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Mystery Reading Group

Event Type: Book Discussion
Age Group(s): Adults
Date: 4/8/2019
Start Time: 6:30 PM
End Time: 8:00 PM
 Do you enjoy reading "who-done-its" whether they are courtroom thrillers or cozies? Want to discuss these books with other mystery lovers & discover new authors? Join the Mystery Reading Group. This month: Sherlock Holmes Duo- A Study in Scarlet & The Sign of Four

Funded by the Fountain Hills Friends of the Library.
Library: Fountain Hills Branch    Library location
Location: Conference Room
Other Information:
 Discussion Questions for "A Study in Scarlet"
1. Before Arthur Conan Doyle created Holmes, there were few detective stories for Conan Doyle to use as a sort of template. Do you believe Conan Doyle was basing Holmes on a doctor or medical student instead? Why does Conan Doyle intentionally mention Poe and Gaboriau’s detectives? Is he poking fun at himself or setting himself apart from his competition?

2. Upon meeting Watson, Holmes immediately says “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.” Yet, Holmes does not indulge Watson with an explanation of his deduction until later. Why did Conan Doyle wait to insert the explanation until later in the book? Does it help or hurt the book?

3. What does Part II, “The Country of the Saints,” tell us about Conan Doyle’s view of religion? Do you believe Conan Doyle believed in the occult or spiritualism? If so, then how do you reconcile the fact he created a character who’s sole motivation is reason and science?

4. Do you like the American flashback? Why do you think Conan Doyle used this scene in the book knowing so little about the Mormon religion and the general geography of the American mid-West?

5. London had recently survived the Jack the Ripper attacks when Conan Doyle wrote this story. Do you think the Holmes stories became so popular as a direct result of the chilling crimes?

6. Traditional detective stories present the “facts” to the reader and let he or she work out the crime. Why do you think Conan Doyle rejected this formula? Why is Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories so popular if they are a direct contradiction of the traditional detective genre?

Discussion Questions for "The Sign of Four"
1. How is the theme of home and abroad explored in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four?

2.How does Doyle present other nationalities and cultures? Examine the text in both a modern lens and through the eyes of the period of origin.

3. How does Arthur Conan Doyle present Watson and Holmes as very different people? How is their relationship portrayed?

4. What is Watson's relationship like with other character's in the novella? How does he change through the book?

5. How does Doyle present Thaddeus Sholto? It's said he and his home are allegories for 19th century Britain itself. Would you agree? What can we learn from Doyle's presentation?

6. How does Doyle build tension?

7. How is the relationship between Dr. Watson and Mary Morstan developed and portrayed?