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The Sherlockian

Graham Moore.
Publisher Twelve  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.2 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780446572583
Pages/Publication Date 350/2011
Daedalus Item Code 33374
This item is not available.
In December 1893, Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines, anticipating Sherlock Holmes's next adventure, only to find the unthinkable: his creator had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning—crowds sported black armbands in grief—and railed against Arthur Conan Doyle as his assassin. Then seven years later, and just as abruptly, Conan Doyle resurrected him. The writer never explained this sudden change of heart, and his journal from that time disappeared after his death. In this delightful debut from Graham Moore, a modern fan of Holmes is sent on the trail of the lost journal after a Conan Doyle scholar who claimed to have found it is murdered for his trouble. And as this mystery unfolds, we also follow Conan Doyle himself, glad to be rid of his famous detective yet using his methods to solve real-life murders in Victorian London.

"'This is a novel by, for, and about Holmes-quoting mystery nuts, and it understands what makes them happy,' noted the New York Times. Yet far more than a book for Sherlockian enthusiasts, the debut is a clever, engaging read for all crime aficionados, featuring two heroes working in different time periods and places who use Sherlockian wit to solve their respective crimes. Lest readers worry that the alternating stories don't overlap, Moore intersects them appropriately, making Doyle's past activities relevant to the present day.... Readers, Sherlockian fans or not, will eagerly await Moore's next novel."—Bookmarks Magazine

"The problem with Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories is that there aren't enough of them. Fans try to fill the gap with spin-offs, some of which work better than others. This engaging riff on the familiar themes by first-novelist Moore is one of the best. His book alternates two stories and two centuries. The modern hero is twentysomething Harold White—mild, bookish, and smart. He's just been initiated into the prestigious Baker Street Irregulars when a premier Holmes expert announces that he has found Conan Doyle's long-lost 1900 diary. Then the expert is murdered. Maybe. The game is afoot, and so's Harold. The hero of the alternate chapters is Conan Doyle himself, gleeful after sending that hawkshaw Holmes to his death at Reichenbach Falls and ready to write real literature. But murders intervene, and he and his friend Bram Stoker must investigate. All these gumshoes, past and present, use Holmes' methods. Moore spins his tale in prose that shifts easily from exposition to pathos to sly comedy. It's based on fact: in 2004, a premier Sherlockian was found dead after claiming he'd discovered Conan Doyle's lost papers. Mystery fans should love the mix of historical fiction and contemporary puzzle-solving. And Sherlockians? Try keeping them away."—Booklist (starred review)

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