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The Sign Of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
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The Sign Of Four (original 1890; edition 2011)

by Arthur Conan Doyle

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2,448742,518 (3.79)202
Member:vancouverdeb
Title:The Sign Of Four
Authors:Arthur Conan Doyle
Info:Viking UK (2011), Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:British Literture, Sherlock Holmes, detective, classic

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The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (1890)

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Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
A quick, easy and straight-forward read. I liked how the solutions were doled out in bits & pieces as the story progressed. Sherlock Holmes remains my favorite cocaine-addicted detective. LOL!! ( )
  ScoLgo | Dec 22, 2014 |
This was the second Sherlock Holmes story, written following the famous arranged literary encounter between Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde (which resulted in the latter's Picture of Dorian Grey). The structure is quite similar to A Study in Scarlet, though Sign has probably more typical Sherlockian features. Again, there is a (rather overly long) backstory to the villain Jonathan Small's actions, dating back to his time in India and as a prisoner on the Andaman islands in the Indian Ocean, though it doesn't dominate the story quite as much as the Utah desert part of A Study in Scarlet. Great, swashbuckling and exciting stuff, despite the now cringingly dated racial and religious stereotypes and the poor research (a character named Mahomet Singh, a Muslim/Sikh hybrid, makes no sense). The story is also famous of course for Watson's marriage to Mary Morstan at the end of the story, a decision the author clearly regretted as she scarcely appears ever again and is killed off to give a reason for Watson to move back into Holmes's rooms. ( )
  john257hopper | Dec 21, 2014 |
A young woman appeals to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson for help. During the course of the investigation, the detective and his friend are called upon to solve a locked-room murder and discover the story of the disappearance of the Agra treasure from India over twenty years ago.

I believe this novella was written at the start of Conan Doyle's career, and it shows: the pacing is quite uneven, and individual plot strands are quite preposterous. Still, some of the usual Sherlock Holmes trademarks are there: the bumbling police inspector out of his depth, the use of the Baker Street irregulars, Holmes's drug use and playing of the violin, Watson being used as a sounding board for the great detective's fanciful - yet inevitably accurate - ideas. This story introduces the character of Mary Morstan, who later becomes Watson's wife, but has otherwise little to say or do, apart from being the subject of Watson's immediate adoration. One for completists. ( )
  passion4reading | Nov 24, 2014 |
Meh. Dr. Watson's romance was pretty much the only interesting thing about this particular book. At least it was short. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
mostly of interest to me for the wildly extravagant racism and the portrayal of drug use. ( )
  amydross | Sep 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (105 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
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First words
Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantelpiece, and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case.
Quotations
"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."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
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Haiku summary
"A locked-room murder,
Priceless treasure? Business as
Usual, Watson!"
(passion4reading)

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:58 -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

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Audible.com

20 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140439072, 0141034378, 0241952964

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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