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The Mystery of Cloomber

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Book Overview: 

The book is narrated by John Fothergill West, who tries to discover why the tenant of Cloomber Hall, General Heatherstone, is nervous to the point of being paranoid. Why are his fears becoming stronger every year at the fifth of October? And why doesn't he let his children leave home? This is a great mystery novel with a sharp twist at the end.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I only know that he imagines some deadly danger to be hanging over his head, and that this danger was incurred by him during his stay in India. What its nature may be I have no more idea than you have."

"Then your brother has," I remarked. "I am sure from the way in which he spoke to me about it one day that he knows what it is, and that he looks upon it as real."

"Yes, he knows, and so does my mother," she answered, "but they have always kept it secret from me. My poor father is very excited at present. Day and night he is in an agony of apprehension, but it will soon be the fifth of October, and after that he will be at peace."

"How do you know that?" I asked in surprise.

"By experience," she answered gravely. "On the fifth of October these fears of his come to a crisis. For years back he has been in the habit of locking Mordaunt and myself up in our rooms on that date, so that we have no idea what occurs, but we have always foun. . . Read More

Community Reviews

1.5* After reading "The White Company" (which I loved), I was more than ready to see what other gems ACD had up his sleeve. This was a mystery (I use that word loosely) more in the Wilkie Collins vein - that is, more spooky and spiritualist than whodunnit (WC fans are now booing, I know). Doyle i...more

Supernatural mystery with a Scottish flavour...more

I really enjoyed this book, though being one of Conan Doyle's earlier books it had a great deal of plot holes. Some of the plot holes - like unresolved mysteries or unidentified dramatic tension - took away from the plot, while some added an unintentional element of humor. For example, Conan Doyl...more

Apparently, this is Conan Doyle's "forgotten novel." I'm not exactly sure why, though... Personally, I found it to be as good as some of his popular works. The mystery aspect is quite engaging, although the book itself suffers from being over-written and probably would have worked better as anoth...more

Not as distinctive as the Sherlock Holmes stories, but roughly as entertaining, I think. The colonialist mindset is present in its depiction of the Indian characters and its muddling of various Eastern religions into one stew, but Doyle at least pushes back by making the actions of some of the Em...more

A well-told story, as are all of Sir Arthur's works, but this one lacked the humorous side, and had way too much serious occult influences for my taste. An old Major brings his family to the lonely wilds of Scotland to hide from a promised recompense for a 40 year old assault, and his two young a...more

In his first novel, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle shows the storytelling skills that would make the Holmes stories the classics that they became. In a lonely corner of England, two families come together. One is pursued by enemies unknown to everyone else. A fateful shipwreck just off the coast will bri...more

Suspenseful supernatural mystery that does not feature Sherlock Holmes. Centers around a mysterious reclusive family that moves into a remote village. Their tale reaches from the shores of Ireland to the mountains of Afghanistan. Very gothic, and very enjoyable.

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