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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 20 December 2013
I enjoy reading books on my Kindle but must actually admit I prefer the classics in paper form, not sure why, as modern books seem absolutely apt for an electronic age! So classics in classic form for me, however a good read and I always enjoy seeing what Sherlock and Watson will get up to next, even though after years of TV and Movie adaptation you sort of know it doesn't stop sometimes forgetting the subleties!
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on 5 October 2015
Bit of a pot boiler from Conan Doyle. A two parter - the first part concerns Sherlock investigating a shooting in the Home Counties, the second explores the US background that led up to it. The story lacks much of the detail of the deductive skills that we expect and enjoy.The second part is a bit of an oddity, being Conan Doyle's fantasy about what life is life in a rough mining community. However, it's free, and even if it's not his best, it;'s still Sherlock.
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on 21 April 2016
Awesome. I Haven't read this book before and it is well worth the time to read it. It is slightly different from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle usual Sherlock Holmes books which makes it all the more compulsive.
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on 19 January 2016
I really enjoyed reading this book. The first part with Holmes solving the murder was good; the second part involving a protection racket in America was brilliant. An excellent story, well worth reading.
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on 9 October 2014
Bought this just for a light read as I usually stick with the free classics. The story moved along quickly, albeit somewhat predictably.
The portrayal of the Masons in the US was an eye-opener; I hope it was based on true research. Minimal Sherlock Holmes involvement for anyone who is a fan of the character.
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on 15 March 2007
This is probably my favourite Holmes yarn. It is a book of two halves . The first concerns the few days either side of a murder and is full of masterful clue cracking - as is our heroes speciality! The second explains the "murderous event" as having it's genesis far back in time and far away from sleepy English countryside it occured in. A wonderful intertwining of the macro and the micro!
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on 25 May 2016
I wouldn't class this as my favourite Sherlock Holmes story (for me, that accolade goes to The Hound of the Baskervilles) but it was very enjoyable to read. The split narrative between England, present and United States, past was reminiscent of another Sherlock story, A Study In Scarlet. I thought McMurdo was an interesting and well developed character. Although the almost cliffhanger style ending was a little frustrating, The Valley of Fear has a tense and tight narrative, making it essential reading for all Sherlock fans.
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I liked this book a lot and it's right up there behind The Sign of Four as the second best Sherlock Holmes novel. Though it's well known that Conan Doyle was growing tired of the character by this point.
The story is of a brutal murder in a mansion house in the English countryside. There's not much sense-making evidence to work on so Holmes and Watson go down to investigate along with Scotland Yard and the local police. Sure enough, Holmes solves the case rather quickly and all is revealed. But it's here that Conan Doyle uses the same split narrative he used in A Study in Scarlet. The story jumps far back in time and details the long, sinister plot leading up to the murder in the mansion. It's a good story and quite addictive. But I'm afraid I saw the plot twist coming (though it's an imaginative surprise) and only because there were no small revalations at any point, therefor I knew I big 'un was coming and deduced the logical conclusion.
And is it just me or is there a major anachronism in the story? Holmes speaks of Moriarty as if he is still alive. But didn't he chuck him of the Reichenbach falls and watch him fall to his death? Unless this story is set before then. And who is this mysterious Porlock? It was never cleared up. Perhaps in a future story eh?
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on 18 May 2016
One of my favorite Holmes stories so far! A unique story, in that the majority of the story is about the background of the main character & not the investigation its self, but utterly gripping & highly recommend!
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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2012
This is the least well known of the four of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novellae. It is very similar in structure and indeed in theme to A Study in Scarlet. The murder is solved half way through (with an interesting twist) and then the second half is the back story of the killer, showing why they have acted as they have, and again here showing an American past involving a shady cult or secret society, in this case a renegade branch of the Eminent Society of Freemen called the Scowrers who hold the Vermissa Valley mining communities in fear and terror. The similarities are too stark not to be noticed and this lacks the impact of its predecessor, though the choking atmosphere of fear and casual, brutal violence engendered by the Scowrers is vividly described. 4/5
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