The Valley of Dreary

Gah, The Valley of Fear is boring. I’ve come to the conclusion that three of the four Sherlock Holmes novels suffer the same problem: prolonged dwelling upon the gritty circumstances that created the past wrong that has somehow come back to haunt a personage concerned with the crime that Holmes is investigating. Perhaps it’s only the passage of time, but I don’t recall A Study in Scarlet or The Sign of Four being quite so tiresome in this capacity, however.

The book starts out alright, though Doyle employs one of his favorite plot devices for what is at least the third time. It then derails into an account of the backstory that takes place 20 years prior in some American mining town full of unsavory, unlikable characters. This comprises fully the second half of the novel. Doze.

I shall, however, avail myself of this opportunity to say my favorite Holmes story is now “The Adventure of Charles August Milverton”. Fun slashy hand-holding moments between Holmes and Watson, and there’s a lot in Holmes’ behavior that puts one in mind of a certain Dr. Gregory House.

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