Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Sign Of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Sign Of Four (original 1890; edition 2011)

by Arthur Conan Doyle

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,015941,891 (3.77)221
Title:The Sign Of Four
Authors:Arthur Conan Doyle
Info:Viking UK (2011), Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:British Literture, Sherlock Holmes, detective, classic

Work details

The Sign Of The Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (1890)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 221 mentions

English (82)  Spanish (7)  Swedish (1)  All (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All (1)  All (94)
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
The Sign of Four is the second published work with Sherlock Holmes which cemented his popularity. While not as good as the first novel IMO there's little to complain about. Much of it feels cliche like watching Scooby Doo or Jonny Quest but only because Doyle helped create the cliches to begin with, he has been copied endlessly to the point he seems like a copy of himself. I particularly liked the speed-boat race with steam-powered boats, the sleuth-hound, magnifying glass. I wonder how many Victorian kids dug in the muck of the Thames looking for gems. Sherlock Holme's intravenous drug habit was surprising and gave it a dark twist. ( )
1 vote Stbalbach | Mar 20, 2017 |
“No, no: I never guess. It is a shocking habit,—destructive to the logical faculty.

I chose this one for my read by flashlight/candlelight square for two reason: first, it is short, and second, there is something fitting about reading Sherlock Holmes by candlelight.

This was a reread. I've always preferred The Sign of the Four to A Study in Scarlet, although the latter does have that totally bizzarro digression into Mormon Country, which is always, well, weird. However, The Sign of the Four sends us to India, and then to the Andaman Islands, where we meet four thieves and a couple of corrupt prison guards.

These Victorian novels are so problematically colonial in their perspective. The native people are always either howling savages ready to murder (as in this case) or noble savages ready to be tamed. It's pretty much ugh. But, if you can get past that, you get Watson. In love.

This one reminded me so much of Murder on the Links, where Hastings falls in love with Cinderella. Watson = Hastings.

And then there's Holmes's opinion of the whole thing:

But love is an emotional thing, and whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold reason which I place above all things. I should never marry myself, lest I bias my judgment.”

Oh, Holmes. Lighten up. ( )
1 vote moonlight_reads | Dec 11, 2016 |
a man is murdered. He is connected to another missing man, who has a daughter who comes to Holmes and Watson. Turns out there is a huge indian treasure involved. 4 men stole it and hid it. Then went to prison. The murdered and missing man found out about it and made a deal to free the prisoners for a part. Backstabbing. Prisoner escapes and takes his revenge. Watson ends up marrying the daughter. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Interesting enough story about lost and stolen treasure, interesting characters, poison arrow darts, brilliant deductions, and even some romance for Dr. Watson. Even the First time in the classic Holmes that I recall hearing of his drug use.

Normally I love Sherlock Holmes but this one just drug on for me. I'm going to blame it in part of the Audio, the music in between scenes just didn't do it for and I'm guessing I just wasn't in the right frame of mind for some classic Holmes. ( )
  she_climber | Oct 12, 2016 |
Originally published in 1889, this is the second Sherlock Holmes mystery. We meet Dr. Watson's future bride-to-be, Mary Morstan.
One of the most prominent characteristics of Sherlock Holmes's personality is his cheeky hubris, especially when he makes comments like, "Yes, I have been guilty of several monographs" (p 4), or "I cannot live without brainwork" (p 8). Aside from his ego, Holmes carries a sharp sense of reasoning and deduction and of course, the acute ability to draw unsuspecting witnesses out of their privacy, getting them to spill the beans by pretending to know everything they do already. An age-old police tactic.

To sum up the complicated mystery: it involves a secret pact between four criminals, a treasure and Mary Morstan. Mary's father has been missing for ten years. He disappeared without a trace. Four years after his disappearance Mary started received a pearl a year from an unknown benefactor. Where's rumor of a hidden treasure. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Aug 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (106 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doyle, Arthur Conanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ackroyd, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Buono , OresteContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallone, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glinert, EdEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Korhonen, JussiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roden, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Illustrated Novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Six Great Sherlock Holmes Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet; and The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes - Edição Completa: Romances e Contos by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: A Definitive Text, Corrected and Edited by Edgar W. Smith, with an Introduction by Vincent Starrett, and Illustrated with a Selective Collation of the Original Illustrations by Frederic Dorr Steele, Sidney Paget and Others by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Has the adaptation

Is expanded in

Has as a study

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantelpiece, and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case.
Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantel-piece and his hypodermic syringe from its neat moracco case.
"What is it today," I asked, "morphine or cocaine?"
"No, no: I never guess. It is a shocking habit - destructive to the logical faculty."
"While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, larger work, etc.
Please don't combine this with the novel - although it owes almost everything to Conan Doyle it is a folder of letters, documents and other physical evidence relating to the case
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary
"A locked-room murder,
priceless treasure? Business as
usual, Watson!"

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140439072, Paperback)

Yellow fog is swirling through the streets of London, and Sherlock Holmes himself is sitting in a cocaine-induced haze until the arrival of a distressed and beautiful young lady forces the great detective into action. Each year following the strange disappearance of her father, Miss Morstan has received a present of a rare and lustrous pearl. Now, on the day she is summoned to meet her anonymous benefactor, she consults Holmes and Watson.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:32 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A beautiful young woman seeks the help of Holmes and Watson when the mysterious benefactor who has been sending her a pearl each year since her father disappeared wants to meet her. Involved are a priceless hoard of Indian treasure and a murderer. whose trademark is "the sing of four.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 20 descriptions

Legacy Library: Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Arthur Conan Doyle's legacy profile.

See Arthur Conan Doyle's author page.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.77)
0.5 2
1 5
1.5 1
2 39
2.5 10
3 229
3.5 87
4 384
4.5 27
5 162

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140439072, 0141034378, 0241952964

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175277, 1909175285

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,082,890 books! | Top bar: Always visible