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The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Valley of Fear (1914)

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Title:The Valley of Fear
Authors:Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1914)

  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. 10
    A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (haraldo)
  3. 02
    The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (benmartin79)

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English (31)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
The Valley of Fear is a Sherlock Holmes novel which is divided into two parts. While the first part concentrates on Sherlock Holmes solving a murder case, the second part provides a background story to the case. The novel starts by Holmes decoding a cipher from an informant against his nemesis Moriarty about a 'Douglas' in 'Birlstone'. Holmes, however, is too late to prevent crime as a dead person has already been found at Birlstone. Of course he assists the police in working the case. A body with a strange branding on the forearm is found lying dead in Birlstone Manor. The head was blown off by a sawed-off American shotgun and the wedding ring is missing. Strangely, both wife and best friend of the supposedly dead Douglas are in rather good spirits which quickly leads to Holmes solving the case. This is when the second part of the novel begins. This part is set in the United States 20 years before the murder and relates the story of a criminal organization called the Scowrers. It helps the reader understand the reason why Douglas was hunted down to be murdered.

The division into two parts is something I very much enjoyed about this novel as it combines the usual crime case that is solved by the famous detective from 221b Baker Street with a great background story. Actually, I have to admit that I liked the second part of the novel even better than the first one. The background story was very intriguing and well written so that I did not want to stop reading. As to the crime case itself, it is probably nothing all too different from other Sherlock Holmes stories. With the structure of the novel, though, The Valley of Fear is a reading experience that manages to keep the good elements of every Holmes story and at the same time to include something that sets it apart from all the other stories.

On the whole, it was a pleasure to read The Valley of Fear. Highly recommendable, not just to Holmes lovers. 4.5 stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | Dec 24, 2014 |
The first half was quite good, but the second half was kind of a prequel and was Holmes-free so it wasn't as good. I just didn't like the format, but overall the book was still good. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 23, 2014 |
This is a Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, although the cover & blurbs would make you think it's anything but. Great story, of course. Actually, it's two stories; Sherlock solving a mystery in England, then a flashback written by the mystery man that Holmes was investigating, followed up with an epilogue by Dr. Watson.

The first part is typical of a Sherlock Holmes novel. The second part reminded me more of an Edgar Rice Burroughs or Robert E. Howard western. Both were good, but it was a bit of an odd mix. I don't recall reading the story before, either. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
meh. sorry ACD! :)

this was fairly clunky and awkward, and it felt like two separate, yet unfinished, pieces. i enjoyed the first bit, in england. after that, it fell off the rails pretty quickly for me. ( )
  DawsonOakes | Jun 12, 2014 |
“Mr. Mac, the most practical thing that you ever did in your life would be to shut yourself up for three months and read twelve hours a day at the annals of crime.”
Sherlock Holmes to the police inspector.

Compared to the other novels and short stories this was a bit of a dissapointment. Holmes and Watson only figure in very few pages - the middle part is a long crime backstory (supposedly based on real events) - but I wanted to get back to Holmes and the cocky inspector who are somewhat clueless.

Of course sacrilege to suggest one should skip a Sherlock Holmes novel - but if you contemplate the unthinkable - then this novel would be it. ( )
2 vote ctpress | May 22, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bolen, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, Owen DudleyEditorsecondary 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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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 (1)

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!
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:46 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 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.

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See Arthur Conan Doyle's author page.

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Average: (3.72)
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1.5 2
2 19
2.5 13
3 84
3.5 29
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4.5 7
5 68


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

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141035447, 0241952972

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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