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The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
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The Sherlockian

by Graham Moore

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1,1918110,142 (3.55)104
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» See also 104 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
It took me a long time to read this book - it is definitely not a page turner. I'd read a chunk, then wander away. But it stayed with me in between readings - the two mysteries, one investigated by Arthur Conan Doyle, one by Sherlock fan Harold, were okay, but what stuck with me were their characters and their uncomfortable relationship with the real world. Both long for the world to be a different place, and have to come to terms with the fact that it never will be. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Harold White -- loner, eccentric, voracious (and rapid) reader -- is inducted as the youngest member of the Baker Street Irregulars. Everyone at the annual meeting is abuzz with the upcoming presentation by one of the members of the lost volume of Arthur Conan Doyle's journal covering a portion of the year 1900. The Irregular who has located and is to discuss the journal is found murdered in his hotel room, and Harold (along with reporter Sarah Lindsay in tow) sets out to solve the mystery in best Holmesian fashion. -- Meanwhile, in parallel chapters, Arthur Conan Doyle must deal with the public fallout from his having killed off his famous detective...and soon finds himself engaged in solving a real-life mystery of his own. -- Enjoyable book with twin resolutions that are both surprising and satisfying. ( )
  David_of_PA | Jul 14, 2018 |
I really wish I could give this a 3.5

As a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I couldn't resist listening to this audiobook. Having been rather disappointed by other Sherlock Holmes related books, I didn't expect much. I was pleasantly surprised!

The Sherlockian weaves together two story lines. In the 21st century, a Sherlock Holmes scholar finds himself swept up into searching for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's lost diary. Sir Arthur assiduously kept diaries of his activities. After his death, only one wasn't found. In the book as in the real world, that missing diary is a kind of holy grail to Holmes enthusiasts.

The modern story is told alternately with what might have happened to Sir Arthur during the period of the missing diary. This narrative fits the known facts during that time, based on other records. It also lays groundwork for both Sir Arthur's return to writing Holmes, as well as his later interest in spiritualism. It's a bold goal to create a period in the life of a historical figure - and this attempt works well.

The parallel narratives subtly support each other; each story is better for being braided together. Like the Holmes story, each of them is a fair play mystery - all of the data is there for the reader, but the reader may not figure it out until the end anyway.

I wasn't particularly trying to guess the answers, although my thoughts were in the correct direction in both cases :)

The modern story felt a bit contrived, but not painfully so. It was easy enough to put aside the plot holes and enjoy the story.

You don't have to know anything about Sir Arthur to enjoy this book, although the serious Holmes fan will probably enjoy the scholarship of this book as much as the nicely done mysteries.

( )
  hopeevey | May 20, 2018 |
The book exists more for the author to write than for a reader to read. The plot was perfectly made like puzzle pieces fitting together, and like puzzle pieces it was all cardboard. The characters only existed in a manner that would fit the neat and tidy plot. The choices the author made were transparent and distracting. I kept on reading, though, because the story is clever and interesting enough, and it's actually not that bad a book despite all I'm writing now. Still, the combination of unbelievable characters and an unbelievable plot (despite parts of it being based in reality) results in an unconvincing book. As a result, I have forgotten what happens in this book because I did not care, despite all the care that was put into what happens in this book. ( )
  Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
Very enjoyable novel split between 1900 and 2010. The events written for the 1900 section is based upon excellent research on the part of the author, the parts related to 2010 have taken some few events and presented them as speculative fiction. Going on my shelf next to my Conan Doyal books. ( )
  nadineeg | Jan 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
Moore is well-steeped in Holmes lore but savvy enough as a writer to keep the reader's interest with the parallel, and eventually intersecting, plots.
 
...juxtaposing two separate mysteries set a century apart and featuring distinctly different sleuths. It’s an ambitious approach based on sound scholarship, but the fussy and schematic split-focus narrative only makes us long for the cool, clean lucidity of Conan Doyle’s elegant style.
added by y2pk | editNew York Times, Marilyn Stasio (Dec 24, 2010)
 
So “The Sherlockian” manages to make a journey from the ridiculous (Harold White, instant detective?) to the sublime. And it is anchored by Mr. Moore’s self-evident love of the rules that shape good mystery fiction and the promises on which it must deliver.
 
"Moore's debut cleverly sets an accidental investigator on the track of an old document within the world of Sherlock Holmes buffs, though the results may please those with only a superficial knowledge of the great detective."
added by bookfitz | editPublishers Weekly (Oct 4, 2010)
 
"While occasionally heavy-handed and coincidental, Moore’s fiction provides a shrewd take on the noted author and his legendary scion."
added by bookfitz | editKirkus Reviews (Sep 1, 2010)
 
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Epigraph
So please grip this fact with your cerebral tentacle
The doll and its maker are never identical. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, London Opinion, December, 12, 1912
Dedication
For my mother, who first taught me to love mysteries when I was eight years old. We lay in bed passing a copy of Agatha Christie's A Murder in Three Acts back and forth, reading to each other. She made all of this possible.
For my mother, who first taught me to love mysteries when I was eight years old. We lay in bed passing a copy of Agatha Christie's A Murder in Three Acts back and forth, reading to each other. She made all of this possible.
First words
Arthur Conan Doyle curled his brow tightly and thought only of murder.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Arthur Conan Doyle curled his brow tightly and thought only of murder. I'm going to kill him," he muttered.

DECEMBER 1893. Hungry for the latest Sherlock Holmes installment, Londoners ripped open their Strand magazines, only to reel in horror. Holmes's creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning, with crowds donning black armbands in grief, branding Conan Doyle an assassin, and demanding an explanation. But the cryptic author said nothing.

Eight years later, however, just as abruptly as he had "murdered" Holmes in "The Final Problem," Conan Doyle brought him back for a new series of adventures. Again, the author said nothing. After his death, the diary that would have shed light on his mysterious reasons, chronicling this interim period in detail, went missing. In the decades since it has never been found.

Or has it?

JANUARY 2010. When Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes society, the Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he's about to emback on the hunt for the holy grail of Holmesophiles — the missing diary. But when the world's leading Doylean scholar turns up dead in his hotel room, it is Harold — using wisdom gleaned from countless detective stories — who must take up the search, both for the diary and for the killer. In a journey that hurtles from New York to London, and from the present day into the historical milieu of Conan Doyle, Harold delves perilously into the history of Sherlock Holmes and his creator — discovering a secret that proves to be anything but "elementary."

Haiku summary
Holmes Club member dies
New member resolves to find
Killer. Doyle is key.
(pickupsticks)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446572594, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2010: The Sherlockian begins with Arthur Conan Doyle pondering the best way to kill off the character that brought him fame, fortune, and the angst of a writer desperate to be remembered for more than "a few morbid yarns." We then skip more than a hundred years into the future, to meet Harold White, a Sherlock Holmes devotee attending an annual celebration of hundreds of Sherlockian societies. When both Conan Doyle and White face grisly murders, Graham Moore's delightful debut novel really takes off, bouncing merrily between these two characters and time periods. Replete with winking cameos and Holmes-worthy twists, The Sherlockian is an inspired historical suspense novel that will captivate Holmes fans and anyone who loves a good twisty, clever mystery. --Daphne Durham

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, he never imagines he's about to be thrust onto the hunt for Arthur Conan Doyle's missing diary. But after a Doylean scholar is murdered, it is Harold who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer.… (more)

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