Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear

Front Cover
Mondial, 2009 - Fiction - 136 pages
The first part of the fourth Sherlock Holmes novel, "The Valley of Fear" (1914-15), takes place in the English county of Sussex in 1888. Following the murder of Mr. Douglas from Birlstone Manor House, the logical detective skills of Sherlock Holmes and the support of his assistant, Dr. Watson, are needed to determine the identity of the murderer and to capture him. The true and complex background of the crime is revealed, however, only after a flashback, which, in the second part of the novel, leads the reader to a coal-mining area in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania in 1875...
 

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Contents

THE WARNING
3
SHERLOCK HOLMES DISCOURSES
9
THE TRAGEDY OF BIRLSTONE
15
DARKNESS
22
THE PEOPLE OF THE DRAMA
30
A DAWNING LIGHT
39
THE SOLUTION
48
THE MAN
63
THE BODYMASTER
69
LODGE 341 VERMISSA
81
THE VALLEY OF FEAR
92
THE DARKEST HOUR
100
DANGER
109
THE TRAPPING OF BIRDY EDWARDS
116
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About the author (2009)

The most famous fictional detective in the world is Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. However, Doyle was, at best, ambivalent about his immensely successful literary creation and, at worst, resentful that his more "serious" fiction was relatively ignored. Born in Edinburgh, Doyle studied medicine from 1876 to 1881 and received his M.D. in 1885. He worked as a military physician in South Africa during the Boer War and was knighted in 1902 for his exceptional service. Doyle was drawn to writing at an early age. Although he attempted to enter private practice in Southsea, Portsmouth, in 1882, he soon turned to writing in his spare time; it eventually became his profession. As a Liberal Unionist, Doyle ran, unsuccessfully, for Parliament in 1903. During his later years, Doyle became an avowed spiritualist. Doyle sold his first story, "The Mystery of the Sasassa Valley," to Chambers' Journal in 1879. When Doyle published the novel, A Study in Scarlet in 1887, Sherlock Holmes was introduced to an avid public. Doyle is reputed to have used one of his medical professors, Dr. Joseph Bell, as a model for Holmes's character. Eventually, Doyle wrote three additional Holmes novels and five collections of Holmes short stories. A brilliant, though somewhat eccentric, detective, Holmes employs scientific methods of observation and deduction to solve the mysteries that he investigates. Although an "amateur" private detective, he is frequently called upon by Scotland Yard for assistance. Holmes's assistant, the faithful Dr. Watson, provides a striking contrast to Holmes's brilliant intellect and, in Doyle's day at least, serves as a character with whom the reader can readily identify. Having tired of Holmes's popularity, Doyle even tried to kill the great detective in "The Final Problem" but was forced by an outraged public to resurrect him in 1903. Although Holmes remained Doyle's most popular literary creation, Doyle wrote prolifically in other genres, including historical adventure, science fiction, and supernatural fiction. Despite Doyle's sometimes careless writing, he was a superb storyteller. His great skill as a popular author lay in his technique of involving readers in his highly entertaining adventures.

Andrew Moore assisted James McNair on the last 10 of his cookbooks, including recipe development and editing. James and Andrew divide their time between a home in Northern California and their lodge on the north shore of Lake Tahoe.

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