Thursday, January 23, 2014

50 Books in a Year Book #4: The Sign of Four

The second novel starring the illustrious Sherlock Holmes is a mash up of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and The Moonstone. In it you will find many of the tropes of any awesome detective story. It's still a pretty darned amazing and entertaining book.

Things That Surprised me...although, I suppose, they really shouldn't have:

1] Mary is a pretty awesome character, she is more than Conan Doyle's Yoko (sorry, Yoko). I like that she is calm and patient. I like that she is reserved and understated and pretty. I'd never really thought of Mary as a character to be fleshed out, she doesn't ever seem to be much of the story and in this novel she is the story. She's so smart.

2] It's lovely the way that Watson talks about and to Mary.

3] I'd always heard about, but didn't really remember reading any drug references and this book starts and ends with casual cocaine use. I didn't really expect that.

4] How easy old Detective stories are and how much new Detective stories and procedural dramas owe to these inventive stories.

Why Sherlock Holmes is pretty cool (evidence from this book, of course):

1] He says what we are all afraid to say.

2] He does what we are all afraid to do.

3] He's pretty darned cocky.

4] He doesn't seem to need people, although he needs Watson.

And, a couple of notes on Watson:

1] He is a good friend, quite patient, kind and thoughtful.

2] I'm sure these qualities also make, in him, a good husband.

The only problem I had was the fact that I probably watch too many mystery shows and read too many mystery books for me not to know the ending (I mean I didn't get it all, but I definitely got the gist). I wish I would have read this the same year I read The Hounds of the Baskerville (I think I was in 6th or 7th grade), boy that book amazed me every second!

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