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The Sign of Four


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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh where he qualified as a doctor, but it was his writing which brought him fame, with the creation of Sherlock Holmes, the first scientific detective. He was also a convert to spiritualism and a social reformer who used his investigative skills to prove the innocence of individuals. Peter Ackroyd is a writer of novels including, 'Milton in America' and 'Hawksmoor', and of biographies of Chatterton, Dickens, William Blake and Thomas More.


This story contains all the prerequisites of a good mystery: a missing person, murder in a locked room, buried treasure, and an exciting chase. When Doyle added his already popular characters-Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson-listeners knew there was a great tale ahead. He also included historical elements, using the Indian Mutiny of 1857 as a backdrop for the story of the Great Agra Treasure. The author continued to flesh out the personality of Sherlock, little knowing that one day he would come to loathe this literary detective. Musical interludes help create the atmosphere that is an important part of Doyle's writing. David Timson seems attuned to the characters, and his narration seems better with each NAXOS presentation. Highly recommended for libraries with mystery and literature collections.-Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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