The Valley of Fear


Basic Information

Abbreviation: VALL (J. F. Christ, 1947)
Word length: 57,881 (C. E. Lauterbach, 1960)
First published: Strand Magazine, September 1914 through May 1915; Associated Sunday Magazines, September 20 through November 22, 1914. First book edition: George H. Doran Co., 1915. First British edition: Smith, Elder & Co., 1915.

Redmond's Question

Part I: Does "the missing dumb-bell" rank with the dog who did nothing in the night-time for ingenuity, literary elegance, surprise and well-deserved fame? Is there something about negative capability (the absence of the dumb-bell, the silence of the dog) that makes a clue particularly characteristic of Sherlock Holmes?

Part II: The great Sherlockian Bliss Austin, who owned the manuscript of The Valley of Fear, once said that Arthur Conan Doyle had written 61, not 60, great detective stories,a nd that "The Scowrers" could stand by itself as one of the finest detective novels ever written. Was he right? And, if so, what does that say about the structural integrity of The Valley of Fear as a whole?