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Publisher's Summary

In a crafty new novel featuring the world's greatest literary detective, Alan Vanneman extends the boundaries of the Sherlock Holmes canon with this novel.

A late-night summons takes Holmes and Dr. Watson from the cozy Victorian comforts of Baker Street to the Orient Express, where they travel the breadth of Europe to exotic Constantinople. But danger's afoot, for death, too, is traveling first class.

As Holmes strives to unmask his most cunning, ruthless, and elusive foe, he is transported into a world of high finance rife with intrigue and crime. With a cast of characters that includes historical greats like Winston Churchill as well as a beggar girl whom Watson adopts, Holmes follows a trail that leads ultimately and unpredictably to the fabled and fabulous lost Hapsburg Tiara.

©2003 Alan Vanneman; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Simon Vance adopts the dry, literary tones of a classic Holmes radio drama, imparting wry humor detectable only to listeners paying close attention to the plot....Winston Churchill sounds just like a recording of the man himself." (AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Keith
  • Newark, DE, USA
  • 01-02-08

Quite remarkable!

Having listened to myriad narrations of, and watched probably all movies of, the tales of Sherlock Holmes, as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I was quite impressed by Vanneman's tale, Vance's narration, and how closely they adhered to the 'classic' Sherlock Holmes (with just one somewhat shocking exception.) The tale's plot, characters, and setting could easily be mistaken as the fruit of Doyle's own pen, which he plausibly would have written a decade before his death in 1930. Vanneman's thorough and insightful descriptions of places and people in the tale are 'first rate'! The plot has copious twists and turns Doyle would have approved of (and NEVER assume you've heard the last twist!) A warning though; Vanneman went FAR beyond Doyle with some explicit details of how Watson was the lady's man, so if you listen to this tale with an elder parent or young child, save yourself some embarassement by being ready to sensor a bit of this story. All told, this listen will take many a Holmes-fan to that place Doyle was so adept at sending us.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Watson has sex

I am not opposed to sex scenes in novels but this is supposed to be a Sherlock Holmes story, not Watson's lusty life. The authors detailed descriptions of the marginal and irrelevant does nothing to inspire listening even though the plot has some interest, it isnt enough to keep me. Though Mr Vance gives an excellent performance, this book is being returned.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Would Have Been Pleased

Would you listen to Sherlock Holmes and the Hapsburg Tiara again? Why?

Yes; the story was excellently crafted, peopled, developed and brought to a conclusion.

Who was your favorite character and why?

For Holmes, there was no diminution in this story of his talents and incisiveness; his side kick and companion Watson was treated with respect and appreciation, rather than with condescension or exasperation, which triggers in me disgust and rejection; and, to one's delight and full enjoyment, a third hardy character is born: Dr. Watson decides to befriend and befather (through adoption) one of the Baker Street Irregulars, saucy and smart 9 year<br/>old Jenny. The story weaves through 8 years of adventure wherein one gets to observe<br/>his daughter growing up into a judiciously saucy and even smarter young lady. She won my heart; I wanted to be a bit like her!

Which scene was your favorite?

There are quite a few memorable ones; however, listening to Dr. Watson learn to be a chauffeur of one of the most beautiful, well made automobiles in the world, the Silver<br/>Cloud, and hear him describe the interplay of clutch, engine, road and wheels during the rescue mission of the Hapsburg Tiara, additionally starring Jenny as acrobat and thief made you feel as if you were in the back seat with mouth agog in deep appreciation.<br/>

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

Any additional comments?

Did the author write another, I wonder? This was too good!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I thought it was good!

Watson loves feet! Could have done with a little less love scenes, kind of out of place, but overall entertaining.

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Good story and great narration.

Good story. Very entertaining.

Some surprises for the Holmes aficionado. Some great story developments beyond the Conan Doyle style but still within the plausible canon.

The analytical insights into Holmes' methods are less developed. The period language and details are well done. Moves quickly.

Enjoyed the novel thoroughly.

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Big Yawn.

Any additional comments?

This story is bogged down with minute historical commentary. The mystery is boring and drawn out. This is more about Watson then Holmes. The highlight is the voice and narration by Simon Vance.

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Nice addition to the Holmes corpus.

Interesting story with a grand sweep and a number of story lines that parallel and converge toward each other over a number of years. Watson's liaison with the Countess is a bit over played, as is the multiple returns to the Orient Express. These however are minor annoyances. The liaison could easily be abridged, even though it makes an appearance in the last scene.

Recommended for Holmes fans, and the performance recommends the narrator's other works.

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Would Watson have written this?

This book started out with a lot of promise. An intriguing mystery, with some well known historical figures? Sign me up! It's a shame the rest of the book just doesn't hold up. I personally don't care to hear about Watson's conquests, which are detailed in a fashion I doubt Watson would ever consider using. I also didn't think much of the new addition to the team. She seemed more like page filler than an active member of the group.

A good performance from the narrator, and an overall decent story. Not a bad way to pass the time, but it could have been so much more.

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This is Dr. Watson's story.

Interesting take on the Sherlock Holmes saga. Most of this Story focuses on Dr. Watson ,his adopted daughter , and his infatuation with a mysterious woman. The story takes place over several years and across most Europe. The mystery is very convoluted and hard to follow. Holmes is his usual self, only in smaller doses.
The plot is too long for the meager plot, but the narrator, Simon Vance makes it a fun listen.

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  • Howard
  • Carlsbad, CA, United States
  • 01-07-13

Sherlock at his best

What made the experience of listening to Sherlock Holmes and the Hapsburg Tiara the most enjoyable?

This was an incredible story with many historical characters. The plot and sub plots make this a very enjoyable Sherlock Homes story. Dr. Watson finding romance was a real plus.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sherlock Homes

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

A five star performance from Mr. "Shaken not Stirred". If you have ever listend to a James Bond novel, you already know that Simon Vance always gives that British sense of authencity.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Mr. Churchill, my name is Sherlock Homes.