The Sign of Four -  Arthur Conan Doyle _The Sign of the Four_ isn't a bad mystery, but I didn't quite like it as much as _A Study in Scarlet_ or most of the stories in _The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes_. I'm starting to think, however, that these stories aren't always of interest because of the mystery itself (though sometimes they certainly are), but more because of the revelations they disclose about the character of Sherlock Holmes himself. Did you know that he had fought a prize fighter and won? I didn't before, but now I do. We also get to see first hand what happens to Holmes when he has no work of sufficient interest to tax his incredible mind and he slumps into malaise and cocaine use to take the edge off.

This is also an important story for the genial Dr. Watson as he meets and falls in love with his future wife, Mary Morston. Good thing it turns out she was a client of Holmes' in these early days of their acquaintance since it helps to explain why she lets her husband go gallivanting around London with him all the time with nary a complaint. She owes him.

The central mystery revolves around a lost treasure and a missing soldier (Mary's father) who disappeared mysteriously years before. A man murdered in a locked room proves to pose a problem for the police, but not for Holmes of course. Along the way Watson discovers love and Holmes once again helps the police solve a mystery for which he receives no credit. As I said, not a bad story, but not one of my favourites thus far.