- Save 10% on Books for Schools offered by Amazon.co.uk when you purchase 10 or more of the same book. Here's how (terms and conditions apply) Enter code SCHOOLS2016 at checkout. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear (Sherlock Complete Set 7) Paperback – 18 Dec 2006
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
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.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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?
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!
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.