From Publishers Weekly
French literature professor and psychoanalyst Bayard (How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read
) returns to the close reading and iconoclastic analysis of classic detective fiction he did in Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?
with this audacious revisionist view of one of the best-known mysteries of all time. As always, Bayard playfully counters the ways literary academics read with the way real people read as he explains his theory of detective criticism. Arguing that Sherlock Holmes often drew false conclusions, Bayard picks apart the apparently airtight case Holmes assembled in The Hound of the Baskervilles
and offers an alternative solution. He goes a step further than with the Agatha Christie whodunit by suggesting that Holmes erred in his identification not only of the murderer but of the murder victim. Readers may be more impressed with Bayard's cleverness than his tongue-in-cheek arguments, but his logic will lead many to hope that his opinion on who really killed Hamlet's father (in Enquête sur Hamlet
) will be translated into English as well. (Nov.)
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"With wit and careful analysis, Bayard makes a convincing case." ---Los Angeles Times
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