The Sign of Four
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Another Intriguing Mystery
"The Sign of Four" is the second of Conan Doyle's four longer Sherlock Holmes stories - I wouldn't call it a novel, because it's shorter even than the other three.
The level of detection and the intrigue surrounding the mystery is as clever as ever, and possibly more complex than in its predecessor, "A Study in Scarlet". The structure of the book could be seen as a little clumsy, with the story of Small tacked onto the end as an extra thirty pages - but using the first-person viewpoint like he does, there was no other way for Conan Doyle to integrate it into the story.
This story is also worth reading for its long-term developments in the Holmes stories. We learn of Holmes' cocaine addiction and his reasoning behind it. This is also where Watson meets his wife, which - along with the treasure seeking - makes it the more romantic of the longer stories. The relationship is hardly developed realistically, but Conan Doyle always seems to sacrifice character...
The Sign of Four is the second story by Conan Doyle about the exploits of Sherlock Holmes.
From the moment Mary Morstan tells Holmes about the mysterious disappearance of her father and the yearly gift of a pearl from an unknown benefactor, Holmes and his companion Watson are involved in an exotic tale of stolen treasure, secret oaths and murder, culminating in a breath-taking chase down the Thames. Holmes is on top form, and Watson falls in love. David Timson won the Audiobook of the Year Award for his reading of this, the first Sherlock Holmes novel.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.