Feb 3, 2012

How 'Bout Them Reads: The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes #2)

I want to first start this by saying that I decided to up my 2012 Reading Challenge. Instead of 35 books, my goal is 52 books this year. Technically that is a book a week, but we are into the fifth week of the year and this is my tenth finished book. So I decided that I want to aim for 52 books. Granted I'm ahead of my book a week goal but it's still the basic idea. I figure while I have time to really devote to reading (before kids) I want to try to hit my 52 books this year, which also is on my life list.

So that being said, The Sign of the Four is my tenth finished book in 2012. And another Sherlock Holmes, and of course another book that I have enjoyed.

via
Sherlock is addicted to drugs: morphine and cocaine. Did you know that? I sure didn't before this book. Watson hates watching him do that to himself and finally decides to say something about it, only to have Sherlock respond that he has to do something for this brain when he doesn't have a case. He needs a way to stimulate his mind. And this is the state we find Sherlock and Watson in at the beginning of the book.

But then Mary Morstan shows up at their door needing help. She explained that her father disappeared ten years ago and six years ago, she saw an ad in the newspaper asking where she lived. She responded and from then on she received pearls in the mail each year. And recently she received a note stating to go to the Lyceum Theatre and that she may bring two friends if she desired. But that the purpose of this meeting was to give her peace of mind and give her what is hers. She goes to Sherlock in hopes that him and Watson would go with her and discover what happened to her father and what this meeting is about.

They are met and taken to meet Sholto who tells them a story about his father, who knew Mary's father. Her father died in an argument with his own father and his body was hidden, not wanting to be discovered by anyone. All of this was about a treasure. A treasure that they found while they were in India. For years, the man's father kept the Morstan's half of the treasure for himself. But on his deathbed, he decided to come clean with his sons and told them everything about the treasure and Mary's father. And just as he was going to reveal the location of the hidden treasure, he saw a man in the window and died before he could tell them. One of the sons continued living in the house and searched the house endlessly and finally discovered the location.

It was then that Mary was contacted, so that she might get the part of the treasure that belonged to her father and now to her. When Sholto took Sherlock, Watson, and Mary to the house, they discovered things were amiss. The Sholto's brother was dead. He was locked inside his room, the treasure was missing and he was dead by poison, with a note translated to "The Sign of the Four."

Even though the police are sure they have the right people responsible for this, Sherlock and Watson begin looking into the disappearance of the treasure and mysterious death of the man. Sherlock narrows his search down to one man, Smith, and after a boat chase, they are able to catch Smith . The whole story comes out from him about how he was the one who experienced the injustice and how he had nothing to do with the death of Sholto's brother and was grieved to see it done.

After all was said and done, Watson reveals that he will be marrying Mary. And although, Sherlock disapproved of marriage, he was okay because he still had his cocaine.

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Even after knowing how easy the first book was to read, it still surprised me that this one was so easy. Sherlock is definitely not written how he is depicted in the most recent Sherlock Holmes movies. To a point he is, but I find him to be a very different character. But isn't that how things go? Peter Pan was a brat in the books, but in the movie he was a lovable and kind. Just an example. Things do get changed around for movies, which is why I continue to say that you always always have to read the books. Sometimes it's a whole different world from the book to the movie.

I do find the relationship between Sherlock and Watson to be interesting. No matter if the books or movies, it's just an interesting dramatic. They are two men that are so different, but somehow it works and they are able to have a friendship from that.

If you have never read the Sherlock Holmes books, I know I only just finished the second, I still highly recommend it. They are easier than you might initially think considering when they were written. They are enjoyable and just entertaining.

10/52

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