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Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Complete Set 7) Paperback – 18 Dec 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review; New Ed edition (18 Dec. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755334515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755334513
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 693,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

In this thrilling tale of fear and tyranny, Sherlock Holmes must battle his greatest - and most lethal - enemy ...

About the Author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh on May 22, 1859, one of seven children who survived to adulthood. Rejecting his family's strict Catholicism and, cut off from their patronage, he decided to set up his own practice in Southsea in 1882.
After the death of his first wife, Louise Hawkins, he went on to marry Jean Leckie in 1907 and they had two sons and a daughter. He died in 1930.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have quickly become a massive fan of the Sherlock Holmes books after reading previously "A Study in Scarlet", "The Sign of Four", "and Hound of the Baskervilles" and now this has drawn in yet another admirer of the Holmes stories. Valley of Fear is one of the last three Holmes books written by Doyle and you can certainly recognise, after becoming familiar with the earlier written stories, just how much Doyle's storytelling ability has improved over the years. This takes on the same type of format as the first adventure in which the first half of the story introduces you to the crime being investigated, the culprits and the conclusion; then the second half introduces you to the story that tells of the motive behind the crime committed which takes us to America and an almost lawless valley run by a secret order of murderers known as Scowrers.

Holmes receives a cryptic note which he immediately manages to crack and reveals that a Mr. Douglas of Birlstone House is in mortal danger only to find out that when Holmes is on his way to warn Mr. Douglas and investigate who poses the threat to his life, Holmes hears that the man was found dead. Upon initially investigating the scene the initial reaction is that it is suicide but upon further investigation, a tangled web of murder is revealed and it is found that all is not as straight forward as the case first appears.
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This is the last of Sir Arthur Canon Doyle novels of Sherlock Holmes and it follows roughly the same pattern as `A Study In Scarlet' and `The Sign Of Four'. Sherlock Holmes receives a note that the life of Mr. Douglas is in danger and almost immediately finds out that the person in question is dead. In the first part of the book Sherlock Holmes with his usual zest examines the case and then tells everyone including the investigating police as to what really happened.
The second part of the book tells the background of some of the main characters involved and it gives you a good idea why the crime might have come about. As I have noted in reviews I have written on the author's previous novels, one cannot but feel sorry for the victim.
This book was published at a point where both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are very well established characters and as such one would know what to expect yet the author still manages to keep the suspense going right to the end of the book making this story another fine page turner.
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By E. H. VINE VOICE on 14 July 2010
Format: Paperback
The is the third Sherlock Holmes novel I have read and they keep getting better and better. The book is divided into two parts, the crime and the victims story. Both parts pull you in in such a way I have only found with Doyle's writing. If you want a crime thriller on an immense scale then this is it. A brilliant read.
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Format: Paperback
Poor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. All he wanted to do was write historical drama and dinosaur novels, but he could never escape his most famous creation. He couldn't even kill him properly. So like a character from a zombie movie, Sherlock Holmes rises, once again, for one more case, on the proviso that the reader also tolerates a Holmes-free story within the story. In the style of the early Holmes novels, this is a 'game of two halves': a mystery with Holmes investigating a classic 'closed system' murder, followed by a novella set many years before. The problem with The Valley of Fear is that the first part is so much better than the second, which suffers from a tedious plot, soap-opera dialogue, preposterous characters, and worst of all, no Sherlock. The result: its probably the least enjoyable Holmes novel.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder Mystery Based on Historical Events 7 Feb. 2014
By Acute Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Valley of Fear

In Chapter 1 Sherlock Holmes receives a coded message from an informant and deciphers is without the cipher key. Inspector Alec MacDonald of Scotland Yard arrives to say that Mr. Douglas was horribly murdered last night, verifying that message. Holmes draws MacDonald’s attention to a painting, and what it reveals. They will go to Birlstone to investigate the murder. Watson describes the location of Birlstone Manor House, which is surrounded by a moat forty feet in breadth. The drawbridge was raised in the evening, isolating the house. John Douglas and his wife were strangers but were popular in the village. Douglas was an excellent tenor, they said he found gold in California. He was democratic in manner and indifferent to danger. Douglas had one close friend, Cecil James Barker, who knew him in America. The servants were not involved. The victim had his face blown to pieces by a sawed off shotgun, a weapon that came from America. A card beside the body said “V.V. 341". There is a strange brand on the forearm to identify Douglas. His wedding ring was missing!

The story tells of the investigation by the police and Sherlock Holmes. Is there a clue missing? The people and servants are interviewed to get their statements (Chapter 5). [Did you catch the clues?] Holmes knows some people are lying, can he reconstruct the truth (Chapter 6)? In Chapter 7 Holmes arrives at the solution and the proof. We learn what did happen. Part 2 has the story about John Douglas and the enemies who want him dead. This story is a lesson about drawing the right conclusion from circumstantial evidence so all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

Part 2 is a fictionalized account of the labor wars that occurred in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania in the mid 1870s. The laborers had gone on a long strike for better conditions, it was lost by the miners. There had been violence during the strike. Afterwards the mine owners sought to ruthlessly oppress the coal miners by the use of secret agents. One infiltrated the miner’s secret society and reported their doings. Some believe there were others who provoked violence and the revenge that followed. This secret society was called the “Molly Maguires”, although this phrase was never used by the miners themselves. About two dozen were hanged for their murders. In 1979 Pennsylvania declared a full pardon for Jack Kehoe, “the King of the Mollies”, who was sentenced to death after a farce of a trial. The president of the Reading Railroad was the Prosecutor! Government was used as a tool of business. 1876 saw the worst depression known at that time. Another depression saw that Reading Railroad president voted out of office and later die a suicide, not a victim of murder. A good history book will educate you about this dramatic history.

Note how this story mirrors “A Study in Scarlet”. Part 2 provides a historical background for the mystery in Part 1, which is about the identity of a secret agent, not a murderer. The real history of the Anthracite Wars in northeast Pennsylvania is even more interesting than this fiction. “Sherlock Holmes Detected” has essays on the four long stories. Why did no one notice the lack of a mark from the wedding ring?
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Page Turner! 1 Jun. 2014
By V. Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a major fan of Sherlock Holmes (who was first introduced to it through the Robert Downey Jr. movies), I found myself wanting to learn everything about the famous series. I had no idea that it was such a long lasting classic.

I personally have read all of the Holmes books and loved them all (minus The Sign of Four). I must say that "The Valley of Fear" is one of my personal favorites.

Holmes must unravel the mystery of what happened in the Birlstone household and many more twists lie within the problem itself. A dark mastermind in the shadows, a man on the run, and the bloodhounds that are hot on his trail.

The plot is engaging, the pace is rapid, and the intrigue is everywhere. I would say expect the unexpected is an understatement. Just when you believe you've smoothed all the kinks, another one grows soon after.

I highly recommend picking up this masterpiece. It's one of Doyle's best works!
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Get Enough of Sherlock Holmes. 2 July 2013
By Mr. Math Expert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Read: 7/13
Rate: 5/5

7/13: The Valley of Fear has a similar set-up as A Study in Scarlet and reads like an exciting yarn of adventure. So, it comes in two parts: the first the mystery and the second the background story. Finally, it comes with a fateful conclusion which seemingly acts as a prelude to The Final Problem, written many years before, leading to Sherlock Holmes' death during his showdown with Professor Moriarty. Naturally enough, that's why Watson proclaims that he had never heard of Moriarty before when in fact that the two stories are chronically switched at different dates. All in all, The Valley of Fear is a continuation of the Sherlock Holmes stories, placed in between The Hound of the Baskervilles and His Last Bow.
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