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The Sherlockian Hardcover – December 1, 2010
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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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Top customer reviews
The interactions between Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker are the high point of the book. Both characters are very well drawn and you can feel yourself in the scene with them. For me, the pace was slowed a bit during passages when Arthur was pouring through different thoughts is his own mind. It seemed like Graham Moore was trying to put as much historical information in the story as possible, but it is a detriment to the story when you pile on too much. I also question the revelation of and lack of development of the villain. Although there is much enjoyment in the journey to the end of the mystery, I felt the villain was very poorly developed in comparison to the other characters in story. Overall, though, there is more that's better than worse in this perspective of the story.
I didn't find the part of the story happening in the present as enjoyable. Part of this is that I didn't like most of the characters, although I'm still trying to put my finger on exactly why. There was too much explaining what Harold's thinking as opposed to illustrating that through action, and I didn't feel drawn into his interactions with Sarah. Part of me thinks that it would have been a better (certainly more fun!) approach to have partnered up two of the Sherlockians like a proper Holmes and Watson and played homage that way.
The ending of a book is always the most important part - no matter how much you enjoyed everything before it, if the ending is a let down then you feel let down by the whole book in general. I didn't feel completely satisfied by the ending. The Conan Doyle/Stoker perspective wraps up slightly better than the Harold/Sarah perspective. I have no idea what Graham Moore expected me (or other readers) to take away from the ending.
Overall, the enjoyment I got out of the interactions between Conan Doyle and Stoker made it a worthwhile read. I just wish there was a little bit more substance there to take away once the book ended.
Most recent customer reviews
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