The Valley Of Fear
The Valley Of Fear

The Valley Of Fear

by Arthur Conan Doyle

Paperback(Large Print Edition)

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He was too much absorbed with his own thoughts to give any immediate answer to my remonstrance. He leaned upon his hand, with his untasted breakfast before him, and he stared at the slip of paper which he had just drawn from its envelope. Then he took the envelope itself, held it up to the light, and very carefully studied both the exterior and the flap.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781444808063
Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books, Ltd.
Publication date: 07/01/2011
Edition description: Large Print Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 9.02(h) x (d)

About the Author

The creator of Sherlock Holmes, the world's most famous literary detective. Born in Scotland, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a practising doctor when he began to write tales of mystery and adventure.

In addition to the Sherlock Holmes stories, Conan Doyle also wrote the Professor Challenger adventures, and his classic, The Lost World, is one of the original fantasy novels.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh's Medical School. Graduating in 1881, he set up practice as an occultist, but as patients proved elusive he turned to writing. An important influence upon his literary career was his professor, Dr Joseph Bell, who could observe the most minute detail regarding a patient's condition. This master of deduction became the model for Conan Doyle's legendary literary creation, the detective Sherlock Holmes, introduced in ‘A Study in Scarlet’ in 1887.

Conan Doyle also espoused spiritualism and devoted considerable time and effort to a campaign of support for this cause. He also wrote successfully in genres other than detective fiction. His non-fiction includes military writing on the Boer War and pamphlets on spiritualism.

It is known that he felt constricted at times by the popularity of Holmes, but it is nevertheless for Sherlock Holmes and his foil, the ponderous Dr Watson that he is best remembered. As Sherlock Holmes was the first detective to solve cases by deduction rather than due to an error by the criminal, Conan Doyle can be credited with creating the modern detective novel.

He was knighted in 1902 for his support of the British cause in the Boer Wars. After the death of his son in the First World War, he devoted the rest of his life to spiritualism on which he wrote and lectured.

Date of Birth:

May 22, 1859

Date of Death:

July 7, 1930

Place of Birth:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Place of Death:

Crowborough, Sussex, England


Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885

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The Valley of Fear 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Jim_Salicrup More than 1 year ago
It's difficult not to become addicted to the Hard Case Crime line of mystery paperbacks. They're all great reads, offering a smorgasbord of the greatest mystery writers and their work. Whether bringing back a long out-of-print classic or an all-new find, these books always deliver and "The Valley of Fear" is no exception. Besides being the subtlest indirect movie tie-in ever published, "The Valley of Fear" was a very sly selection for a Hard Case Crime book. Like most Hard Case Crime books, the cover is homage to the classic 48-cent crime paperbacks of yesteryear, the Post-Pulp Magazine Age of Pulp Fiction, with its obligatory barely-clad cover babe. Note the placement of the "V" in the book's title-trust me, that was no accident! Cover lines, such as "Best-selling author of 'The Lost World'" and "Inspired by a true story" were also amusing and true. The cover, in a way was almost like an old National Lampoon cover parody, except it was real! As far as the story is concerned, it should be noted that though it pretends to be one cohesive novel, there really are two stories here- one an extended flashback sequence, could stand on its own without the rest of the book. Both stories are good, but only one features the author's well-known detective character-but since he's not mentioned on the cover, no reader will feel cheated that he's not present throughout the book (Perhaps A.C. wrote the second story independently from the first, but with demand for more stories featuring his detective character decided to create a story with his detective to wrap around the existing story. Just a theory-- anyone have the real answer?) The other story, the one inspired by true events, is well done-an inside look at corruption that's as relevant today as it was when it was originally written. "Valley of Fear" truly is a classic, and the Hard Case Crime edition is worth it for its witty presentation alone, but it's well worth reading too.
GTTexas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's probably been 50 years since I first read this, and it was quite enjoyable to read again. At least half of the book is set in the USA and does not involve Holmes, but does a great job of showcasing Conan Doyle's talent.
391 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's a decent story, but it doesn't feel very Sherlockian. It's definitely worse than Hound of the Baskervilles (the best of all the Holmes novels) but probably better than it's closest counterpart A Study in Scarlet. Both have the long stretches of American history making up the second half of the book, but The Valley of Fear doesn't drag quite as badly. Still, it's not one of Doyle's best.
WillyMammoth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A.C. Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories have always held a special place in my heart. They're indicative of a great time in literature and one of the archetypal creations of the detective genre; however, The Valley of Fear is a shadow of his earlier tales. The initial investigation into the murder is undoubtedly interesting, but what killed it for me was that wholly the second half of the book was a flashback told from a totally different POV (3rd, vs. the original 1st) involving a setting thousands of miles away (the American West). The whole story seemed like an excuse to tell "a tale of moral corruption and secret societies in the Wild West" and package it under the Sherlock Holmes name. It wasn't a horrible read, and it was a blessedly short book, but when you're expecting something like Doyle's original Holmes tales, this one is sure to disappoint. He did it a lot better and with a lot fewer words when he first started writing Holmes. The only reason this story gets 2 1/2 stars from me is because it's by A.C. Doyle. If I wasn't such a book completionist, I probably wouldn't have read it.
ruthich on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another of the great Sherlock Holmes murder mystery novels with an American backdrop based around members of a crooked organisation trying to kill the Pinkerton's detective who broke up their gang.
lmichet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Essentially, this one is 'A Study in Scarlet' with Masons instead of Mormons. I would, indeed, go so far as to say that it's much worse than 'A Study in Scarlet'.My logic: I read Sherlock Holmes books to read about Sherlock Holmes solving cases. This book was written, however, to be an 'adventure in America.' It's got the kind of off-the-wall sensationalism that would have attracted the British reading audience at that time. The mystery isn't terrible, but most of the book isn't the mystery. Most of the book is either set in the America storyline or is not actually involved in Holmes' solution to the case.Because this is just a rehash of a plot which Doyle had already executed-- and executed better-- I would say that the only reason anyone should hunt down and read this particular story is for the glory of having read them all. It's not painful to read, nor is it truly disappointing, but it's not interesting.This story is, however, interesting for the similarities it has to that final propaganda story, 'His Last Bow.' Both the main character in the second half of 'The Valley of Fear' and Holmes in 'His Last Bow' perform eerily similar feats of deception. However, I would classify both of these stories as severely sub-par Conan Doyle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another masterpiece by Arthur Conan Doyle, all the Sherlock Holmes stories are masterpieces!!!
rmattos More than 1 year ago
This is another classic from the author, describing a mystery story happening in two stages, but both stories intertwining at the end with all explanations provided. Our detective Sherlock Homes and his friend Dr. Watson are presented with a very challenging encrypted note and after reasoning about the meaning of the note they are visited by a Scotland Yard detective seeking for their help in a murder that just happened in the country, at Birlstone Manor House.  And the murder is related to the note they just deciphered! Things get even more interesting when they arrive at the place and talk to the wife of the murdered and his best friend. The wife seems not to be grieving that much for her husband and the friend looks even happy when talking to the wife... But then, another love story is presented, with its origin on the wild America and the connection between the two stories is soon to be unveiled. Superb narrative and a great mystery story, with a interesting end. I am sure it will delight all the readers that appreciate a very well written tale and want to spend some hours entertained with good reading.
Talekyn More than 1 year ago
As a Sherlock Holmes story, the first half of this book is decent (there are both better and worse Holmes stories/novels amongst the Canon). As a noir crime thriller, the second half of this book is quite good. The problem is, it really is two different books and they don't really gel. Doyle uses the standard Holmes set-up (Holmes and Watson are approached by Scotland Yard to help investigate a seemingly unsolvable murder), builds tension by introducing the idea that Holmes' nemesis Professor Moriarty is behind the murder ... and then spends the second half of the book on an extended (and yes, delightfully dark noir) flashback to the "murdered" man's mysterious past in America, with nary a mention of Holmes or Moriarty until the very end pages. I enjoyed the flashback story for what it was. In fact, I felt like that story could have stood as a book on its own, with added detail. The characters (John McMurdo, Ettie Shafter, Black Jack McGinty) are interesting despite clearly being tropes, the narrative pace is fast and the setting is so detailed I had no problem picturing this dark remote mining town. Doyle could probably have published this story on its own and done fine with it. The problem is, this is a Sherlock Holmes novel not a John McMurdo novel. I don't mind flashbacks in my novels -- in fact I usually quite enjoy them, especially if they're as well-written as this one -- but I do mind when the flashback becomes the novel and the purported main characters disappear completely. Holmes and Watson's reappearance and the end of the book feels tacked on, too brief and entirely like an afterthought. Almost like Doyle completed the flashback and then remembered he hadn't quite wrapped up the Moriarty part of the storyline and so came back to it with as little effort as could possibly be expended. This also plays into my greater disappointment that Doyle never really gave us a true Holmes-Moriarty matching of the wits in the Canon. Moriarty's role in Valley of Fear is brief and well behind-the-scenes despite the build-up in the novel's early pages and it's still about the most we ever see of him. Most of what we "know" about the Holmes-Moriarty rivalry has been filled in by other authors in more recent years. But of course, that's a complaint for a different essay. I give Valley of Fear three out of five stars -- it's a good enough read, but not the Great Holmes Tale it could have been. Note on the Hard Case Crime edition: I've seen people complain that the HCC edition goes out of its way to pretend the book is not a Holmes tale or that the publishers "intentionally obfuscate" who the author is by crediting it to "AC Doyle" instead of "Arthur Conan Doyle." On the first charge, that the cover is meant to evoke crime novels rather than Holmes, I think they are guilty as charged... the cover art and blurbs, of course, are designed to play up the crime/noir feel of the book do their job well. On the second charge, I don't think any intelligent reader is going to be fooled by the bit of fun the publishers have by the shortening of Doyle's name to fit a more noir-author stylization.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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_ChristieXOLove More than 1 year ago
This book will keep you on the edge of your seat. I personally love mystery books and if you do too and are looking for one, I recommend this novel. The cleverness of the characters during the book will keep you entertained. Although there are other Sherlock Holmes books, to me this one is the best. So yeah, go for it and read this book! :)
BookReader75 More than 1 year ago
A great book, with an ending that has a huge un-expected twist, Doyle takes this book, and puts you in London, solving the murder, all with an amazing plot, good characters and a mystery that mind boggling in the first half. He then in the second half takes you to somewhere out in the west, with Evil characters, major plot twist, a murder gang, revenge, and a good characters, then back to London where everything comes full circle, into a unexpected ending. That is what makes this Sherlock Holmes book, a GREAT read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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leticiaaaaa More than 1 year ago
Instead of setting The Valley of Fear (Valley) in the then present, Doyle told yet another story of the early days of Holmes and Watson.It's stuff like Valley though, that I found frustrating about the Holmes books. All the times he disappears, recounts things after the fact to Watson. Not to mention the decided lack of Moriarity in the actual stories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sherlock Holmes and The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was in my opinion an excellent book. I enjoy mystery novels and if you do you too, you will enjoy this book as well. The story is a jumble of facts until the very end thus you do not know who perpetrated the crime until the Sherlock Holmes reveals him/her. Throughout the book you find yourself admiring the cleverness of the main characters and also the creativity and literary genius of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as he takes you through a mystery full of suspense intrigue and sudden changes.