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The Surrogate Assassin Hardcover – August, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Sherlock Holmes Mysteries (Breese)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Write Way Publishing; First Edition edition (August 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885173547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885173546
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,820,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Christopher Leppek has transplanted the great British detective to American soil to explore one of America's greatest crimes, the assassination of Lincoln. His attention to the facts in the true crime only make this story more appealing. He has played fairly with the reader by offering his fictional alternative explanation, to the point where I momentarily considered John Wilkes Booth in an entirely new light.
Leppek captures the rhythms of Arthur Conan Doyle admirably. Holmes's American fans (and fans of the number of Holmes knock-offs this century) should love this story. And before it is classified as merely a mindless mystery entertainment, it should be appreciated for its expertly handled message (properly posed by a contemporary journalist): History is not always what it seems.
Good work, Chris. "The Surrogate Assassin" gave me several hours of pleasureable and challenging reading.
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By A Customer on November 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is less an adventure of Sherlock Holmes than it is a re-examination of the Lincoln assassination and the role of John Wilkes Booth. The author uses Holmes (and utilises every horrid, tired cliche' in doing so) as a vehicle to put forth his own theory regarding the assassination. There are significant flaws in the reasoning he forces through Holmes to reach his conclusion (for instance, there is a key error of fact which no educated Englishman, particularly Holmes, could possibly have made). Overall, though, the writer does an admirable job of breathing life into this period of American history. The historic people and places who hitherto have been mere names are vividly drawn and can be clearly seen and heard by the reader. Although I won't give it a place of honour on my shelf of Holmes pastiches, it is still worth reading for entertainment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best latter-day Sherlockian works I've read--and I've read a lot of them. The author does a masterful job of portraying the Holmes and Watson we've grown to love, while placing them into a completely alien environment--the United States. Many have tried this and failed, but Christopher Leppek does a near-perfect job. The plot is appropriately dramatic and, while historically unlikely, it's skillfully constructed and has a definite ring of authenticity. It's pure fiction, of course, but a good author can persuade his reader not to care-- and I found Mr. Leppeck to be a very good author.
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Format: Hardcover
This has to be one of the best Holmes pastiches ever to come along. Leppek obviously knows his history, has a passion for it, and has woven it in brilliantly with what Conan Doyle revealed about Holmes' background. His characters, both Holmes and Watson, and the people introduced in this book, are solid and well-defined, and his grasp of history and ability to communicate it to his readers is simply incredible. My only problem with this book lies in some minor inconsistencies in the beginning chapters--first, Watson seems to know very little about Holmes (this is set shortly after A Study in Scarlet), then they appear to have a long history together: Holmes is presented as just starting out as a consulting detective, then suddenly he seems to be well-known by complete strangers in America. This is only mildly distracting, however, and in no way diminishes the impact of the book as a whole. All in all, a wonderful debut!
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Format: Hardcover
Skip the intro with the usual lost manuscript bumpf and dive into what must rank as the best Holmes pastiche of recent years. Leppek presents his readers with an intricately plotted and well researched story. More importantly <g> he recreates the authentic feel of the characters. The dialogue between Holmes and Watson rings true, a rare feat in the world of the Holmes pastiche. Finally a Holmes in America novel with all the right elements! Read on...
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Format: Hardcover
I started this book with the knowledge that Holmes pastiches are often less than satisfying. I was pleasantly surprised by the plot and the faithfulness of the author to the characters of Holmes and Watson. Watson's style is close, but only close. From time to time, little anachronisms of speech slip in, and spoil the mood for the attentive reader and Holmesian. But overall the effect is a sure one, and this volume stands head and shoulders above recent Holmes offerings, like the Whitechapel Horrors, etc.
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By A Customer on August 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a supreme Booth family armchair scholar, I moved mountains to find this book and would you believe it, in my curiosity to see how many pages it had, I saw the name of the "surrogate assassin" on the last page before I had even started reading the book! So as I read it, I could see the clues. Still, I enjoyed it thoroughly and recommend it to anyone with even a slight interest in mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, the Lincoln Assassination, or the Booth family.
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Format: Hardcover
What I know about Holmes and Watson probably could be fit into this paragraph: a brilliant detective and a compassionate physician team together to solve Brittania's most confounding and often unsavory mysteries of the murderous kind. Holmes wears a kind of caped, houndstooth coat and smokes a pipe which, if ever upended looks rather like a questionsmark, while the good Doctor, being a gentleman contemporary of the Sleuth, wears the clothes of a gentleman and, in response to questions he is asked to proffer, more often than not hears Holmes exclaim (something like), "Elementary, my dear Watson!"
Holmes and Watson, like Higgins and Colonel Pickering after then, have always seemed to me to be, in and of themselves, rather dull and, rarely, if ever, the point: it is certainly elementary to deduce that without Eliza, Higgins and the uppercrusted Colonel would not have gone to the Ball and become famous, and without any one of the infamous Murders, Holmes and the good Doctor would have done nothing and impressed not a soul.
In short, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle interested me and countless others with Plot. He also bored readers of every stripe beyond reading with characters who never lived.
In his debut novel, Christopher Leppek quite simply surpasses Sir Arthur in virtually every way a novelist can, and does so masterfully.
Holmes and Watson are now people with whom you will identify, empathize and engage. Arrogant and brooding in one set of scenes, emboldened and charismatic in the next, Holmes is drawn by Leppek as a brilliant, but moody, even somewhat obsessed analyst who is sooner or later found out by companions, clients and readers alike to be - from time to time - a pain in the neck.
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