The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is an odd Sherlock Holmes mystery that is actually two stories in one. In the first story, we have the usual brillian detective work of Sherlock Holmes when a man is found murdered from a terrible wound to his head. It appears to be a murder, but there is no one to suspect and footprints disappear where they should carry on if someone is escaping. It is the classic "locked room mystery," which Holmes unravels splendidly.
Then comes the second part in America which is the history to the first murder. This is far less satisfactory and several times I bogged down and was tempted to quit, mainly because the reason for reading Sherlock Holmes is one thing and the mindset to read this background story of unions and beneficent societies and mining is another. It would have been nicer if this was explained concisely in less than a chapter.
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