In December 1893, Sherlock Holmes-adoring Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines, anticipating the detective's next adventure, only to find the unthinkable: his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning -- crowds sported black armbands in grief -- and railed against Conan Doyle as his assassin.
Then in 1901, just as abruptly as Conan Doyle had "murdered" Holmes in "The Final Problem," he resurrected him. Though the writer kept detailed diaries of his days and work, Conan Doyle never explained this sudden change of heart. After his death, one of his journals from the interim period was discovered to be missing, and in the decades since, has never been found.
Or has it?
When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he's about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: the missing diary. But when the world's leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold - using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories - who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer. (taken from Goodreads)
Title: The Sherlockian, Author: Graham Moore, ISBN: 978-0-446-57259-0, Publisher: 12 Books an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, Trade Paperback, $24.99, Published in 2010, How I Read It: Won book from giveaway, Rating: 4 Crowns
In Victorian London…
After killing off Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle still finds that he is living in the shadow his literary creation. When Arthur finds himself the recipient of a letter bomb, he sets out to discover the sender not realizing that it would lead him to the heart of a double—soon to be triple—murder. With the help of his friend, Bram Stoker, Arthur embarks on a mission to find the killer that ultimately leaves him forever tainted.
In present day…
Alex Cale, the most accomplished Sherlockian, has been strangled in his hotel room during a meeting of the Baker Street Irregulars and the missing diary of Arthur Conan Doyle, that Cale claimed to have discovered, is nowhere to be found. When Harold, a newly inducted member of the Irregulars, deduces that Cale left a trail of Sherlockian clues that will lead him to both the diary and his murder, Harold finds that the clues are impossible to resist. Now, with the help of Sarah, a mysterious freelance journalist, he finds himself on a journey that will reveal much more than either of them realized.
Switching from the past to the present, The Sherlockian provides two separate mysterious that ultimately intertwine. Normally when a book is set both in the past and present, I find that I am drawn more to the story of the past, although with this book I found that it was balanced so well that I enjoyed both the past and present equally. The characters in the past as well as the present were well rounded and equally well crafted, as was the storylines.
Although the story was fictional, it was inspired by true events. And the blending and reshaping of fact and fiction was seamlessly done. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I found that some of the events were a bit rushed and few others that seemed less important to the plot drone on. I also wished that some of the points hadn’t been so obvious, although I am fairly that they were only blatantly obvious to me because of the amount of Celtic lore that I had studied.
While it was lengthy, I felt that a few more chapters could have been added and a few more points clarified a bit more. Overall, I loved this book and devoured it in a matter of days. It was a brilliant ode to both Arthur Conan Doyle and his deductive detective, Sherlock Holmes.
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