Monday, 23 June 2014

The Valley of Fear - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Looking for something a little lighter to read next I returned to the world of Sherlock Holmes.  This represented a complete change of pace from my last book, which was exactly what I needed.  My progress with the collection so far had led me to the final novel.

The Valley of Fear is a murder mystery that, once again, sees Sherlock Holmes finding clues that no one else does and making a mockery of police work.  Sounds kind of repetitive but actually it's not.  After all, the details are always what make the difference in these cases.  The murder takes place in an old manor house that is surrounded by a moat, somewhat changing the balance of options available.

As with the first novel, the story is split into two parts.  The first covers the 'present day' mystery solving and the second tells the past story of how the key players ended up in that position.  The format worked a little better for me this time round for two reasons.  Firstly, the change in scene is announced a little better.  But secondly, I'd glanced at the Notes page my Kindle showed before the story and it said the book was split.  Always helps.

Both parts worked quite well for me.  The mystery itself was interesting enough.  The solution was fairly straightforward but isn't it always once you know the answer.  As for the back story, I found it difficult to relate to, however it was an enjoyable read.

Overall the book fulfilled the exact purpose I wanted it too.  My brain had it a bit easier after trying to keep track of the last book I'd read, and my wrists got a nice light break with my Kindle.  Only 2 short story collections left and I'll have finished a mini-reading project.  It'll have to wait a bit though, there are other books begging more urgently to be read.

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