Book #17: The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

‘You are a wronged woman and shall have justice. Do not bring police. If you do, all will be in vain. Your unknown friend.’

When a beautiful young woman is sent a letter inviting her to a sinister assignation, she immediately seeks the advice of the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes.

For this is not the first mysterious item Mary Marston has received in the post. Every year for the last six years an anonymous benefactor has sent her a large lustrous pearl. Now it appears the sender of the pearls would like to meet her to right a wrong.

But when Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick Watson, aiding Miss Marston, attend the assignation, they embark on a dark and mysterious adventure involving a one-legged ruffian, some hidden treasure, deadly poison darts and a thrilling race along the River Thames.

The Sign of Four is the second story of the Sherlock Holmes canon. It is centered on the mysterious disappearance of a young woman’s father, a treasure from India, and murder.

I found the story to be better than the first but it definitely shows its age. There are some terms and events in the book that hearken to the Victorian era. This doesn’t bother me so much as that is true to the actual publication and, really, I love the era.

The story itself had more action than the first, we see a bit more in the character that is Sherlock Holmes, and we are introduced to more of the skill of deduction. If anything, this is the story that opens up the world to the reader.

Final Rating: 3/5

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