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The Sherlockian Hardcover – December 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2010: The Sherlockian begins with Arthur Conan Doyle pondering the best way to kill off the character that brought him fame, fortune, and the angst of a writer desperate to be remembered for more than "a few morbid yarns." We then skip more than a hundred years into the future, to meet Harold White, a Sherlock Holmes devotee attending an annual celebration of hundreds of Sherlockian societies. When both Conan Doyle and White face grisly murders, Graham Moore's delightful debut novel really takes off, bouncing merrily between these two characters and time periods. Replete with winking cameos and Holmes-worthy twists, The Sherlockian is an inspired historical suspense novel that will captivate Holmes fans and anyone who loves a good twisty, clever mystery. --Daphne Durham

From Publishers Weekly

Moore's debut cleverly sets an accidental investigator on the track of an old document within the world of Sherlock Holmes buffs, though the results may please those with only a superficial knowledge of the great detective. In January 2010, Harold White, "a freelance literary researcher" who helps defend Hollywood studios against claims of copyright infringement, is inducted into the pre-eminent Sherlockian society, the Baker Street Irregulars, at their annual New York City dinner. During the festivities, scholar Alex Cale plans to present a long-lost diary penned by Arthur Conan Doyle that he's discovered, but someone strangles Cale before he can do so. Doyle's great-grandson hires White to solve the murder and trace the diary, which is missing from Cale's hotel room. Chapters alternate between White's amateur sleuthing in Europe and Doyle's own account of his search for a serial killer, aided by Dracula creator Bram Stoker. Admirers of similar efforts by Anthony Boucher, H. Paul Jeffers, and Arthur Lewis will find this falls short of their standard. (Dec.) (c)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve; First Edition edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446572594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446572590
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Graham Moore is a twenty-eight-year old graduate of Columbia University, where he received his degree in Religious History. He is from Chicago and lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Michael Birman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Graham Moore has written a novel that takes place in two different periods: the turn of the 20th century - which was the end of the Victorian era in England - and the increasingly muddled present. Loosely based on real events, this fascinating novel suggests that the era in which Sherlock Holmes and his creator flourished exists in a kind-of golden glow in our modern imagination. According to Moore the primal source of the mystery story is an innate need to know that lays deep within us all. And the protagonists in both eras actively involve themselves in two great mysteries. In 1900 Arthur Conan Doyle figuratively dons the mantle of his creation Sherlock Holmes. He is aided by his close friend Bram Stoker (the author of Dracula) who serves as a fiercely loyal stand-in for Watson. The two writers are thrust into a dangerous search for the murderer of several young women. It is nearly the end of Conan Doyle's self-imposed 7 year long hiatus from new Sherlock tales following the 'death' of Holmes at the hands of Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. It is also a period of political upheaval in which women are demanding the right to vote while men - and Conan Doyle is one of the most vocal opponents - seem solidly entrenched in opposition. The nascent modern era appears to have been crystallized in these events as the hideous murders that Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker pursue reveal several bitter surprises.

In 2010 a top Holmes scholar claims to have discovered Conan Doyle's long-sought diary covering those first few crucial months in 1900. The diary quickly disappeared after Conan Doyle's mysterious entries and remained lost for more than a century. Soon after the announcement of this critical discovery the scholar is found murdered.
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81 of 89 people found the following review helpful By sb-lynn TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Brief summary and review, no spoilers.

This story is told in alternating chapters, starting off in the 1883 as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is contemplating killing off his fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. The next chapter takes us to the present as we are introduced to Harold White, who has recently been invited to be a member of the prestigious Baker Street Irregulars. He is the youngest member, and he has earned his invitation by his extensive knowledge of all things regarding Holmes and by his having written an article in the Irregulars' quarterly publication called The Baker Street Journal. To say he is excited is an understatement.

As we go back and forth in time in these alternating chapters, we follow Arthur Conan Doyle (teamed up with his friend, Dracula author Bram Stoker) as they investigate a serial killer. We see how Doyle was castigated by Holmes fans for killing their hero, and we find out why years later, Doyle brings Holmes back to life in The Hound of the Baskervilles. We also find out why he wrote the diary which went missing for so many years.

In the chapters that take place in the present time, Harold White also becomes involved in the investigation of a murder of a member of the Baker Street Irregulars - one who purportedly had a long missing and much sought after diary from Arthur Conan Doyle. Along with his "Watson", a young woman named Sarah, we resolve the mystery and find out what happened to that diary.

If you are a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and you are are familiar with Doyle's stories and novels I think you will enjoy this book. I thought the alternating chapter technique was used effectively, and I liked that.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Dick Johnson VINE VOICE on November 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a very good first novel. I usually do not like a parallel story format. Here, Moore alternates chapters between the present day characters and the historical A. C. Doyle with a famous friend. Surprisingly, he pulled it off. I think the key was the length of the chapters, each ending with a bit of a cliffhanger that made it easy to slip back into each story line on return.

The Product Description (unfortunately we have to click on "See all Editorial Reviews" above and look for it) nicely summarizes the plot without spoiling any of the story. In the style of good mysteries, we have a murder or two or maybe some more. We also have a missing volume of Doyle's diary. Of course, all the normal phrases from Sherlock Holmes come to mind as you read through the book.

The primary success of the book is Moore's writing - it's very smooth and he doesn't try to get in the way of the story to show his ability. That, in itself, showed his ability. The characters, though, are unevenly developed. We have the very well drawn and the very stereotyped. But, that doesn't particularly affect the story. (Our hero provides us with some enjoyable moments and it seems this could be the first of a series.)

The story, though quite fun, is too predictable too often. That is not a fatal flaw, because (again) the uniqueness of the story and the writing ability make a few problems forgivable. Unfortunately, it does make for a weaker overall impression than I was hoping for. This is well worth the time and a good addition to a mystery library - and definitely a better than average first novel.
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