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Preview — The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes #7)
BROUGHT JUSTICE TO A DIRTY TOWN.
NOW HE'S GOING TO PAY.
A sawed-off shotgun blast to the face leaves one man dead--and reveals a secret that has pursued another across an ocean and set the world's most ruthless criminal on his trail. The man needs the help of a great detective...but could even Sherlock Holmes save him now?
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
The second part is an extended flashback a ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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.
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 ...more
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, ...more
Ah, Holmes, how could I ever tire of thee? The simplifying and yet so soothing illusion that most problems in life can be solved by smoking three pipes in a row and never actually subjecting oneself to heavy physical exertions and that things, by the power of the mind, can be made to fall neatly into place has always been my opium.
That’s why, once in a while, I take a plunge into one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes adventures, which already fascinated little Tristram when he was a ...more
With these novel-length stories, the author's genius is keeping his creation off the page as much as possible, so that he shines brighter when he is present. Conan Doyle adopts the same format as he did in the first novel, A STUDY IN SCARLET, by adopting a flashback-style ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
I really enjoyed this book, both the first part where Holmes is solving the mystery and the second part which gave the exciting back story set in America. I listened to the in ...more
This story was divided up into two books - part one is the crime and solution from Holmes. The second was the events which led up to the murder in part one. This part was the one I had a problem with. Way too slow, too much talking, no Holmes and I found my mind wandering while listening and hoping it would end soon.
If p ...more
This is probably one of Doyle’s best efforts in telling a Sherlock Holmes story. It is a novel told in two parts. The first part is titled “The Tragedy of Birlstone,” and deals with a murder that was committed there. The site was an old castle that was surrounded by two moats and a variety of protective structures. The owner of the castle was found shot to death by a blast from a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun. Of all the people in the ...more
The Valley of Fear is not new to me. I read it the first time when I was in the seventh standard and totally loved it. The mystery was totally ingenious and utterly unexpected!
Arthur Conan Doyle had studied to become a doctor but started writing when patients didnt flock to his clinic. Taking his old professor as his muse, he created the legendary character of Sherlock Holmes who is just too intelligent. It sometimes feels like he is from another planet an ...more
The first half is a great Sherlock Holmes short story, "Birlstone". It's a classic whodunit and whogotdid even. Unfortunately, Doyle then gives us the back story of a character from that story in "The Scowrers." The story was okay, I suppose, but something was missing. Gosh, what was it? What was missing?
Oh you mean SHERLOCK HOLMES! There was a story in a novel ostensibly a ...more
This may not be the most popular of opinions judging by the fact that this seems to be the last of the Holmes books anyone would think of, and perhaps I should complete the series before I write this review, but this is so far the best of the Sherlock Holmes books.
Sure, more than half of the book (the entire second volume!) was an inflated and not entirely necessary backstory set in the USA, but even in this I found the most eloquent of Co ...more
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 ...more