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The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes #7)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  14,032 ratings  ·  743 reviews



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?

Mass Market Paperback, Hard Case Crime, 224 pages
Published December 24th 2009 by Hard Crime Case (first published 1914)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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
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
Dan 1.0
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
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
Diane Librarian
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
Lance Greenfield
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
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

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.
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.
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
Jul 15, 2012 ☯Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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,
Holmes and Hams

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
The last of the four novel-length Holmes adventures, and another stunning read. Conan Doyle is at the top of his game here, mixing a traditional locked room-style mystery with an exotic narrative packed with murder and intrigue.

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
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
No es mi favorito, pero tiene uno de esos giros de trama que te dejan sonriendo por lo brillantes.
Juliane Reif
Zuschlagen!!! :-)
That was much better than the previous short story collection. I can't help thinking that Doyle should have expanded on the idea of (view spoiler) However, it barely crops up here except right at the end, which is a shame because it feels like an afterthought. The book feels like two separate novels, welded together like a "cut-and-shut" car. Both are thoroughly enjoyable, but the j ...more
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
Julie Davis
I can hardly credit it, but I don't believe I've ever read this book. The fact that it leads off with one of Professor Moriarty's henchmen leaking encrypted messages to Sherlock Holmes was one of the most surprising things I've encountered in a book in a while. Yes, I was that sure I'd read every Holmes book several times.

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
This adventure is even more enjoyable than the first, containing a really puzzling setup that is at the same time perfectly understandable once the razor mind of Holmes explains it all. I didn’t guess the solution at all, I must admit, although all the clues were right there in front of me. It is a nice touch to make the two detectives who are actually on the case that Holmes is helping with not obtuse in the slightest, but still completely off the right track. As in the very first Holmes story, ...more
I love Sherlock Holmes. I love how he figures out a case. I love how he manages to make obscure clues perfectly clear and logical. In that regard, this book did not disappoint.

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
THE VALLEY OF FEAR. (1915). Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. ****.
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
Nikita (NjKinny's World of Books & Stuff)

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
This is the first Sherlock Holmes novel I've read, although I would argue that I still haven't read a Sherlock Holmes novel.

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
The first half of the story was great, one of the best. But the second half kind of droned on and did not end very well. I am interested in reading more about Moriarty though.
John Yelverton
Yet another fantastic addition to the greatest mystery book series of all time.
Initial thoughts: THIS ONE!!! THIS IS THE BEST ONE!!!!!!!

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
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Catching up on Cl...: The Valley of Fear #7 *SPOILERS* 3 26 May 16, 2014 03:51AM  
English Mysteries...: Buddy Read of "The Valley of Fear" 6 28 Oct 29, 2013 06:28AM  
DumbleDORKS: The Valley of Fear 13 32 Oct 17, 2013 09:19PM  
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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
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 (Sherlock Holmes, #6)
  • His Last Bow (Sherlock Holmes, #8)
  • The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #9)
A Study in Scarlet  (Sherlock Holmes, #1) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3) The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5) The Complete Sherlock Holmes The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol 2

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