Jason Seaver's Reviews > The Valley of Fear

The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle
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Jan 27, 2010

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Read in January, 2010

The Hard Case Crime edition of this book is a fun object: While pretty much everyone else putting out something Holmes-related is making sure that they use the same typeface as the new movie's logo, Hard Case has fun deliberately obscuring that this is a Sherlock Holmes novel - the writer is listed as "A.C. Doyle, author of 'The Lost World'", the front cover is the same sort of pulp illustration as the rest of the line, and Holmes isn't mentioned until the end of the description on the back cover. Everyone I've shown it to loves the perversity.

The trouble, of course, is that it's not really a great book. Like "A Study in Scarlet", it's split in half, with Holmes and Watson at the front and a great deal of backstory in the rear. It is, as usual, a lot of fun to read Doyle's description of Holmes and Watson working together, but the pulp fiction in the back takes a lot of pages for relatively little to happen, most of it misdirection. It's likely the Holmes story that best fits the rest of the Hard Case line, but is only OK itself.

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