In December 1893, Sherlock Holmes-adoring Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines-- anticipating the detective's next adventure-- only to find the unthinkable: his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning -- crowds sported black armbands in grief -- and railed against Conan Doyle as his assassin.
Then in 1901, just as abruptly as Conan Doyle had "murdered" Holmes in "The Final Problem", he resurrected him. Though the writer kept detailed diaries of his days and work, Conan Doyle never explained this sudden change of heart. After his death, one of his journals from the interim period was discovered to be missing, and in the decades since, has never been found.
Or has it?
When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he's about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: the missing diary. But when the world's leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold - using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories - who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer.
©2010 Graham Moore (P)2010 Hachette
I recommend "The Sherlockian" to any Sherlock Holmes fan. (I didn't know that they were called "Sherlockians," did you?) Although I don't quite qualify as a Sherlock Holmes fan, I have listened to all the stories at least once, and enjoyed them. This author -- Graham Moore -- definitely qualifies as a Sherlockian, and knows whereof he speaks. He has woven an entertaining tale (actually, two concurrent tales) around the mystery of Holmes' creator -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- and his (apocryphal) missing diary. Using the technique of interweaving two stories -- one set in the present day, and one set during Doyle's time -- Graham Moore explains why Doyle resurrected Sherlock Holmes ten years after he had killed him off. Apparently, Doyle considered himself well-rid of Holmes, and never wanted to write about him again. However, Doyle's public never forgave him for killing off their favorite detective, whom they definitely did not consider fictional. If we can believe the stories emanating from that time, it would seem that all of literate England was thrown into angry turmoil at the abrupt loss of Sherlock Holmes. (Maybe they felt the way I did when Harry Potter grew up ...!) As far as I can determine with a little quick research, Graham Moore invented the missing Doyle diary in "The Sherlockian" to create an intriguing mystery for his Sherlockian protagonist -- Harold White -- to investigate, using Holmes' protocols. At the same time ... well, actually, 110 years earlier ... Doyle himself is investigating a series of puzzling murders. Both investigations spin off into unlikely territory (requiring the loss of a star in my rating), but they do lead to a satisfying resolution. The British narrator, James Langton, has a good voice, and does an excellent job of narrating "The Sherlockian." Like many British actors, his rendition of the American accent sounds funny -- betraying how yucky we Americans must sound to the Brits -- but I expect American actors trying to do any of the myriad British accents probably sound pretty funny to the Brits, too. All-in-all: "The Sherlockian" is worth one of your Audible credits.
This will be a treat for "Sherlockians". If you listen long enough your favorite mystery writer, Holmesian expert or celebrity will be mentioned or be part of the plot. The narrator does a good job with the various voices required. Worth the time and money.
Fantastic narrator for a quite ingenious story. Author states that his story (both threads) follows generally accurate historical events. While I've read or listened to dozens of Sherlock Holmes stories and watched the original 14 movies with Basil and Nigel, I was unaware of most of the events in the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that are woven into the plot of this book. Very interesting stuff if you like mysteries.
not down to earth
The Sherlockian weaves back and forth intricately between two story lines. A lesser author would have left the reader feeling schizophrenic, but Moore aptly handles the job. He's created a compelling read and a sympathetic, albeit milquetoast main character. The downsides of this novel are that some of the mystery elements or twists are foreshadowed too readily and the narration of the Holmes voice sporadically borders on irritating. Those minor matters aside, this is an enjoyable yarn, one that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself would find seducing.
The book moves between two time periods--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's late 19th century, and the current time period. The Conan Doyle parts of the book I enjoyed. The current time period I wanted to like, because it offered a unique take on today's Sherlock Holmes fans. But by the end of the book, I was rooting for the main character to get shot. Breaking into museums, destroying exhibits, and happily flinging priceless pieces of history into a lake just didn't work for me. And, just to be really picky, I thought the main character (not Conan Doyle) was a whiner. The narration was very good.
Though slow to start, the story is crafted with impressive research and knowledge of all things Sherlockian.There's an interesting juxtaposition between the present day characters and Conan Doyle's era, with an intriguing glimpse of common threads and challenges.
Different vocalizations for the various characters were more or less effective; I've listened to better, and at times I simply gave up trying to place the character by the voice. But that could be the result of the list of characters rather than the deficiencies of Mr. Langton as narrator.
The British versus American accent distinctions were well done. I also felt I was given fuller knowledge of several of the characters because of the tone and timbre of the voices the narrator used.
Worth the read, the time and the cost.
i'm no Holmes buff but enjoy unraveling a good tale ...
That said I was surprised how quickly the modern plots mystery was to figure out, with it's clunky obvious clues and alarming lack of red herrings.
I believe if you made the main 'Sherlockian' character female, it'd be your average Life Time TV mystery movie.
The narrator does a great job of elevating the story, especially as Doyle & Stoker. Despite this effort the story falls into the 'flat & unsatisfying' list.
I enjoyed this book and think any fan Doyle’s work will enjoy this as well. James Langston does a really great job on the narration.
I got as far as chapter 3 before I returned it. I was expecting something more like Sherlock Holmes.
This is a mystery and an adventure which Arthur Conan Doyle would love to have written.
A mystery lasting a century and two parallel adventures a century apart could be confusing but Moore has written them well so that there is no confusion.
A book definitely written in the Sherlock Holmes genre but more about Doyle than Holmes, it will be very entertaining to anyone who has ever been a fan of the great detective
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