The Sign of the Four

The Sign of the Four

, Book # 2
Penguin Books
February 1890
March 26, 2020 March 27, 2020

As a dense yellow fog swirls through the streets of London, a deep melancholy has descended on Sherlock Holmes, who sits in a cocaine-induced haze at 221B Baker Street. His mood is only lifted by a visit from a beautiful but distressed young woman - Mary Morstan, whose father vanished ten years before. Four years later she began to receive an exquisite gift every year: a large, lustrous pearl. Now she has had an intriguing invitation to meet her unknown benefactor and urges Holmes and Watson to accompany her. And in the ensuing investigation - which involves a wronged woman, a stolen hoard of Indian treasure, a wooden-legged ruffian, a helpful dog and a love affair - even the jaded Holmes is moved to exclaim, 'Isn't it gorgeous!'

About the book

Second book in the most eccentric British investigator series in history. In this volume Sherlock is grappling with a particular case, a young woman asks him for help to resolve the disappearance of her father many years before. Following the track Sherlock and his faithful friend will find the roots of the mystery in India and the Andaman islands chasing a disappeared treasure.

What I think

This review will not be very long, since even the book is not very long like all Doyle’s books. However, I liked the book more than the first. Here, too, there is a story centred in the past, but at least the narration doesn’t stop completely as in the first book. Here, too, the story in the past is very interesting as well as in the first book and so is the whole investigation. I like how Watson follows his friend step by step and I like his infatuation with the woman asking for Sherlock’s help.

Am I the only one who sees the Sherlock of “Elementary” when I read this series? Now I also understand where that Sherlock’s addiction comes from. I never delved into Sherlock Holmes, I always knew that he existed and that the series was famous but I’ve never read more. So I had no idea Sherlock was a cocaine addict.


The style is out of date, even certain terms nowadays are considered insults or racists, but the story is much better structured than the first and also the characters are better developed. As said, it is not divided into parts like the first and therefore it’s more fluid in the narration and resolution of the case.


As said, I liked this book more than the first one, so if you read the first and stopped, continue because this is much better than “The Study in Red”. And yes I will continue with the series.

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5 coffees on “The Sign of the Four

  1. I admit I love Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, maybe because I first read them when I was younger. I did enjoy the first few seasons of Elementary too, but no, I tend to picture Jeremy Brett, which probably tells my age.

    1. :D :D :D

      Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, maybe I’m too old to appreciate Doyle now, just like I’m too old to appreciate Harry Potter… But I want to finish the series!

      Have a nice day!

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