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Summary

The mystery begins with a coded warning of imminent danger, drawing the illustrious Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr Watson to a secluded country home. A trail of bewildering clues, including raincoats, dumbbells, and a missing wedding ring, leads to sleuthing in the finest Holmesian tradition - with a gripping back story of a cult that terrorized a valley in the American West.
(P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
  • 18-01-11

Highly enjoyable.

This book is split into two parts, the first being the investigation by Sherlock Holmes into the murderous events at a Sussex manor and the second part is the history - a story in its own right - of how the events being investigated at the manor came about. Holmes solves the case with three-and-a-half hours of the audiobook remaining and we are then taken back to a town in America set in 'The Valley of Fear' and shown why it is so named. I enjoyed this book but did start to loose a little interest a couple of hours into the historical story, as all the characters are different from the first half of the book and I was getting frustrated as to how it was all going to link up to the investigation. All in all, this is a great book, with the only criticism being that the story of the Valley of Fear went on a little too long. Derek Jacobi is exemplary as usual.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

You know Sherlock Holmes. You've seen adaptations on TV, you know his stories. But, listening/reading the books is just wonderful. By reading, you gain a deeper understanding of Holmes, of Watson, of Victorian England and Derek Jacobi is an amazing narrator. He is perfect for the job. So even though you may be familiar with the stories, have a listen and instead of being preoccupied with 'who done it' (cos you probably know already), enjoy the journey and allow Holmes to lead you there in his own unique way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Where's Sherlock

Sherlock is hardly in this book, really disappointing after listening to the previous three, which were all very good. A huge shame.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very good Holmes

What made the experience of listening to The Valley of Fear the most enjoyable?

Derek Jacobi.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Holmes of course!

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, the twist at the end had me gaping with surprise. Quite ingenious.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 13-12-13

Not as good as 'Baskervilles'

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This is a worthy outing for Holmes and Watson. The mystery is interesting and the extended flashback scene is better handled here than in the earlier novels. It does though still feel a bit disjointed, and almost as though Conan Doyle wished he were writing a different book.

If you’ve listened to books by Arthur Conan Doyle before, how does this one compare?

The fourth and last of the Holmes novels, 'The Valley of Fear' is a return to the conventional structure of 'A Study in Scarlet'. In this regard it is a definite improvement - the mystery is compelling, and the narrative is very well written even by the standards of the wider canon. Yet to an extent it also feels like a recapitulation of older material: elements not just of 'A Study in Scarlet' but also 'The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual' and 'The Adventure of the Norwood Builder' are detectable, as well as a tantalising nod to 'The Final Problem', sadly under-developed.

Which character – as performed by Derek Jacobi – was your favourite?

Holmes and Watson are by far Jacobi's most subtle characterisations in these recordings. He is one of the few actors who does not make Watson sound like an easily-amused idiot.

Could you see The Valley of Fear being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

The structure of this book would not suit television. The flashback might work as a stand-alone.

Any additional comments?

This was a good read, but still stands in the shadow of triumph that is 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.