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Mild mystery, never fascinating
on 20 June 2008
The last of Conan Doyle's Holmes stories go out on a whimper I'm afraid to say with very little atmosphere, defining moments or spellbinding mystery. It's safe to say that Sir Arthur was bored of the character by this point and grudged bringing him back from the dead after his tussle with Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls.
I know I am repeating myself, I mentioned this in a review for a previous book but it's clear Conan Doyle was running out of ideas. With only eight stories making up this book (a couple of them less than 20 pages) he still ends up being quite repetitive and pretty much condenses his Holmes novel 'Valley of Fear' into a short story called 'The Red Circle'.
The final story has a bittersweet, if unremarkable, ending and has very little story or point to it. Many writers have kept Holmes alive over the years with various books, radio plays and films and have done so with more affection than Conan Doyle. He created one of the most popular characters in history but thought so little of him.