Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes, #2)The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sherlock Holmes sets aside his cocaine addiction for a case. A young woman has been receiving pearls in the mail once a year for four years and now has a chance to meet her mysterious benefactor. Can Holmes and Watson figure out what's really going on without being ensnared in a web of deceit and murder?

I read this with those scamps in the Non-crunchy Cool Classics group.

So, Sherlock Holmes. For years, Holmes has been akin to H.P. Lovecraft for me in that I'm a much bigger fan of the works they inspired than the original works. When Jeff and his cohorts decided to read The Sign of Four in September, who was I to resist? After all, Sherlock is one kick ass show...

Yeah, I'm still not a tremendous Sherlock Holmes fan. I understand that Arthur Conan Doyle was largely inventing the genre as he went but the longer Holmes stories always seem unnecessarily convoluted. Watson is a sycophant with very little personality of his own and Holmes is an ass, although not in an entertaining Benedict Cumberbatch sort of way.

Still, I didn't hate it. It was interesting to see how the detective fiction genre has evolved over time. I wasn't expecting the pulpy boat chase near the end and Holmes actually had a bit more dimension to him than I remember.

Due to its place in the genre and because I couldn't bring myself to actually dislike it, I'm giving this a hard-earned three out of five stars.

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