Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes, #7)” as Want to Read:
The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes, #7)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

The Valley of Fear

(Sherlock Holmes #7)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  27,205 ratings  ·  1,494 reviews
"Look down the valley! See the cloud of a hundred chimneys that overshadows it! I tell you that the cloud of murder hangs thicker and lower than that over the heads of the people. It is the Valley of Fear, the Valley of Death. The terror is in the hearts of the people from the dusk to the dawn." So declares a resident of a mining town, where a sinister secret society maint ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 23rd 2005 by Dover Publications (first published February 27th 1915)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Valley of Fear, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Dirtydeads the theme of the story was about solving a deep case and geting some one to gail
Bushra Shahid he came to the vermissa valley because he told the police about the freemen organisation so he came and hid in vermissa valley

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,205 ratings  ·  1,494 reviews

More filters
Sort order
(A-) 81% | Very Good
Notes: Typical vengeance flashback padding a Holmes mystery to novella length, but a decent one, and still a Holmes story.

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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes, #7) , Arthur Conan Doyle
The Valley of Fear is the fourth and final Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is loosely based on the Molly Maguires and Pinkerton agent James McParland. The story was first published in the Strand Magazine between September 1914 and May 1915. The novel starts with Sherlock Holmes receiving a cipher message from Fred Porlock, a pseudonymous agent of Professor Moriarty. After Porlock sends the message, however, he chan
Henry Avila
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
“I am inclined to think—” said I.
“I should do so,” Sherlock Holmes remarked impatiently.
I believe that I am one of the most long-suffering of mortals; but I’ll admit that I was annoyed at the sardonic interruption. “Really, Holmes,” said I severely, “you are a little trying at times.”

An auspicious start to The Valley of Fear where Holmes is trolling Watson, by this point in their timeline they are already like an old married couple. Looking at Goodreads’ ranking (by the number of ratings) of Con
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
A good & interesting mystery read!

“Talk away, Mr. Holmes. I'm just loving it. It's fine!”

Originally published in the year 1915, The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle contains two acts. Part 1 is about a tragedy that happens in Birlstone and Part 2 is about these group of people called The Scowrers.

This book has an interesting storyline, with powerful characters and good dialogues.

“while those fateful eyes still strained to pierce the veil...”
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
Cathy (cathepsut)
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
Written 25 years after my favourite Holmes story, The Sign of the Four. I don‘t think I ever read this!

25 years later! Excuse me while I wander off to read about Doyle‘s life again.

„..the long, low Jacobean house of dingy, liver-coloured brick lay before us, with an old-fashioned garden of cut yews on each side of it.“

...and about English architecture in the 17th century... and yews.... what a cool tree!

Ok, where was I...I liked the main story a lot, it was very entertaining. Holmes was Holmes—"
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
May 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am so done. Doyle is cancelled. I was initially very excited to dive into the Sherlock canon, because I've enjoyed both the TV series and the movie adaptations. Sherlock Holmes seemed to be a unique character, with funny, but loveable quirks, and so I knew that I had to get into the source material as well. Boy, I wish I never did.

So far, I've read the complete novels, and 8 short stories (from His Last Bow) and, except for The Hound of the Baskervilles, none were enjoyable. Not even in the s
So I have read all Sherlock Holmes novels. I have liked them all for different reasons but Hound of the Baskerville stands out for its sheer perfection.
The Valley of Fear takes the two part structure of his first novel, A Study in Scarlet; first part deals with the untangling of the crime mystery and the second part provides the background that leads to the crime mystery. The first part was quite interesting and intriguing but the second part was a little slow and it took a little effort on my
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle at his finest.

If you've read and enjoyed any books in the Sherlock Holmes series - then read them all, they are all consistently great. Sherlock Holmes must be one of the greatest literary characters ever created and the stories are so very well written.

Intriguing, compelling, intelligent, exciting, page-turning fun of the highest order.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was already annoyed near the start of this, because Watson (and others) knowing of Moriarty contradicts the earlier (though it’s set later) story that Moriarty appears in, in which Watson (and others) know nothing of him. (I’ve heard there are other continuity errors in the Sherlock stories, but those must’ve escaped me.)

The first part of this novella could exist on its own as a typical Sherlock short. The surprise is a good one: the reader (i.e. me) rushes through the clue just as Sherlock’s
“Look down the valley! See the cloud of a hundred chimneys that overshadows it! I tell you that the cloud of murder hangs thicker and lower than that over the heads of people. It’s the Valley of Fear – the Valley of Death. The terror is in the hearts of the people from dusk to dawn.”

A formulaic murder mystery which can be easily seen as a trailblazer-like story for the pulp era whodunits common in dime and drug stores during the golden era of the genre. THE VALLEY OF FEAR is perfectly placed amo
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
Mar 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, history
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Katie Lumsden
Enjoyable, but not my favourite Sherlock Holmes. It didn't hang together quite as well as the rest.
Lance Greenfield
Dec 21, 2011 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
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, crime-fiction

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.
Jan 31, 2011 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
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
ACD's last novel (novella?) isn't as masterful as The Hound of the Baskervilles but it's still classic Doyle. It reminded me a lot of The Sign of Four, exept the Mormons are now replaced with the Scowrers. I'm probably repeating myself from earlier reviews of ACD's novels, but Doyle is a born writer of short fiction and his novels just don't carry the same force, and seem like watered-down/diluted versions of his better stories. That being said, I love Sherlock Holmes.
Patrick J. McAdam
I'm close to finishing The Complete Sherlock Holmes and this novel has been my favorite, by far. Truly a classic!
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly, this is a creepy story (or rather the second half is). Part I is greatly enjoyable -- a basic Sherlock Holmes mystery (had plenty of intrigue, and utilized the same pattern that most of the canon follows). However, Part II? I'm not crazy over it, that's for sure. The cult following in Vermissa Valley kept reminding me of the R.L. Stevenson's The Suicide Club (perhaps because I just read that one a month ago), based on its cult conspiracy level. This Holmes novel is deep. And dark. Of ...more
I liked this, I did. But the first half was just an extended Holmes story (a pretty good one!), while the second half was basically pointless. I don't think this should have been a full length novel. The content of the story just doesn't justify it.

The Valley of Fear was published in full in 1915 (after being serialized in The Strand of course), so by this point, Conan Doyle had been writing the character for almost thirty years. (This was also around the time Conan Doyle started getting super i
Charles  van Buren
Charles van Buren


5.0 out of 5 stars

One of the more exciting Sherlock Holmes tales

March 26, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This review is of the free Kindle edition:
A Public Domain Book
Publication date: May 12, 2012
Language: English

THE VALLEY OF FEAR, the fourth and final Sherlock Holmes novel (but not the final story), is similar to the first Holmes story, A STUDY IN SCARLET, in that it is divided into two distinct parts with the second part occu
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very similar to the format of A Study in Scarlet, with the first half of the book dedicated to the present day mystery, and the second half of the book set in the far away wilds of that untamed land of America for the background events that set up the events of the story. VoF is much more polished than SiS, however, and also name-checks Professor Moriarty who figures into the plot in a minor way.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Page Number 2 12 Jul 06, 2019 11:01PM  
2019 Reading Chal...: Valley of Fear (Sherlock Holmes #7) 15 33 Jan 11, 2019 07:15PM  
Public Domain Rea...: The Valley of Fear - 2018 discussion 3 4 Aug 14, 2018 10:28PM  
UCAS English 10 H...: March Reading Assignment 1 3 Mar 13, 2018 08:38PM  
Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Please add page number! 8 23 Jul 20, 2015 09:45AM  
#AYEARATHON: The Valley of Fear - Arthur Conan Doyle (SPOILERS) 1 13 Jun 29, 2015 12:01PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Stop This Man!
  • Losers Live Longer (Hard Case Crime #59)
  • Honey in his Mouth (Hard Case Crime, #60)
  • The Corpse Wore Pasties (Hard Case Crime, #62)
  • House Dick (Hard Case Crime #54)
  • Memory (Hard Case Crime, #64)
  • No House Limit (Hard Case Crime #45)
  • Fifty-to-One (Hard Case Crime #50)
  • Say It With Bullets (Hard Case Crime #18)
  • Blood on the Mink (Hard Case Crime #106)
  • Fright (Hard Case Crime #34)
  • Quarry in the Middle (Quarry #9)
  • Murder is My Business (Hard Case Crime #66)
  • The Murderer Vine (Hard Case Crime #43)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Casino Moon (Hard Case Crime #55)
  • The Dead Man's Brother (Hard Case Crime #52)
  • The Guns of Heaven (Hard Case Crime #24)
See similar books…
Sir 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 re

Other books in the series

Sherlock Holmes (10 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)
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories - Unabridged - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, the Return of Sherlock Ho
“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius.” 1056 likes
“Everything comes in circles. [...] The old wheel turns, and the same spoke comes up. It's all been done before, and will be again.” 93 likes
More quotes…