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Book reviews for "Edwards,_Owen_Dudley" sorted by average review score:

Wooden Jewelry and Novelties (Schiffer Book for Collectors)
Published in Paperback by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. (1998)
Author: Mary Jo Izard
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I loved reading the book so much, I keep reading it over and over again.

Funny and vivid
It is surprising how funny Conan Doyle could be sometimes. Brigadier Gerard is a wonderfully conceited, rather dim-witted but brave and generous-hearted cavalry officer in Napoleon's Army. His adventures are a delight to read.

The Valley of Fear (The Oxford Sherlock Holmes)
Published in Hardcover by Oxford University Press (1993)
Authors: Arthur Conan, Sir Doyle and Owen Dudley Edwards
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'The Valley of Fear'. A real page turner but what makes it most memorable for me is not that Holmes is at his best, but Conan Doyle is. After reading this book I recommend you to read this book because it was a suspense story. The whole story moves around Mcginty who was a big criminal in the valley of vermisa also called the valley of fear. There was only one person who could face to that criminal and his name was Jack McMurdo. He behaved as a gangster and he had taken many risks in his life and he was not afraid to take more risks. Don't miss 'The Valley of Fear'. It's terrifying, exciting, and best of all, real.

The Best of the Best
I have read all of the Holmes tales many times, and I think this one reigns supreme. I believe that was also Doyle's opinion. It is the finest detective story I have ever read, masterfully composed. The Vermissa Valley section builds to the most shocking moment I've ever experienced in literature.

Just Couldn't Put It Down....
Not being a Sherlock Holmes fan, I came by the "The Valley of Fear" through a somewhat less traditional route. I was familiar with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, "The White Company", "Sir Nigel" and "The Adventures of Gerard", but for some inexplicable reason his wonderful mysteries escaped my earlier readings. I aim to remedy the deficiency. For now, this is my first Sherlock Holmes book, and I just couldn't put it down.

Who can really add to all that has been written over the years about this classic? The reader cannot help but be struck with Doyle's writing style. Its economy is a marvel. It is crisp and crackling, not to mention spellbinding. Even a straightforward introduction is masterly handled. Here, for example, is Watson telling us about the crime scene we are about to enter: "....I will.... describe events which occurred before we arrived on the scene by the light of knowledge which came to us afterwards."

Of course Doyle can establish a new scene with the same economy, but turn up the atmospheric temperature a good deal higher. He begins his retrospective "Scowrers" section in the snowbound Gilmerton Mountains, where a single track railroad leads us through a "long, winding tortuous valley," which is part of the "gloomy land of black crag and tangled forest."

This book is really two books woven together by the mysterious history of the central crime victim. The first is set in England, the second in the United States. Keep a sharp ear out for Doyle's deft handling of the King's English and then its transformation into the 19th Century Americanized version. The King's English is all about civility and civilization. In the American tongue, Doyle takes us to the fringes of civilization, to a Western mining town, where cruelty -- not civility -- is the order of the day.

I suppose one could argue that Holmes' deductive reasoning is the ultimate bulwark against chaos and violence. Perhaps for another Sherlock Holmes book. But I can't help but cite one example of Watson's obvious English sense of what is proper. Holmes' companion/narrator takes a stroll in an old-world garden surrounded by ancient yew trees, where he accidentally overhears the murder victim's wife laughing. Worse, she is laughing with her just murdered husband's faithful male companion. As Watson the narrator puts it, "I bowed with a coldness which showed, I dare say, very plainly the impression which had been produced upon my mind......I greeted the lady with reserve. I had grieved with her grief in the dining room. Now I met her appealing gaze with an unresponsive eye." Good ol' Watson!

May I suggest to the reader that, after this classic, you turn to R.L. Stevenson's, "The Master of Ballantrae"? Stevenson's masterpiece also jumps from the old world to the new, and like "The Valley of Fear" the new world for Stevenson also represents murder and mayhem. Something to ponder from these two great Scottish novelists.

A Study in Scarlet
Published in Paperback by Oxford University Press (2000)
Authors: Arthur Conan, Sir Doyle, Owen Edwards, and Dudley Edwards
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Introducing ... Sherlock Holmes!
A Study in Scarlet is a good detective story, but certainly not Doyle's greatest. But it bears the distinction of being the novel which introduced the world to the legendary Sherlock Holmes. First appearing in 1887, it was not to be the greatest story about Sherlock Holmes, but it was the first. Doyle first introduces us to John H. Watson, a medical doctor recovering from duty in Afghanistan. Watson needs a room-mate, and a mutual acquaintance introduces both him and us to Holmes. So we come to know both Holmes, Watson, and the memorable 221B Baker Street.

Watson's first impressions of Holmes are merely that he is a man enshrouded in mystery and eccentricity, and Watson politely restrains his curiosity by avoiding asking too many intrusive questions, despite the parade of strange individuals that come to their apartment to consult Holmes, and despite his bemusement at Holmes' passion for playing the violin and his egotism. Watson's perplexation at Holmes' character and profession is slowly unravelled in the second chapter which Doyle appropriately titles 'The Science of Deduction'. Watson observes that 'his zeal for certain studies was remarkable, and within eccentric limits his knowledge was so extraordinarily ample and minute that his observations have fairly astounded me 'His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing ' That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to me to be such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.'(p11). Holmes apparently is brilliant at identifying a stain on your trousers, but completely ignorant about the most elementary contemporary political events.

Ironically, Watson's inability to deduce Holmes' profession proves that he lacks the very ability that he is seeking to uncover in Holmes: deduction. For Holmes doesn't just excel in specialized knowledge, but especially in the science of deduction and logic. By utilizing the skills of observation and analysis Holmes asserts that logic could solve all virtually all problems. In his words: 'From a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. So all life is a great chain, the nature of which is known whenever we are shown a single link of it. Like all other arts, the Science of Deduction and Analysis is one which can only be acquired by long and patient study, nor is life long enough to allow any mortal to attain the highest possible perfection in it. Before turning to those moral and mental aspects of the matter which present the greatest difficulties, let the inquirer begin by mastering more elementary problems. Let him, on meeting a fellow-mortal, learn at a glance to distinguish the history of the man, and the trade or profession to which he belongs. Puerile as such an exercise may seem, it sharpens the faculties of observation, and teaches on where to look and what to look for. By a mans' finger-nails, by his coat-sleeve, by his boots, by his trouser-knees, by the callosities of his forefinger and thumb, by his expression, by his shirtcuffs ' by each of these things a man's calling is plainly revealed. That all united should fail to enlighten the competent inquirer in any case is almost inconceivable.' (p14-15). Watson calls this science of deduction 'ineffable twaddle', but as we know, this is the vintage Holmes we love and the very core of his being. Not only does he prove it to Watson by remarkably deducing that Watson had served duty in Afghanistan, but by collaring the criminal in a murder case.

The story itself consists in two parts: the first part introduces us to Holmes and Watson, and describes the murder of Enoch Drebber and his secretary Joseph Stangerson, and several failed attempts of Scotland Yard detectives to solve it, concluding with Holmes unmasking the real perpetrator, to the complete astonishment of all present. The second part is a flashback, explaining the background and motives for the murder, as finally Holmes relates the observations and deductions that led him to solving it. In short, 'the crime was the result of an old-standing and romantic feud, in which love and Mormonism bore a part.' (p103)

But what is fascinating about 'A Study in Scarlet' is not so much the mystery, but the man: Holmes himself. Doyle would later learn to eliminate some of the excess baggage present in this story (such as the extended flashback) and focus on Holmes and his deductions. The characterization of Holmes as an eccentric man driven by logic is wonderfully created for the first time in this novel. Already here is the foundation of the Sherlock Holmes that would become so successful in all of Doyle's later stories. A few quotes illustrate how the tone of the deductive Holmes is set: 'In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much.' (p99-100) 'There is no branch of detective science which is so important and so much neglected as the art of tracing footsteps.' (p100) 'You see, the whole thing is a chain of logical sequences without a break or flaw.' (p102)

Here the successful formula is already established: Scotland Yard is baffled, so is his foil the bumbling doctor Watson, and so are we the readers. Holmes has long solved the mystery before we have even begun identifying red herrings, and it is when he sits by the fire and explains to Watson the process of deduction that we curl up in delight. The partnership between the super-sleuth Holmes and his beloved side-kick Watson all starts here, and if you love Sherlock Holmes, you won't want to miss it!

Holmes and Watson -- The Adventure Begins
Dr. John Watson, invalided out of the army because of wounds sustained in Afghanistan, is looking for a roommate. He finds one in the person of Sherlock Holmes, a rather odd individual who displays astounding depth of knowledge in some areas and abysmal ignorance in others. Despite (or perhaps because of) his uneven education, Holmes displays acute powers of observation and deduction. Watson also finds Holmes to be a talented boxer, fencer, and violinist who conducts noxious chemistry experiments and entertains strange guests. Watson is mystified, but being too polite to ask blunt questions, he unsuccessfully tries to deduce what the devil his new friend is up to.

All becomes clear when Watson is called on to assist Holmes as he solves a murder mystery which completely baffles Scotland Yard. The story moves quickly to the inevitable capture of the "bad guy," and then through a lengthy flashback sequence we discover the "bad guy's" motive. Next we return to the "present," where the story draws to its satisfying conclusion.

Thus begins a crimefighting partnership that Conan Doyle took through four novels and fifty six short stories. And long after Conan Doyle put down his pen forever, the parternship continues to thrive in countless theatrical performances, radio plays, movies, and literary pastiches.

Holmes Meets Watson!
This is where it all began, the very first Sherlock Holmes story. If you want to read all 60 Holmes adventures in chronological order (as you should) then by all means make this the first Holmes book that you ever read. They are all literary masterpieces, and this was the first one! Out of the 4 Holmes novels, I would rank this third, behind the Valley of Fear and the Hound of the Baskervilles. I will spare you the plot details, you can do that elsewhere. Just get and read this book and it will start you on a fascinating and extremely entertaining journey through Conan Doyle's world of Sherlock Holmes, one of the most widely recognized, and best, figures in all of literature.

His Last Bow: Some Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes (The Oxford Sherlock Holmes)
Published in Hardcover by Oxford University Press (1993)
Authors: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Owen Dudley Edwards
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Master of deduction and analysis
This is a collection of eight short stories, first published in October 1917, narrating some of the adventures of detective Sherlock Holmes, the last one entitled "His Last Bow." Sherlock Holmes is amongst the most famous characters ever created in literature, his popularity overshadowing his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to the point that some people are under the impression that Sherlock Holmes in fact existed. The inspiration came from Dr. Joseph Bell, a friend and tutor to Conan Doyle and who shared many personality features with the famous detective.
The author had Sherlock Holmes killed but public demand was so high for further adventures that we find him back in action. Determined to have a permanent retirement, Sherlock Holmes moves into a small farm and dedicates himself to other matters, refusing to offer his intellectual ability to the government. With World War I approaching he backs up on this determination and his return into action is narrated in "His Last Bow." The cases range from theft, burglary, kidnapping, to murder, and in all of the them Sherlock Holmes is a master in the science of deduction and analysis.
By those considered expert "Sherlockians," this is not Holmes at his best and certainly not as good as his masterpiece "The Hound of the Baskervilles."

Last chance to enjoy Holmes
After being killed in an adventure, Holmes suddenly reappears. Of course, the first thing he does is to tell how he came back alive. And then new, last stories, come up. The edition I read includes "The valley of terror", a convoluted and terrifying story in which Holmes participates indirectly. One can not go wrong with Holmes. Inevitably, the quality of the stories is varied, but they are always fun to read. Doyle is indeed a great writer, who must be counted among the best writers, right there with the big language-innovators and "serious" literates.

One of The Best
All the Sherlock Holmes short stories collections are 5 star efforts, of course, but this one has some of my absolute favorites in it. Sure, they aren't as well known as those in "The Adventures" or "The Hound..." novel, but they are great nonetheless. Particularly of interest are "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge" and "The Adventure of the Dying Detective", a very suspenseful story indeed! These are must read Holmes tales.

1916: the Easter Rising
Published in Unknown Binding by MacGibbon & Kee ()
Author: Owen Dudley Edwards
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America and Ireland, 1776-1976 : The American Identity and the Irish Connection
Published in Hardcover by Greenwood Publishing Group (1980)
Authors: David Noel Doyle and Owen Dudley Edwards
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British Children's Literature and the Second World War
Published in Paperback by Edinburgh Univ Press (15 August, 2003)
Author: Owen Dudley Edwards
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Magnetic Service: The Secrets of Creating Passionately Devoted Customers
Published in Hardcover by Berrett-Koehler Pub (2003)
Authors: Chip R. Bell and Bilijack R. Bell
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Atlas of Normal Roentgen Variants That May Simulate Disease
Published in Hardcover by Mosby (2001)
Authors: Theodore E., Md Keats and Mark W., MD Anderson
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City of a Thousand Worlds: Edinburgh in Festival
Published in Hardcover by Trafalgar Square (1992)
Author: Owen Dudley Edwards
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