Greetings, plans, and the cure for the common cold.

Hi and welcome to the Leeds Valley of Fear Reading Group blog. In honour of it being a hundred years since the serialisation of The Valley of Fear, the final Sherlock Holmes novel by Arthur Conan Doyle, Blackwell’s Bookshop and the Leeds Humanities Research Institute are hosting a serial reading group to discuss the adventures of the Great Detective. Our aim is to simulate the serialised reading experience of the original audience by reading the story in installments over two weeks. Members of the group will have a chapter a day emailed to them, and we will meet weekly to discuss the unfolding tale.

The group will meet at Blackwell’s Bookshop, 21 Blenheim Terrace, Leeds, at 6pm on the 5th, 12th and 19th of October. Places are limited, so please register for your free ticket here.

Sherlock Holmes is as popular now as he ever was. By the time of publication of The Valley of Fear, Conan Doyle’s detective had so impressed Robert Louis Stevenson that he pronounced the stories:

‘the class of literature that I like when I have the toothache. As a matter of fact, it was pleurisy I was enjoying when I took the volume up; and it will interest you […] to know that the cure was for the moment effectual.’

So, whether or not you have a toothache, do join us for fourteen chapters and three interesting evenings of lively discussion, suitable for both the seasoned Holmes aficionado and those new to his adventures.

For those unable to attend the reading group itself, do register your interest by emailing You will be sent the relevant chapters each day, and can join in the discussion here on the blog. Only one chapter a day mind, and no spoilers!

You can also Tweet along using #valleyoffear2015. I suspect Sherlock Holmes would approve of tweets; they are a bit like telegrams, only with more pictures of cats


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