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The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Sign of Four -  Arthur Conan Doyle

“No, no: I never guess. It is a shocking habit,—destructive to the logical faculty.


I chose this one for my read by flashlight/candlelight square for two reason: first, it is short, and second, there is something fitting about reading Sherlock Holmes by candlelight.


This was a reread. I've always preferred The Sign of the Four to A Study in Scarlet, although the latter does have that totally bizzarro digression into Mormon Country, which is always, well, weird. However, The Sign of the Four sends us to India and then to the Andaman Islands, where we meet four corrupt men and a couple of corrupt prison guards.


These Victorian novels are so problematically colonial in their perspective. The native people are always either howling savages ready to murder (as in this case) or noble savages ready to be tamed. It's pretty much ugh. But, if you can get past that, you get Watson. In love.


This one reminded me so much of Murder on the Links, where Hastings falls in love with Cinderella. Watson = Hastings. 


And then there's Holmes's opinion of the whole thing:


But love is an emotional thing, and whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold reason which I place above all things. I should never marry myself, lest I bias my judgment.”


Oh, Holmes. Lighten up.