The Valley of Fear

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Cosimo, Inc., Jun 1, 2008 - Fiction - 168 pages
Sherlock Holmes, legendarily-if fictionally-the world's first consulting detective, returns for his fourth and final novel-length adventure in this 1915 book, originally serialized in the Strand Magazine from September 1914 to May 1915. In the course of investigating the apparent murder of one man-and discovering that the body belongs to another man entirely-Holmes and his sidekick and biographer Dr. Watson learn that they are up against the detective's most fiendish opponent, Professor James Moriarty. Can Holmes and Watson thwart Moriarty's agents in time to stop another murder? Scottish surgeon and political activist SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE (1859-1930) turned his passions into stories and novels, producing fiction and nonfiction works sometimes controversial (The Great Boer War, 1900), sometimes fanciful (The Coming of the Fairies, 1922), and sometimes legendary (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1892).
 

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Contents

THE TRAGEDY OF BIRLSTONE
1
Sherlock Holmes Discourses
10
The Tragedy of Birlstone
18
Darkness
27
The People of the Drama
38
A Dawning Light
49
The Solution
61
THE SCOWRERS
76
The Bodymaster
85
Lodge 341 Vermissa
101
The Valley of Fear
116
The Darkest Hour
126
Danger
138
The Trapping of Birdy Edwards
148
Epilogue
158
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

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.

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