The Sign of the Four

The second of the four full length mystery novels in the Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle gives the reader further insight behind the residences of 221b Baker Street while introducing new characters in a tale with as many a clever twist and turn as the first. Narrated again by the enamoured Dr. John Watson We find Sherlock Holmes lounging in is study’s shooting up Cocaine to cure his boredom while Watson endeavours to cheer him up when a distressed and beautiful young lady, Mary Morstan arrives to stir our gallant detective out of his slump by asking for his help. Each year after the strange disappearance of her father Miss Morstan has received a present of a rare and lustrous pearl. Summoned now to meet her anonymous benefactor, she consults Holmes and Watson on help in this mysterious tale.

The best thing about Doyle is that while reading you feel like a character in the book, everything is so descriptive. You can imagine yourself-sitting by the fireplace with Holmes and Watson and see yourself standing in the dark and shivering cobbled streets of London. The mystery itself was not just as gripping as the first, and left me at the end with a slight anti climatic feeling, still worth a read for it is building on a larger picture and deeper character development. My favourite is Toby, though he plays only a short role in this tale!

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