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The Valley of Fear (1915)

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Arthur Conan Doyle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sherlock Holmes (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,299564,576 (3.73)1 / 115
A coded warning sends Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to a country retreat, where they follow a perplexing trail of clues to unmask a murderer, and to break the stranglehold of a terrorist cult, in The valley of fear, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fourth and final Sherlock Holmes novel. Also included is the bonus Sherlock Holmes story The final problem.… (more)
  1. 20
    Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett (JonathanGorman)
    JonathanGorman: The Valley of Fear reminded me a lot of Red Harvest and I can't but help to wonder if Hammett had read Valley of Fear. (At the least they probably draw from some of the same inspirations.
  2. 20
    A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (haraldo)
  3. 02
    The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (benmartin79)
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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
That moat was worthless
rootin' tootin' face shootin'
assassins can swim. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
This was almost two stories in one. I was familiar with the first part of the story where Sherlock Holmes was involved in solving the mystery. It was the traditional Sherlock Holmes story where he sorts out the mystery and the characters involved. The second half of the story was the history that led up to the main events of the story. This part was completely new to me and I loved it. The character evolution in the second half was amazing. I almost enjoyed it more than my beloved Sherlock Holmes. ( )
  jguidry | May 25, 2020 |
I went into "The Valley of Fear" hesitantly, as I'd heard that it was the dud of the canon. Well, I can't say I agree...

The first half of the book is a satisfying little mystery. It's certainly clear that Conan Doyle was bored with Holmes by now, as he continued to fill the gaps in the timeline rather than further the adventures, and indeed he spends as much time with other characters as he does with the formerly addicted detective. However, the author's ability to write the Holmes/Watson relationship has never been smoother, and the opening scenes between them are delightful. The characters and setting of the mystery are all interesting enough. However, pretty much every trope, clue and element of the solution has been used in a previous work, suggesting to me that Conan Doyle probably should have stopped after "The Hound of the Baskervilles".

The second half, meanwhile, is a very enjoyable story. Unfortunately, it doesn't feature Holmes or Watson or - for that matter - the other elements which are referred to in the opening chapter, and which I assumed would play a role. Also - as in a few of the short stories - Conan Doyle's attempts to write authentic American and gangster dialogue comes off as both lazy and forced. Again, nothing here is new: the secret society, the romantic melodrama, the sometimes-awkward exposition. Indeed, the novel's entire structure is reminiscent of the first two novels, only I'd argue "Valley of Fear" bests both of them. It's easily more believable than the ludicrous [b:The Sign of Four|608474|The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes, #2)|Arthur Conan Doyle|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1299346921s/608474.jpg|2922650], and much better written than the at-times ponderous [b:A Study in Scarlet|102868|A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)|Arthur Conan Doyle|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266472643s/102868.jpg|1997473].

In closing, no: there's nothing new here. And if you're reading the canon in order, you'll probably be annoyed by the promise of a follow-up to earlier stories which is never taken up. For newcomers to Holmes, I'd suggest reading the short stories and then [b:The Hound of the Baskervilles|8921|The Hound of the Baskervilles|Arthur Conan Doyle|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255670340s/8921.jpg|3311984]. After that, if you're still craving Holmes, this might be an enjoyable - if unsatisfying - dessert. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 27, 2020 |
This was another standard fare Sherlock Holems book. However, Doyle seems to be gaining gravity and style even more so with his work as it spans on. A good book and not one to be missed for the Sherlock Holmes enhusiast.

3 stars. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Nov 7, 2019 |
I really liked this book so far because its really entertaining with all of the mystery and it really gets you hooked on the story and you always want to keep reading it. I think more people should read books like this especially if you like reading mysterious story's and like Sherlock. ( )
  somethingrandom | May 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (107 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doyle, Arthur Conanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bolen, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Buono, OresteContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, Owen DudleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallone, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orbik, GlenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timson, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The Valley of Fear is the fourth and final Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The story was first published in the Strand Magazine between September 1914 and May 1915, and the first book edition was published in New York on 27 February 1915.
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Book description
Sherlock Holmes, investigating an English country house murder, uncovers the grim story of... The Valley of Fear

In this mining valley in the United States a secret society made life a nightmare.

Cold-blooded murder of women and children...

Intimidation...

Two men, bitter rivals in love...

One man broke this regime of terror. Hatred and revenge followed him across the Atlantic to his English home.

But in the final sequel to these events, Sherlock Holmes sees the hand of that criminal genius, Professor Moriarty!
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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.

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Average: (3.73)
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141035447, 0241952972

Tantor Media

3 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100402, 1400109450, 1400115167

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175692, 1909175307

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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