Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Publisher: Twelve Books/Hatchette
Date published: December 2010
ISBN: 978-0446572590
Historical Fiction, Mystery
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained by: Library

An announcement of important note is about to be made at the annual Sherlockian conference. One of their members, Alex Cale, has, after a life long search, found the missing diary of Arthur Conan Doyle. Covering but a few months in time, the diary mysterious disappeared and despite numerous searches, has never been found until now. Before the diary can be presented, however, Alex is found dead, murdered, in his hotel room. While waiting for the police, newly minted member, Harold White, begins to investigate the crime, asking himself what Sherlock Holmes would have done. Encouraged by a reporter named Sarah, Harold digs deeper into the crime and bit by bit the answers to the puzzle of who killed Alex are unveiled.

When Arthur Conan Doyle decided to end Sherlock Holmes’ life he never anticipated the public outcry that would follow the detective’s demise. Reviled for the act, London’s citizens never quite saw Holmes as a mere fictional character. But despite not only requests, but demands he bring Holmes back, Arthur holds firm. And then one day a bomb appears in his house. Engaging the help of his close friend, Bram Stoker, it is Arthur, not Holmes, who is on the trail of the would-be killer. What he finds is a murder plot too horrible to imagine.

As Arthur uncovers the murderer in 1900, Harold closes in on Alex’s killer. Yet at every turn, both are beset with twists and turns none would expect.

I stumbled on to THE SHERLOCKIAN while at the library picking up a few DVDs. I just happen to be passing by the mystery shelves and there it was. A fascinating cover and the name of one of my favorite detectives, how could I resist? In his debut novel, Graham Moore doesn’t invite readers to solve one, or even two murder mysteries but if you consider Holmes’ demise, there are three. Each thread is unique and appears to be written in two voices: that of a third person observing Conan Doyle solving the attempt on his life and one that could almost be Holmes himself as Harold tracks down Alex’s killer.

Rather than it being difficult to follow the interwoven threads that span,approximately 100 years, Mr. Moore quite clearly and step-by-step, invites his readers to join in him solving the crimes. The characters are clearly drawn and for the most part are three dimensional. At times the modern day sleuths seem to be a tad cardboardish, but not so you’d notice so very much. The final solution’s unveiling was a bit flat―I suppose I expected more.

Before I turned the last page I went in search of Mr. Moore’s website and while at this time he does not have one, I was able to learn he has a new book due out this year. I can hardly wait.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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