Sherlock Holmes has become the epitome of detectives with several TV shows and movies dedicated to recreating the famous detective. With a taste of the newest season of the hit BBC drama Sherlock that aired this January, fans are eagerly awaiting the return of the famous detective and his rival Moriarty. In the meantime, I decided to alleviate my boredom by reading the original Sherlock Holmes novels. I had read both A Study in Scarlet and The Hounds of Baskerville my freshman year, but that quenched my thirst for adventures with Holmes. Luckily I decided to take up the task again this year by reading The Sign of Four.
The case starts out as an inheritance issue and leads into a murder mystery. The client, Mary Morstan, receives a letter claiming that she is a wronged women. The case soon becomes a murder investigation after a body is found dead and Morstan’s inheritance goes missing.
While it sounds like the plot to a modern action film, the book itself is slow paced with a few exciting moments. The book entices readers with clever deductions provided by both Holmes and Watson, but it is short, barely reaching a hundred pages without the introduction. In fact most of the case is told through dialogue and backstory. It also provides a hurdle for non-british readers with British slang everywhere (although most of it is translated into modern terms in many newer versions). I’d recommend The Sign of Four to anyone with a strong desire to relive the original Holmes and Watson, but I’d advise those looking for a more modern Sherlock to pick up a police novel.
Book Review by Sarah Wang