#CBR8 Review #42

The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes #2) by Arthur Conan Doyle

I had read this novel many years ago, and I didn’t remember much of anything about it. I’m afraid to say that a similar impression stands now after a re-read. Granted, it’s been awhile since I read this (I think? Honestly, I have no idea anymore, guys. I’ll be limping to the CBR finish line with no idea who I am or what my name is, THAT’s how crazy my semester has been) and my brain is a bit fuzzy on details that don’t relate to my teaching, article revision, or job hunt. That said, I don’t think that The Sign of Four is that memorable, aside from a character who gets a much better story on the BBC Cumberbatch-Freeman lovefest.

Sherlock and John are commissioned to hear the case of Miss Mary Morstan, whose father went missing ten years ago. Her only clue is a gift received each year: a large, lustrous pearl. When the duo take the case, they encounter a much bigger mystery with a wild and colorful cast of villains and victims. There is a one-legged man, a savage indigenous man (because of course casual racism is A Thing back in the day), and poison darts. And treasure! And a love story!

For me, this novel had a lot of elements that just didn’t gel as nicely as they might have. The pacing is definitely uneven, and there are some unresolved plot holes that bugged me a bit. That said, we do get to meet Mary, who never gets her dues in the book series. Thank goodness for the kickassery that is Mary in the BBC Sherlock.

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[Seriously, Mary, thank you for helping get rid of that horrible caterpillar on John’s face. Pornstaches work for Tom Selleck and Pornstache and no.one.else.]

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