The Valley of Fear
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

When I was 10 years old, my grandfather gave me the complete works of Doyle, so I grew up passionate about Sherlock Holmes. Through these books—The Valley of Fear is one of his lesser-known novels—I became hooked on narrative. And Doyle was spooky. He led me to the ghost stories of M.R. James, as well as the Brontës, Austen, Trollope, all the great Victorians. But I do remember Sherlock Holmes was my great comfort. I used to get tonsillitis until I had my tonsils taken out. After which, of course, I got bronchitis. I'd lie in bed with cream of celery soup in a can and read these stories.


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