We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
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.
Regular Price:$20.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (271 )
5 star
 (58)
4 star
 (89)
3 star
 (79)
2 star
 (27)
1 star
 (18)
Overall
3.6 (97 )
5 star
 (26)
4 star
 (28)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.1 (95 )
5 star
 (40)
4 star
 (34)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Cindy Hulsey 06-14-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Fort Myers, FL, USA 06-16-05
    Nancy Fort Myers, FL, USA 06-16-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    148
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Falls Short of Being a British Mystery"

    I was very much looking forward to listening to this book, having been a Holmes fan from a young age, both through the books and various films and BBC productions. Although read beautifully by the narrator, who does an excellent job of performing the different voices, I was very disappointed that the focus of the story centered primarily around the post-WWII history and culture of Japan and a male lead Japanese character. There is a brief flashback on a case that Holmes had sleuthed in the past, but this gets lost with the Japanese focus of the story. If you want a true Holmesian mystery set in Englad, I'd suggest you skip this recording and choose from the originals written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    halfabusa 03-24-07
    halfabusa 03-24-07 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 08-06-15
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 08-06-15 Member Since 2009

    The Path Between the Seas to The Great Bridge ~ Kagan's Peloponnesian War to Gaddis' Cold One ~ Mornings on Horseback to a River of Doubt ~ Tom to Huck ~ Lennie to Charley ~ Cadfael to Cross ~ Rhyme to Reacher ~ Blomkvist and Salander to Wallander and Wallander ~ Moving Cheese or Eating Frogs ~ On the Road and Into Thin Air ~ The End of History to A Short History of Everything to ... well ... everything else.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    342
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    182
    43
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    101
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unsatisfying"

    Sherlock Holmes remains a literary and box office powerhouse. Or, at least, that's the only reasonable explanation for the success of this book.

    On the other hand, Mitch Cullin's contribution to the Holmes canon is, sadly, forgettable.

    Cullin offers us a novel in three parts -- three story lines set in two different periods of Holmes' life. Three new glimpses into the life of Sherlock Holmes could be treasures. But here, they're not. None of these stories is even especially interesting or exciting or engaging.

    With Holmes, we expect a mystery to challenge and confound us. There really aren't any here.

    With Holmes, we expect demonstrations of observation and deduction that cause us to marvel. Here, we don't find much at which to marvel.

    With Holmes, we expect the tale to carry us away to his world as the original stories would: to his rooms on Baker Street or to Baskerville Hall or atop Reichenbach Falls. Here, the narrative has no power to take us anywhere. We remain firmly set in our own time and place and world.

    But still, this is Holmes, so we can hope.

    Surely Cullin will draw his story lines together and redeem his entire novel in an exciting denouement. How could we expect anything else for Conan Doyle's great detective?

    But that never happens, either. Cullin allows each story to wander off on its own and gently fade away. There are no surprises. There are no mysteries solved. There are no exciting moments. There are no characters we will remember. There is no closure.

    There is only a forgettable and unsatisfying novel that serves only to remind us that even great lives have dull moments.

    Skip this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 07-21-15
    Margaret 07-21-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange tale"

    Oddly enough, this is one time I will say that the movie worked better, though I have my quibbles with that as well. The book is essentially three tales, but they never overlap enough thematically to make a satisfying conclusion. The audio is beautifully performed, however, and kept me listening. A lesser performance would have had me abandoning this book before the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walrus Rex Grand Junction, CO United States 06-29-15
    Walrus Rex Grand Junction, CO United States 06-29-15 Member Since 2008

    rexferal

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not the book you think it is"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This is a perfectly crommulent book, it's just not the book you probably think it is. If you are expecting a battle of wits between an aging Holmes and an evil archvillian, forget it. Although Holmes does solve a few minor mysteries, this book is about an imperfect though great aging man dealing with loss and regret.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Bleuel Canoga Park, CA United States 01-25-15
    William Bleuel Canoga Park, CA United States 01-25-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Know Your Characters..."

    A shambling mess of a novel, it misunderstands its main character (Sherlock Holmes) and the construction of a mystery story. There's almost no purpose to the novel: Holmes travels to Japan and doesn't have an adventure with the child of a former client, doesn't have an adventure with the accidental death of his housekeeper's son and recalls a case that wasn't an adventure. The actual writing itself is just plain bad: overblown and rambling.

    At the end of the book I was left wondering why the author bothered telling this story at all.

    And the character of Sherlock Holmes is entirely misrepresented. And I don't mean taking liberties with a well-established character like the Sherlock TV series. I mean this novel simply doesn't understand who Sherlock Holmes is or the nature of his character, even as a 90+ year old man.

    The narration is adequate. Often the rhythm of the narration is at odds with the written word and the narrator doesn't seem familiar with the material.

    0 of 0 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 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Arjay 03-23-13
    Arjay 03-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.