The Sign of the Four (1890)is the second novel featuring Sherlock Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle wrote four novels and 56 stories starring the fictional detective.
The story is set in 1887. The Sign of Four has a complex plot involving service in East India Company, India, the Indian Rebellion of 1857, a stolen treasure, and a secret pact among four convicts ("the Four" of the title) and two corrupt prison guards. It presents the detective's drug habit and humanizes him in a way that had not been done in A Study in Scarlet. It also introduces Doctor Watson's future wife, Mary Morstan.
The complete collection of the canon of Holmes include:
1. A Study in Scarlet (published 1887)
2. The Sign of the Four (published 1890)
3. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1891–1892 in The Strand)
4. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1892–1893 in The Strand as further episodes of the Adventures)
5. The Hound of the Baskervilles (serialised 1901–1902 in The Strand)
6. The Return of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1903–1904 in The Strand)
7. The Valley of Fear (serialised 1914–1915)
8. His Last Bow (contains stories published 1908–1913 and 1917)
9. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1921–1927)
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