The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The second investigation involving Holmes and Watson is at first just a consultation that evolves into a murder investigation with fabulous treasure at part of it all. However before mystery begins, Watson gives us a better understanding of Holmes through his personal quirks and foibles that humanizes the great detective giving the reader a better understanding of the main character.

The investigation begins when a young governess Mary Morstan comes to 221B to consult with Holmes a string of curious events that has culminated in a letter asking her to meet with the sender that night. Much intrigued, Holmes takes the case while Watson smitten with young woman. That night they met Thaddeus Sholto who tells Mary about her father’s death and his part to play in the string of events that has led as well as her share of the fabulous treasure of Agra. The four go to meet Thaddeus’ brother only to find the man dead, which not only changes the situation but puts Holmes in his element.

Unlike the previous Holmes story, Watson plays a bigger part as he retrieves Holmes’ favorite hound to track the kills and interacting with Mary numerous times. The story has thrilling climax with a steamboat chase down the Thames, the death of one of the culprits and the capture of the other who has a story to tell.

Overall, I enjoyed this story more than the first but I’m giving it the same rating mainly because of Watson’s interactions with Mary are well, so really bad.


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