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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Snoodely
  • Santa Barbara, CA United States
  • 09-07-12

Worth purchasing

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.

50 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hit and Miss

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.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very intriguing story line

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.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable and Entertaining

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Great Premise, Mediocre Execution, Awful Ending

Bram Stoken and Arthur Conan-Doyle on a rolicking turn of the century adventure plus a modern day McGuffin chase; what could go wrong? Turns out, quite a bit.

To start with, while the book holds the Holmes stories in an almost fetishistic regard, it does a miserable job of emulating them. Neither the old nor the modern day mysteries is actually a mystery. There is no clever seeding of clues and red herrings for the reader to analyze and try to guess the ending. Rather, in both cases the facts just fall into the investigators' laps at convenient times. The focus seems to be on the thrill of danger that the protagonists face, only there's not much danger and the story falls far short of thrilling. Cap each tale off with a deeply unsatisfying ending, and you have pretty well spoiled any potential your premise, however excellent, may have had.

The weak story might have been carried by more interesting characters, and this does work out to a degree in the Stoker/Conan-Doyle plot. The modern protagonist about as interesting and charismatic as a wet paper bag though.

I'm very disappointed. Would not recommend.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Randy
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 12-26-10

Engrossing Tale

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

An intricate story somewhat helped by vocalization

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lulu W.
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 12-31-10

Surprisingly average & unmysterious (2.5 stars)

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.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Decent book

I read this book based on another reviewer recommending in his review of a book that I was thinking about getting. The reviews on that book were only so so, so I decided to read a book that someone recommended with gusto. This book was pleasant. It wasn't faced paced or cutting edge, but interesting enough. I like Sherlock Holmes as much as anyone does who likes mysteries. The best part about this book was that the chapters alternated between a present day "Sherlockian" and the voice of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his day. As the Sherlockian was uncovering a mystery, the mystery was being acted out in real time in the other chapter. I was really intrigued by this format. I kept wondering what Sir Doyle had done that would be so interesting to today's Sherlockian - did he murder someone? Intrigue. So, the overall resolution to the book was pretty good. I recommend it. Not fast paced and exciting, but interesting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JD
  • Weaverville, NC, United States
  • 02-20-18

Perhaps a tad over-rated.

This may sound harsh- though it's certainly not my intention- and I hope that those who love the story will forgive me, but I think this one is a tad over-rated. I'll have to agree with former reviewers who found the modern Sherlockian character to be unlikable, and a bit... well... stupid. I enjoyed Doyle's story much better, and found myself disappointed when we were forced to return to the modern tale. As a result, I can only honestly recommend half the book.

One last thing- for those of you who get frustrated by poor audio production, I found it odd that the publisher didn't notice that the reader switched voices around for certain characters- sometimes mid conversation! There is a police officer who, at first, is given an older, authoritative voice. Then the author describes the officer as appearing to be rather young and inexperienced- suddenly his voice changes! Clearly the narrator hadn't read the chapter before recording it. But what compounds the issue is that later on in the book, the narrator switches the voice around a third time! I quickly learned that I couldn't rely on the sound of a voice to know who it was who was speaking, as the problem cropped up repeatedly. It was very distracting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful