Stephen's Reviews > The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
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's review
Apr 23, 2012

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bookshelves: classics, pop-lit, crime, mystery
Read from April 23 to 25, 2012


The mystery in The Sign of Four was fairly outlandish, but entertaining enough. There was, after all, a stolen treasure of jewels that valued in the hundreds of thousands! However, it was the getting there that the fun part.

Holmes is made far more human here, evincing moments of enui, depression, and concern for his friend, Dr. Watson. He also climbs around the outside of a building in the middle of the night, so there's that. We also learn of Holmes' predilection for the "delights" of recreational drug use: he's quite fond of cocaine (only a 7% solution, mind you) and morphine to stimulate him in periods of inactivity.

And of course, Watson meets (and offers his hand to) our damsel in distress, Mary Morstan. Nothing like a good murder mystery to stoke the heart fires...

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