Sherlock Holmes books I've read so far. The novel was published in 1915 and features two parts: The first half involves the murder of a man named John Douglas at his manor house. Sherlock is called in to help solve the mystery of how the murderer got away because the house was surrounded by a moat. Dr. Watson comes along to help out, but the solution of the case is disappointing and Sherlock wasn't given much to do.

The second part is an extended flashback a
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Lance Greenfield
Mar 21, 2016 Lance Greenfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains two stories which tie up nicely towards the end.

The first is a classic Holmes crime and mystery which is resolved, as expected by the smug Sherlock, to the astonishment and adulation of Watson and all of the other characters involved. Most avid readers of the Sherlock Holmes stories would probably unravel the puzzles before they read the conclusions of the master. The twist provided by the discovery of a corpse which has been shot in the face by a shotgun is overdone these da
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Eligah Boykin jr.


This is a fine book about raising the tone of an entire community by ridding it of its secret criminal element and thereby making it something more than a 'Valley of Fear'. This novel is not as tightly written as 'A Study in Scarlet', nor does it move in real time with the suspenseful pace of 'The Hound of the Baskervilles', but it speaks to something more profound about the Human Spirit in its eternal struggle for Freedom. This is the novel that makes one ponder the darker implications of figh
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Kim
Jul 29, 2012 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, kindle

So far this is my least favourite of the Sherlock Holmes novels. Holmes appears and solves the mystery, of course, but most of the book consists of back story in which neither Holmes nor Watson appear. There is nothing at all wrong with the prose, but the narrative, while interesting enough, is hardly compelling. Overall, I much prefer A Study in Scarlet and The Hound of the Baskervilles. There is simply not enough Holmes in this one for my taste.
Luís C.
We are first in Victorian England, where a gentleman has been murdered in atrocious circumstances. It takes all the tenacity, the ingenuity of Sherlock to overcome this investigation, and unmasked the culprit, I challenge you to find. We reply that the reader did not have all the elements in hand. There were still many, and the main principal. He simply had to rely on facts and not their interpretation, and other preconceptions.
The temptation to form premature theories upon insufficient data is
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Giedre
Mar 19, 2016 Giedre rated it it was ok
2.5/5
The mystery gets solved mid-book. The remaining half is a huge flashback story that has shit to do with Sherlock and Watson. Oh, and there's a coda type of epilogue that ties these two parts together in a very unsatisfactory way. I enjoyed the first half. The second? Not so much. Listening to it on Librivox helped me finish the book. After reading all of the four Sherlock novels, I think I need some time away from Sherlock. Well, not entirely, because Elementary <3.
F.R.
Sep 04, 2015 F.R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the last year I’ve re-read ‘A Study in Scarlet’, ‘The Sign of Four’ and ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. It’s been an incredibly enjoyable experience, not least because each of the novels performed the charming trick of being much better than I remembered it. I take the orthodox view that it’s in the short stories where you find the true magic of Sherlock Holmes (particularly ‘The Adventures’ and ‘The Memoirs’), but this seems to have had the odd effect of downgrading the qualities of the n ...more
☯Emily
Jul 15, 2012 ☯Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ☯Emily by: Goodreads Book Club
I usually read the short stories about Sherlock Holmes and after reading two of Doyle's novellas, I have to say I prefer his short stories. I recently read A Study in Scarlet where Doyle is introduced to the reader. This book follows the same format as A Study in Scarlet. Holmes solves the mystery in the first half and then in part 2, we go back in time to get "the rest of the story." It feels like two stories. I'm not sure I like the formula. In both books, the back story takes place in lawless ...more
Larnacouer  de SH
Eğer o dönemlerde yaşayan bir insan olsaydım, Doyle Sherlock'u öldürdüğünde koluna siyah bant takıp adamın kapısına dikilen ilk insanlardan biri ben olurdum.

Okuduğum yüzlerce satır, tanıdığım onlarca kitap karakteri bir yana Sherlock Holmes ve John Watson bir yana çünkü.

Dün gece kitabı bitirmeye yakın düşündüğüm tek şey buydu. Ne mutlu Cumberbatch ve Freeman'a. Biz kitabı okuyarak bu denli mutlu oluyorsak, onlar bu karakterlere can verirken ne hissediyordur kim bilir.
Gidip The Abominable Bride
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Councillor
Am I the only one who actually liked the book's second part more than the first? Birdy Edwards was, at least, an interesting character, while the first part simply concentrated on Sherlock solving a case without ever taking one sentence to characterize those main protagonists. It was my first and probably last Sherlock read, since Sherlock and Watson felt so poorly developed.

I never understood where this love story in the second part came from, but it eventually became a little more exciting tha
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Goddess
Dec 14, 2015 Goddess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bis jetzt mein Lieblingsband der Sherlock Holmes Reihe! Super spannend, sehr gut erzählt und die Beziehung zwischen Sherlock und Watson hat sich (wenn man sie mit dem ersten Band vergleicht) vertieft. Vor allem fand ich die Dialoge zwischen ihnen sehr unterhaltsam, vor allem wenn sherlock Watson wie eine Mutter lobt und ihm recht ironisch Komplimente macht.
Ferdy
This was almost as good as The Hound of the Baskervilles, the mystery was mostly engrossing, the backstory was interesting, and the main players were all entertaining. I wouldn't even mind reading it again at some point in the future.
Özlem
Oct 04, 2016 Özlem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5
Jason Parent
May 14, 2016 Jason Parent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Valley of Fear has an intended "Oh shit!" moment that is utterly predictable to a modern reader. Not sure if it would have been back when the story was written. It also forcibly inserts Moriarty, in a manner inconsistent with The Final Problem.

Despite that, it is a well-written yarn with a particularly interesting backstory, reminiscent of Boss Tweed and early American organized crime. Doyle was a scholar as well as a writer, and like his legendary character, one with a rather worldly and de
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Jim
This is a Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, although the cover & blurbs would make you think it's anything but. Great story, of course. Actually, it's two stories; Sherlock solving a mystery in England, then a flashback written by the mystery man that Holmes was investigating, followed up with an epilogue by Dr. Watson.

The first part is typical of a Sherlock Holmes novel. The second part reminded me more of an Edgar Rice Burroughs or Robert E. Howard western. Both were good,
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Abby
Oct 31, 2015 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final full-length novel of the Sherlock Holmes series, The Valley of Fear features Holmes and Watson on yet another adventure. This particular book features Professor Moriarty. What I find very interesting is that Moriarty isn't that prominent of a character in the original Sherlock Holmes series. He's featured more often in spin-off series.
Jessica-Robyn
Apr 04, 2011 Jessica-Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: classic mystery fans
Sherlock Holmes investigates a murder in Part I of The Valley of Fear and in Part II exits stage left to allow the American set story of Jack McMurdo and the murderous society of the Scowrers in the Valley of Fear to take centre stage and bring everything full circle. And it all ends in an rather unexpected turn of events!

Sherlock and Watson are two of the most iconic literary characters ever written and when you read their stories there is always that little bit of extra weight that comes with
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Perry Whitford
The final Sherlock Holmes novel written by Conan Doyle (though not the last chronologically) starts in tip-top fashion, with the master detective cracking a cyphered letter by means of some deft deduction, but too late to prevent a grisly murder.

An unconventional country gentleman who made his money in America is found dead in his home, his head blown off by a shorn-off shotgun. Holmes is called to investigate by the local constabulary, able men but but not possessed of the same genius as the su
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Ron
Jul 02, 2015 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was a good one: a Doyle Sherlock Holmes adventure which I had not previously read. It was typical of the sort: enjoyable but not noteworthy.

The experience was unique because I listened to it using an iPad and LG bluetooth headset. It all worked as advertised. (Thanks to Jon Moss's assistance setting it up.)

The reader was excellent--doing a variety of accents with believable variety.

It feels like cheating. I listened to an entire story--actually a story within a story--with my eyes clos
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Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime:
The Valley of Fear, the last of the four Sherlock Holmes novels, ranks among Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's best work. The mystery begins with a coded warning of imminent danger, drawing the illustrious Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr. Watson to a secluded English country home. A trail of bewildering clues leads to sleuthing in the finest Holmesian tradition and the gripping backstory of a cult that terrorized a valley in the American West.

Reader ..... Sir Ian Mc
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Elena
Nov 28, 2016 Elena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars.

Overall very entertaining, even if, like the other Sherlock Holmes novels, the ending part about the past of one of the main characters is a little too long and unnecessary (but it is not as bad as in The Sign of Four). The Hound of the Baskervilles remains my favourite Sherlock Holmes novel, but this was mostly very good as well.
Doğan
Mar 20, 2016 Doğan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kitabı ikinci okuyuşum, konu olarak tartışmasız en güzel Sherlock romanı. Ancak Sherlock'u daha aktif görmek isterdim.
Jaro
May 27, 2016 Jaro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read in The Complete Sherlock Holmes.
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Arthur Conan Doyle was born the third of ten siblings on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was born in England of Irish descent, and his mother, born Mary Foley, was Irish. They were married in 1855.

Although he is now referred to as "Conan Doyle", the origin of this compound surname (if that is how he meant it to be understood) is uncertain. His baptism record
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More about Arthur Conan Doyle...

Other Books in the Series

Sherlock Holmes (9 books)
  • A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)
  • The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes, #2)
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3)
  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #4)
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5)
  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes
  • His Last Bow: 8 Stories (Sherlock Holmes, #8)
  • The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #9)

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