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The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Valley of Fear (1915)

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Arthur Conan Doyle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Sherlock Holmes Collection (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,129524,677 (3.75)1 / 111
  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 44 (next | show all)
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 |
I'm not sure what I was expecting, with the exception of
'The Hound of the Baskervilles', the Holmes novels have left me cold and I grow increasingly disenchanted with the short stories. The setup is Holmes and Watson trekking up North to solve a murder that was predicted by some information given out by an informant of Holmes' and is connected to Moriarty's web of crime.

Solving the case rather quickly, Holmes hears the history of a man, Douglas, who becomes involved with a league of criminals holding an entire region in a grip of fear. His insinuation into the high leadership of the group is a bore, the woman is a prop with a modestly becoming skirt, and though there is a well done surprise reveal by the end, it wasn't enough to satisfy me. There were some interesting early 20th century comments on labor unions.

Sherlock Holmes is most interesting when Watson is allowed a free hand to set the tone and pacing of the his deductions. Yes, Doyle wrote it all anyway, but it was only in 'Baskerville' through Watson's fancies that Doyle's clever mechanics were elevated into something to treasure. And I don't want to read a Holmes novel where there's only a mini-mystery at the beginning and a long yarn from somebody else to fill out the rest. There is better plotting and better mysteries, even better curmudgeon geniuses available these days. If the style of the writing is no good, what's the point?

Sherlock Holmes

Next: 'His Last Bow & The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes'

Previous: 'The Return of Sherlock Holmes'

'Complete Novels and Stories, Volume II' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
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 | Oct 30, 2018 |
This was really two stories in one. The first a traditional Holmes story with its twists and surprises, the second set in America, giving voice of Conan Doyle’s fascination with murderous secret societies. I must say I was getting a bit lost in the doings of the sinister lodge, but the end was all worth it. It is amazing that all mystery-thrillers come from Conan Doyle - he has done it all before everyone else. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Was just to -Let's go to America- for my taste, much like A Study In Scarlet . I suppose I just prefer my Holmes in the fog shrouded London streets heavily misted Moors or in a carriage down the lane ( )
  LGandT | Aug 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (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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"I am inclined to think –" said I.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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Wikipedia in English (3)

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...


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!
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140057102, Paperback)

To the police it is a formidable case and they are grateful for the razor brain of the great detective Sherlock Holmes. There are perplexing details - wedding ring missing together with one dumb-bell, the odd behaviour of the widow and a card inscribed "VV 341" lying by the faceless body.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:58 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Holmes and Watson investigate the brutal murder of a wealthy American.

» see all 37 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.

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Average: (3.75)
1 6
1.5 2
2 25
2.5 13
3 113
3.5 36
4 186
4.5 9
5 96

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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