Book Review | The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle


Sherlock Holmes is roused from drug-induced depression by a beautiful young woman. Her name is Mary Morstan and every year since the mysterious disappearance of her father she has received a lustrous pearl. Now her anonymous benefactor has requested a meeting and she wants Holmes and Watson to accompany her.

I can’t believe that I’m a crime writer and it’s taken me so long to read some Arthur Conan Doyle! I think I was put off because it’s Victorian and I thought it’d be full of long, hard-to-understand sentences, boring dialogue, and Holmes just sitting around all day (*cough*Dupin*cough*). But NO!

I , for one, didn’t realise how modern Conan Doyle sounded (so, if you’re erring about picking up this book, definitely do it). There wasn’t a single thing I struggled over, and I absolutely flew through this book, partly due to the writing. There was a feeling of wanting more, and I actually could really relate to Holmes and Watson.

I really enjoyed the adventure in the story, but the info-dump at the end – explaining everything, basically – was long and dull. I would’ve liked to hear Holmes explaining it, as he adds in his own thoughts and ideas, as well as observations.

Being a massive fan of BBC Sherlock, too, I was so happy to see that Moffat and Gatiss had picked stuff out of the books – such as Sherlock scrutinising John’s phone in the first episode. In Sign of Four, Holmes scrutinises Watson’s pocket-watch in basically the same way.

All in all, I bloody loved this book, and would definitely recommend it for anyone.


3 thoughts on “Book Review | The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

  1. Great review! I’ve always wanted to read Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle but haven’t much for the same reason as you. I’m glad that you had a good experience with this one. I’m definitely going to have to add it to my TBR list.

    1. Thanks Jenn! I’m definitely going to be reading more, though I think I’d recommend starting with the first one, which is A Study in Scarlet (my next Holmes read!) as they all build upon one another. The case from the Scarlet novel was mentioned in Sign of Four, so I wish I knew what they were talking about!

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