Perilous Country

ISBN-10: 048644533X
ISBN-13: 9780486445335
Edition: 2005
List price: $6.95 Buy it from $6.66
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Description: The last of the four Sherlock Holmes novels, "The Valley of Fear ranks among Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's best work. The mystery begins with a coded warning of imminent danger, drawing the illustrious Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr. Watson to a  More...

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Book details

List price: $6.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Dover Publications, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/23/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.330
Language: English

The last of the four Sherlock Holmes novels, "The Valley of Fear ranks among Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's best work. The mystery begins with a coded warning of imminent danger, drawing the illustrious Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr. Watson to a secluded English country home. A trail of bewildering clues--raincoats, dumbbells, a missing wedding ring--leads to sleuthing in the finest Holmesian tradition and the gripping backstory of a cult that terrorized a valley in the American West. Crisp, realistic characterizations and a cracklingly suspenseful narrative make this novel a must-read for all lovers of mystery and detection as well as Sherlock Holmes fans.

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.

Introduction
Further Reading
Chronology
The Valley of Fear
From The Return of Sherlock Holmes
The Empty House
The Dancing Men
Black Peter
Charles Augustus Milverton
The Six Napoleons
The Abbey Grange
From His Last Bow
The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans
The Adventure of the Dying Detective
The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax
His Last Bow
Notes

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