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A Slight Trick of the Mind | [Mitch Cullin]

A Slight Trick of the Mind

He's 93-years-old, in retirement in Sussex, beginning to lose his memory, and subject to emotions he has resisted all his life. His name is Sherlock Holmes.
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Publisher's Summary

He's 93-years-old, in retirement in Sussex, beginning to lose his memory, and subject to emotions he has resisted all his life. His name is Sherlock Holmes.

It's 1947, and the long-retired Holmes lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse with a housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Holmes has recently returned from war-torn Japan and settled into the routine of tending his apiary, writing in his journals, and grappling with the waning powers of his once razor-sharp mind. Then Roger secretly searches Holmes' private study and uncovers the case of Mrs. Keller, the long-ago object of the legendary sleuth's deep, and never acknowledged, infatuation.

As Cullin weaves together Holmes' hidden past, his poignant struggle to retain mental acuity, and his unlikely relationship with Roger, who stirs his paternal affection, a mythic figure is transformed into an ordinary man. At once an engrossing mystery and a gripping character study, A Slight Trick of the Mind is an affecting and original portrait of literature's most beloved detective in the twilight of his illustrious life.

©2005 Mitch Cullin; (P)2005 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Winner, Fiction (Unabridged)

"An ambitious, beautifully written novel....This look at Holmes near his natural death is a delight and a deeply satisfying read." (Publishers Weekly)
"This is a lovely, tenderhearted book, full of reserve, good manners, elegance of feeling. It's what a novel should be. You don't read it to be "improved", but for the plain joy of seeing what the language can do in the hands of an affectionate, very accomplished writer." (The Washington Post)
"Under Cullin's sure hand, the vibrant, assured detective we know gives way to a man who looks back with regret at missed opportunities in a manner that makes the larger-than-life figure surprisingly human." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (231 )
5 star
 (45)
4 star
 (77)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.4 (58 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
3.9 (57 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Cindy Grants Pass, OR, USA 06-14-08
    Cindy Grants Pass, OR, USA 06-14-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "A nice listen"

    This is the first time I've tried to write a review, so bear with me. I liked Slight Trick of the Mind. It was a nice listen. Well read and written. I will listen to it again sometime. There is a mystery to solve and some insight into Sherlock's life as an older man.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    halfabusa 03-24-07
    halfabusa 03-24-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Fabulous!"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book though if you are looking for a Sherlock Holmes mystery this is not. This book is another type of mystery looking into the personal thoughts and feelings of a legendary literary character. The narrator was perfect and drew me into the book immediately. This once fearless and magnificent man is now near the end of his life but as the story unfolds you realize that what seemed to most of us to be an exciting and fulfilling life, actually had a lot of emptiness. It's an exploration of the humanity of the greatest and most memorable detective.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Foreman Los Angeles, CA USA 12-16-13
    Jim Foreman Los Angeles, CA USA 12-16-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "No mystery and a labourious listen."
    Would you try another book from Mitch Cullin and/or Simon Jones?

    Mitch Cullin, No. Simon Jones, Yes.


    What was most disappointing about Mitch Cullin’s story?

    There was no intrigue, mystery or even interesting characters including Holmes himself.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Jones – was your favorite?

    The woman who played the Armonica.


    Did A Slight Trick of the Mind inspire you to do anything?

    Fall asleep several times.


    Any additional comments?

    The stories were simply narratives with little satisfaction at the end of their telling. It's a caricature of what the 1970's Holmes would have become.

    Remove Holmes and retitle it, "Reflections of a dying old man" and it may be a better book, but the inclusion of Holmes leaves a reader/listener expecting something memorable and interesting.

    The Author, Mitch Cullin has managed to strip nearly every enjoyable aspect of Holmes and left us with a rambling old imposter or character impersonator who thinks he was once Holmes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peterack Alexandria, VA 11-22-13
    Peterack Alexandria, VA 11-22-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    15
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    "Good Character Study of the Aged, Former Detective"
    What did you love best about A Slight Trick of the Mind?

    I loved the way it studied, in a unique, new way, the main character - Sherlock Holmes.


    What about Simon Jones’s performance did you like?

    His vocal pacing was very good.


    If you could rename A Slight Trick of the Mind, what would you call it?

    The focused, yet imperfect mind, of an aging former detective.


    Any additional comments?

    A read for true Holmes fans, because they will appreciate the story without being disappointed that this is not a classic Holmseian mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 03-28-13
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 03-28-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    202
    105
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    87
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    Performance
    Story
    "Regrets and Revelations"

    This is a poignant tale of an aging Sherlock Holmes and has more to do with the mysteries of life and death than the more prosaic mysteries of the typical Sherlockian novel. We see an elderly Sherlock who, after a lifetime of shunning all but a few interpersonal connections, is forced to grapple with his own humanity and that of those around him. This definitely is not your classic SH mystery, but a sadly bittersweet tale imbued with its own sense of, perhaps more eternal, mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arjay 03-23-13
    Arjay 03-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    8
    5
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    "Interesting Premise, Poor Delivery"
    What disappointed you about A Slight Trick of the Mind?

    The premise of a Holmes getting senile is interesting. There are three stories and all of them are incomplete. That being so, I wonder why they were told in the first place. There are plenty of unanswered questions. Maybe this is to replicate Holmes' memory loss but, if so, why write this book. Mysteries need a conclusion and there isn't one here.


    What could Mitch Cullin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Bring something to conclusion - even Holmes' death in a relevant situation.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Jones – was your favorite?

    Holmes


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Some insight into memory loss, but not in this context.


    Any additional comments?

    When discussing all of his associates' deaths, it gets very depressing. Again, maybe realistic, but that's not what I read Sherlock Holmes for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 08-27-12
    Elizabeth 08-27-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A Nice Way to Remember Sherlock Holmes"
    Where does A Slight Trick of the Mind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very high


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Slight Trick of the Mind?

    Too many to mention


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I have been reading Sherlock Homes stories since I was a teenager - over 50 years ago. I still enjoy re-reading these tales. It was a nice change to read about Sherlock in his old age, still the spritely individual I have enjoyed forever.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fran Silt, CO, United States 04-04-08
    Fran Silt, CO, United States 04-04-08 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent"

    truly an excellently written book....

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hh pdx United States 08-11-06
    hh pdx United States 08-11-06 Listener Since 2003

    hh01

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "many words, little substance"

    Mitch writes beautifully. The problem is that he seems to fall in love with his words while neglecting the story. The end result is a very genteel tale with piles and piles of lovely words that become forgettable shortly after you hit the STOP button on your DVD player. If you like being talked AT while sinking into an overstuffed chair at the Savoy during high tea, then this is for you. If you're looking for something to stimulate, look elsewhere.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Asquith NSW, N/A, Australia 04-01-06
    John Asquith NSW, N/A, Australia 04-01-06
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    10
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    "Bad Bad Bad!"

    This book is incredibly tedious and depressing. Definitely the worst thing I have found here at audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 21 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Dr
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    2/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fitting and final Sherlock Holmes story"

    This is a thinking man's Sherlock homes novel, as much about how one meets the end of life as well as the great detectives detecting. I would say this was a very fitting, and moving end to the fantastic, interesting and unique creation S Holmes is. Simon Jones performance is great, very fitting for the slow and meditative style of the story, I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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