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An Opened Grave: Sherlock Holmes Investigates His Ultimate Case Paperback – September 25, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: The Salt Works (September 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934080004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934080009
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,444,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An Opened Grave is unusually well done. Mr. James captures the Doyle-Watson style acceptably. More importantly he achieves the considerable feat of treating a serious subject -- the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ -- seriously within a story that's both thrilling and funny. There's excitement in plenty, and the reasoned arguments for and against the Christian faith are thoroughly stimulating. Like GK Chesterton and CS Lewis, Mr James is a fine storyteller and a notable Christian apologist." --Roger Johnson, Editor, The District Messenger, The Sherlock Holmes Society of London.



"James has captured the classical writing style of the great Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and An Opened Grave is certain to touch the hearts of his Christian audience in a very special way. While An Opened Grave is entertaining, the book's debates are what will stay with his readers long after they have put the book down."
--Reviewed by Marjorie Smith, Novel Reviews



"L. Frank James’ plot is exciting and thought-provoking, bringing up a sound argument for the validity of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, while framing everything in a entertaining story with some of the most beloved characters in detective fiction. He remains true to the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as Conan Doyle established them."

He takes the story through some interesting and surprising twists while still being able to maintain a clear path of reasoning. His style flows well and is easy to follow, even through the intense parts of the plot. He succeeds as he tries to mimic the narrative style that Doyle established when writing from Watson’s perspective. The Christian elements of the book are sound, non-doctrinal, and they aid the plot without sounding preachy."

An Open Grave would be best recommended for fans of the Sherlock Holmes tales or for those who are fond of detective and mystery stories." -- Jessica Becker, Christian Book Previews.com

Review

A wonderful combination of language, mystery, theatre, and apologetics. It’s witty, pithy, earnest, creative, and God-seeking. Reminiscent of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown Mysteries. A brilliant weaving of good detective fiction with profound issues of faith. A great accomplishment!”— John Eldredge, best-selling author of Captivating and Wild at Heart

“Frank James is one of the most creative and engaging writers I have ever met. His latest novel pulls you right into the greatest story of all time.”—Hugh Ross, author of numerous books and President of Reasons to Believe

BEST BOOKS OF 2006, USA Book News, Winner for Religious Fiction

Customer Reviews

Bad writing, cliched, boring.
I. Zawilski
Unfortunately, the arguments -- on both sides -- are rather simplistic.
avoraciousreader
Congratulations, Mr. James, write some more books like this one.
Sports Book Fanatic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Novel Reviews on November 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
James has captured the classical writing style of the great Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and An Opened Grave is certain to touch the hearts of his Christian audience in a very special way.

Die-hard mystery fans may be initially disappointed when the famous duo finds a time-machine which enables them to experience the time of Christ firsthand. However, James has used the unlikely scenario as an artful vehicle and unique platform on which to base the logical debates between Watson and Holmes as they experience beliefs and miracles in modern England and the ancient Middle East. James' ability to present both sides of each debate is admirable.

While An Opened Grave is entertaining, the book's debates are what will stay with his readers long after they have put the book down.

Reviewed by Marjorie Smith
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Raven on January 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. James manages to take a religious question and make a very good Sherlock Holmes mystery from it, while retaining the original question, and leaving it up to the reader to decide whether or not Holmes has proved his case. Holmes is a driven man in this book, he must know if the story of Christ rising from the dead is true or false. With the help of The Time Traveler's time machine (from H.G. Wells), Holmes and Watson travel into the past. Beset by scheming Druids and ruthless Roman Soldiers, they find themselves in Jerusalem on the day of Christ's crucifixion. Holmes must get Watson free of prison, then examine the tomb from which Christ has already risen. They witness the angels tell the women that Christ has risen. They see the risen Jesus. Holmes is convinced, Watson less so. The argument for both sides is presented cleverly. Whatever you may believe, this book is a treasure not to be easily overlooked. Quoth the Raven...
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Reading Fan on June 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was an entertaining lark that takes the great detective Sherlock Holmes and his worthy assistant Dr. Watson back in time to witness the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. Sherlock wants to discover if the roots of Christianity are real or conjured up by the zealots of Christ's day. Of course, it will come as no surprise that the foundation of Christianity is found to stand the scrutiny of the world's greatest detective. In the process, we learn some good, basic apologetics about the veracity of Christianity's claims, very reminiscent of Josh McDowell's 'Evidence That Demands a Verdict'.

You need not worry that this is a heavy-handed book on theology, however. There is a story to tell of how Sherlock and Watson manage to get transported back in time, how they manage to survive once they get there (barely!), and how they get back without damaging the space-time continuum too much. I liked the interplay between Holms and Watson, the villians, and even the character of Jesus Himself. There was lots of mystery and humor to spice up the tale. It was, of course, written in the syle of Sir Author Conan Doyle.

It was a fun story and I felt a little better off for having read it.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sports Book Fanatic on March 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
I ran across a review for this book that I think says it all. It is penned by Roger Johnson, editor of the District Messenger, the news and reviews publication of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. In it he states, "An Opened Grave is unusually well done. Mr. James captures the Doyle-Watson style acceptably. More importantly he achieves the considerable feat of treating a serious subject -- the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ -- seriously within a story that's both thrilling and funny. There's excitement in plenty, and the reasoned arguments for and against the Christian faith are thoroughly stimulating. Like GK Chesterton and CS Lewis, Mr James is a fine storyteller and a notable Christian apologist."

We have given this book to several agnostic friends and family members who love to read fiction. The fictional device is excellently handled by Frank James in communicating the gospel. It deals honestly with the arguments against belief and delivers the redemptive message in an inviting way. I read another review on this book that stated that it is really two books in one---both fiction and non-fiction, because is investigates the resurrection of Jesus so well.

Congratulations, Mr. James, write some more books like this one.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Fred R. Eichelman on December 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a Sherlockian I ordered this book not knowing what I would be in for. As a Christian I was delighted to find that "An Opened Grave: Sherlock Holmes Investigates His Ultimate Case", by L. Frank James, was a book in which the great detective investigates the reality of Jesus Christ and the salvation he offers to all of us.

It may seem like an unlikely plot for a story about Holmes, however the style leaves both Holmes and Watson as pure as any purist would want them to be. Holmes has an experience that causes him to feel duty bound to investigate whether there was a Jesus Christ who rose from the dead and is the Son of God. So Holmes takes an unwilling Watson to the past. The only weak part was the time machine bit, but this was a necessity for the great detective to be able to investigate the crucifiction and resurrection first hand. (The time machine seems similar to the one H.G. Wells designed for his time travel novel.)

What makes the story strong is the discourse between Holmes, who uses logic and his brilliant powers of deduction, and Watson, who uses every argument we have heard in the past by agnostics, atheists and new agers.

When you have Sherlock Holmes on the job you may be sure that no stone is left unturned to determine the truth about Christ.

For those who want pure action and adventure there is plenty of that with villains of every description and Holmes and Watson have to struggle many times for their own survival.

Now the problem is I may have to purchase a second book. I can't decide whether this belongs in my Sherlock Holmes or my Christian book collection. I do know I will encourage others to read it, especially those who might doubt the truth about our Lord.
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