- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Titan Books; 1st Edition edition (September 22, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1783291532
- ISBN-13: 978-1783291533
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 503 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mycroft Holmes Hardcover – September 22, 2015
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"For outsize polymathic energy and accomplishment, Abdul-Jabbar — N.B.A. champion, cultural ambassador, author — rivals Conan Doyle himself." - New York Times
"Abdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse have created a smart origin story for Mycroft that slots neatly onto the shelves next to the original canon." - Los Angeles Times
"Holmesians will find much to appreciate in the novel’s depiction of a character whose mind is as keen as Sherlock’s." - Time.com
"If you’re only aware of Abdul-Jabbar’s skill on the basketball court, get ready—this is an assured novel that fans of Holmes stories (old-school and new) will love." - Barnes and Noble
"MYCROFT HOLMES is beautifully written and full of intrigue...while still managing to be a lot of fun.”- Robert Towne, Oscar-winning screenwriter of Chinatown
"The book is extremely well-written and well-researched, with layers of sensory detail and filmic tableaux...Doylean Easter Eggs are also sprinkled throughout and are presented with a witty subtlety that will delight longtime fans...Mycroft Holmes is a good book and an engaging mystery for Sherlockians and non-Sherlockians alike, but it’s a particular delight for aficionados of the Doylean world. Here’s hoping Abdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse write many more." - Baker Street Babes
“I’m proud to have worked with Kareem, my friend of many years, on this project! It adds an exciting, new dimension to the life of Sherlock Holmes, and Kareem's passion for history has given the story a new twist.” - Leslie S. Klinger, editor, The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes
“Moving beyond the echo of big-time basketball's cheering multitudes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has found an unlikely second career in the quietude of a writer's life. In his latest literary effort, he indulges his longtime appreciation for the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and gives us a rousing mystery novel featuring Sherlock Holmes' older and smarter brother, Mycroft, while launching a new series of adventures.” - Gay Talese, author of A Writer’s Life
"With this meticulously researched work, Abdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse have pulled off the near-impossible with MYCROFT HOLMES: given us a novel that will appeal to any fan of good storytelling, an instant classic in the Sherlockian pastiche genre, and a must-read for history buffs. If you love the Holmes brothers, you will love this book. But more importantly, if you care about history and culture and passion and civil rights, you will love it all the more."- Lyndsay Faye, bestselling author, The Gods of Gotham
"Basketball legend Abdul-Jabbar (Black Profiles in Courage) makes his triumphant adult fiction debut with an action yarn that fills in the backstory of Sherlock Holmes’s older and smarter brother, Mycroft. In 1870, the 23-year-old Mycroft, who has a reputation as a daredevil, is serving as a secretary at the War Office when word reaches London of a series of unusual deaths in Trinidad. Someone, or some thing, has been killing children and draining their blood. The locals believe the culprits are supernatural beings known as lougarou, who drain children of their blood, and douen, who leave highly unusual footprints near their victims. The tragic news stuns Mycroft’s fiancée, Georgiana Sutton, who immediately sails home to Trinidad. Disobeying her request to stay behind, Mycroft follows Georgiana to Trinidad, where he must exercise his intellect and his innate diplomatic skills to solve the crimes and remain alive. Sherlockians who relish the screen adventures of Cumberbatch and Downey will be particularly entertained." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Abdul-Jabbar, a Holmesian since his college days, joins forces with Waterhouse to offer a rousing mystery starring Sherlock’s older (and smarter) brother, Mycroft, a rising star in the British government. The action begins in 1870 London but quickly moves to Trinidad, where Mycroft’s closest friend, Cyrus Douglas, a native of the island, must travel to investigate what some believe is an infestation of douen—tiny supernatural characters who lead children into the clutches of werewolf-like lougarou. Mycroft joins his friend for the trip, and what the two find on arrival—after a near-fatal ocean crossing—isn’t supernatural but far more harrowing... The authors hit all the right notes here, combining fascinating historical detail with rousing adventure, including some cleverly choreographed fight scenes and a pair of protagonists whose rich biracial friendship, while presented realistically, given the era (Douglas must sometimes pose as a butler), is the highlight of the book. Yes, Douglas is a sort-of Watson, but a much brighter, more physical, more bantering version, an equal not a foil. Mystery fans will be eager to hear more from this terrific duo, who may well develop into a gaslit version of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Hawk."-Booklist (starred review)
"The central conceit is audacious; Mycroft's sense of moral outrage is nicely reflective of the era; the historical detail is solid; and the period decorum is well-maintained throughout." - Kirkus Reviews
"Clear space on your new fiction shelf for this slam-dunk of a debut novel. Cowritten by NBA all-star and author Abdul-Jabbar (What Color Is My World?) and screenwriter and producer Waterhouse, the team behind the NAACP and Telly Award–winning documentary On the Shoulders of Giants, this latest collaboration brings a fresh voice and broadened scope to the Holmes canon. Historical fiction and mystery fans will be the first to demand this title, but its mass appeal is undeniable." - Library Journal (starred review)
The erudite Jabbar has managed to weave elements of his far flung interests into a fascinating mystery narrative. The briskly written book has a delicate woven plot that brings together such diverse elements as Trinidadian culture and folklore, the tobacco importation business in London, and the usual Holmesian array of brightly obtuse knowledge and libertine philosophy that Sherlock fans enjoy— not to mention a plot that involves an elaborate scheme to bring slavery back to the Caribbean. By far the star of the novel is Holmes’ able accomplice Douglas—as compared to Watson, Douglas is portrayed as an equal instead of a foil. The careful dance of the friendship between the two men of different races, complicated by the laws and conventions of the era, is fascinating. — Mike Sager, Esquire
"Mycroft Holmes is a 300+ page origin story that nails it… And it’s got a solid mystery to boot." – Geek Dad
"Jabbar and Waterhouse have concocted a smooth brew of dark mystery that, for all its gorgeous glossiness (such a lush yet reserved dust jacket), reads like part of the New Pulp movement. It’s a clever ret-conning of one of literature’s great worlds of mystery” - The Blood Shed
"If you are looking for a mystery with suspenseful action, charming characters, fascinating relationships and fun twists and turns, then this is the novel for you." - Geek Hard Show
"Sure to earn a place in the early canon of the Holmes brothers’ tales." - Hypable
"Can this book, despite the cache the author may carry with him, stand on its own in the ever-growing, seemingly non-stop publication of all things Holmes-related? To that, I can answer a definitive yes." - Birth.Movies.Death
"Mycroft Holmes has added a new wrinkle in the revered Holmes brothers’ fan fiction stories – the loner genius versus the collaborative genius – and the contrast is entertaining as it is illuminating." - Pop Mythology
“Mycroft Holmes sets up its own tension-filled tale of revolt” - Pajiba
"Rich with historical details and multicultural insights." - Manhattan Book Review
“It’s a fast-paced read, and it is far more emotional than I was expecting it to be” - Book Riot
"This novel is an interesting and entertaining combination of mystery fiction and historical fiction with a tiny dash of elements found in horror fiction. This combination works well, because all of the elements are in perfect balance and the story flows effortlessly." - Rising Shadow
"it's so well written, with an intriguing hook, well developed characters, and a great mystery at the center of the story." - Never Anyone Else
“The aspect of racial inequality transforms “Mycroft Holmes” from a simple fan fiction into a powerful but subtle call to recognize the racial issues prevalent in society today.” - The BG news
"Um, guys. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a Mycroft Holmes book. Yes, THAT Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. How awesome is this world we live in?" - Aint it Cool
"A clever and carefully written story that is surprisingly funny, notwithstanding its heavy topics ." - Pop Insomniacs
“Suspenseful...compelling” - The Missourian
“Mycroft Holmes is a fine addition to the canon – compelling, well-plotted, and firmly in possession of a social conscience.” - Austin Chronicle
“Pitch Perfect” - Omnivoracious
“well-written and tightly plotted and it features issues of race that we don’t typically see in Sherlock Holmes stories. The settings are detailed and immersive” - Fandom Post
“A strong addition to the ever-growing Baker Street mythology.” - Blog Critics
“Did a good job of presenting the different layers of the various societies in which Mycroft and Cyrus find themselves, and the ramifications those various levels have on each of them.” - Reviewing the Evidence
About the Author
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a huge Holmesian—7’2” tall, basketball’s all-time leading scorer, and a U.S. cultural ambassador. He’s written extensively, including What Color is My World (children’s), Brothers in Arms (military history), and On the Shoulders of Giants (black history).
Anna Waterhouse is a professional screenwriter and script consultant.
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Young Mycroft Holmes is fresh out of Cambridge University, engaged to the beautiful Georgiana Sutton, who was raised in Trinidad, and working for the Secretary of State for War. Holmes’ good friend Cyrus Douglas, a free black also from Trinidad, receives word that the bodies of children are being found drained of blood. Georgiana suddenly departs for her home. Mycroft and Douglas decide to follow, never expecting the danger into which they are sailing.
The book surprises us from the very beginning. The descriptions are very atmospheric and mysterious. And what, one might ask, are the douen and the lougarou? Fortunately, we do learn the answers quite soon.
The author creates very visual descriptions and wonderful metaphors; “Horse and rider moved as if they knew every little knot and turn of Greater London. … All the while they nosed out the cleanest thoroughfares and most deserted byways, as if they and the city were gears in the noblest Swiss watch.” We are also presented with very exciting, action-filled scenes incorporating the sights, sounds, and smells of London. We are presented with a very clear sense of place and time.
This is no placid Mycroft, but neither is he a particularly effective man of action. What we do see, very early on, are his skills of observation. It is fascinating observing the details of his observations to see to how he reaches his conclusions. This is a very different Mycroft than we’ve known before. He is young, inexperienced and has the weaknesses of youth. Yet the intellect is there. Douglas is a very interesting character and one who one feels could only have been written as well by Abdul-Jabbar. The story of his family is a sad and painful reminder of this country’s history. Douglas, at 10 years older, serves to provide the maturity that Mycroft lacks.
The story has plenty of action, but also provides a lesson in history that certainly isn’t part of any ordinary curriculum. While most of us assume slavery ended after the Civil War, in fact it did not. We also learn the difference between indentured servants and slaves. The plot includes an excellent twist which is very well done and part of a very interesting secondary theme; “He is Prichard’s theory of moral insanity come to life,” he mused. “A human being devoid of the common thread of human decency.”
“Mycroft Holmes” is a fascinating read on so many levels; history, action, and character—with a very satisfactory ending. It will be interesting to see whether this becomes a series.
MYCROFT HOLMES (Hist Mys-Mycroft Holmes/Cyrus Douglas-London-1870/Victorian) – VG
Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem and Anna Waterhouse – 1st Holmes book
Titan Books, Sept 2015
The story was strong, the characters were interesting, and the plot had a decent pace, and it appears the authors did a lot of work researching the historical background of their story.
If I have any complaint at all, it was that the two main characters, Mycroft and his friend and companion Cyrus Douglas, are almost too noble, which pushes them at times to be a little one-dimensional. The authors have tried very hard to create a partnership dynamic that you as a reader will care about, but as yet "Mycroft Holmes and Mr. Douglas" doesn't have the strength and depth of "Sherlock Homes and Dr. Watson".
But the highest praise I think anyone can give a book is that they wish there was even more to read when it comes to an end, and for me that was absolutely the case here. Mr. Abdul-Jabbar & Ms. Waterhouse - I'm hoping you have a sequel in the works, please?