The Sign of the Four
Doyle's second novel featuring Sherlock Holmes.
The story is set in 1888. It has a complex plot involving service in the East India Company, India, the Indian Rebellion of 1857, a stolen treasure, and a secret pact among four convicts ("the Four" of the title) and two corrupt prison guards. It presents the detective's drug habit and humanizes him in a way that had not been done in the preceding novel A Study in Scarlet (1887). It also introduces Doctor Watson's future wife, Mary Morstan.
When an Englishwoman receives mysterious gifts of pearls and a letter promising to right wrongs done to her, she calls upon Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to investigate. Of all Sherlock Holmes stories, I personally think this is the most scariest and horrifying tale. Believe me, when I first read this novel it gripped me to read the whole story non-stop without letting me put it down. And all the time, throughout the story, it had been sending a chill and wave of horror along my spine. A young lady, Miss Mary Morstan, comes to consult Holmes upon a case which she thinks very unusual. Then ... This story shares a part in Indian historical backdrop, Sepoy mutiny 1857, Cellular jail in Andaman Island, and so on; having presented lots of exotic feeling of east Indian mysteries and adventure. Dr. Watson, the chronicler of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, found his beloved one. So this story has also a romantic touch, though has always been overshadowed by the thrill.--Submitted by Kris Das
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