The Sherlockian

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Janet Maslin
Thanks to the sly self-awareness that keeps The Sherlockian smart and agile, it's possible to enjoy this book's laughable affectations and still be seduced by them. This is a novel by, for and about Holmes-quoting mystery nuts, and it understands what makes them happy. Red herrings, exclamations of "Elementary!" and the assurance that life's problems have logical solutions are at the core of Mr. Moore's world view.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
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. In January 2010, Harold White, "a freelance literary researcher" who helps defend Hollywood studios against claims of copyright infringement, is inducted into the pre-eminent Sherlockian society, the Baker Street Irregulars, at their annual New York City dinner. During the festivities, scholar Alex Cale plans to present a long-lost diary penned by Arthur Conan Doyle that he's discovered, but someone strangles Cale before he can do so. Doyle's great-grandson hires White to solve the murder and trace the diary, which is missing from Cale's hotel room. Chapters alternate between White's amateur sleuthing in Europe and Doyle's own account of his search for a serial killer, aided by Dracula creator Bram Stoker. Admirers of similar efforts by Anthony Boucher, H. Paul Jeffers, and Arthur Lewis will find this falls short of their standard. (Dec.)
USA Today
Thrilling...a ripping good story that's packed with loads of Doyle and Holmes trivia.
Dallas Morning News
The tales merge in a grand finale that, looking back, seems inevitable. The Sherlockian on your Christmas list will love this book. So will any mystery lover, even one who has never read a Sherlock Holmes story, if there be such an unfortunate creature.
South Florida Sun-Sentinal
Clever...insightful...ingenious...a testament to the power of storytelling.
New York Post
Required reading.
BookPage
Combines good pacing with an engaging plot, and its ample dose of Holmes quotes, errata, and flair for humor have enough to keep anyone from an initiate to a dedicated Sherlockian on the hook...the kin of everyman adventure that one can't help but enjoy.
TheDailyBeast.com
Suspenseful...a first-time novelist fictionalizes real-life events to write a compelling mystery.
BookReporter.com
Moore spins a tale full of characters that make his first book a fun read...I found myself getting pulled into each story simultaneously since Moore deftly parallels the action taking places in both stories.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Fun and games with Sherlock Holmes is a never-ending pursuit, as THE SHERLOCKIAN proves.
Tucson Citizen
Exciting, clever, and convoluted (as all mysteries are)...This is a book for Sherlock Holmes fans, Conan Doyle fans, Stoke fans, and anyone who likes a good mystery/detective story.
Entertainment Weekly's "Top 10 Things We Love This Week"
"First time novelist Moore spins engaging parallel detective stories: one set in the lively world of modern-day Sherlock buffs and another features turn-of-the-century scribe Arthur Conan Doyle himself."
Rabbi David Wolpe - Huffington Post
"For mystery lovers, this book is a treat. For Sherlock Holmes lovers, it is indispensible."
S. Krishnas Books
"I enjoyed The Sherlockian immensely. I couldn't put it down because it was so compelling and the mystery was so well done. Whether you are a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, or, like me, don't know much about him, if you enjoy mysteries, you must pick up this book."
Oline Cogdill - Sun Sentinel
"Moore deftly alternates THE SHERLOCKIAN between his two heroes . . . smoothly delivers an evocative view of late-19th century London as well as its 21st century version. The endearingly nerdy White is perfectly balanced by the arrogant and priggish Doyle. Doyle would be proud of Moore's ingenious THE SHERLOCKIAN. So would Holmes. As will any fan of Holmes."
Brian Wooley - The Dallas Morning News
"[Moore] gives us two mysteries for the price of one, and what ripping yarns they are . . . Moore uses alternating chapters to tell his two stories - a method that could become clumsy, but doesn't. Then the tales merge in a grand finale that, looking back, seems inevitable. The Sherlockian on your Christmas list will love this book. So will any mystery lover, even one who has never read a Sherlock Holmes story, if there be such an unfortunate creature."
Rupert Holmes
"What irresistible fun! As the literary intrigue deepens, with Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, and some brainy Sherlock Holmes buffs as partners in crime, you don't have to be Holmes to deduce that The Sherlockian is a serpentine delight for anyone who loves mystery and historical suspense."
Christopher Hitchens
"It must be said of Graham Moore that he has his methods. Ingenious and amusing ones, too. You will enjoy their elucidation even if you are not a committed Sherlockian. The game's afoot!"
Matthew Pearl
Brilliantly executed: a must-read for admirers of historical fiction, Sherlock Holmes, and intellectual mysteries...This debut manages to be both highly original as well as deeply reverential to its literary sources. It's difficult to find a new spin on Sherlock Holmes, but Graham Moore has pulled it off with flying colors.
Curled Up With A Good Book Blog
"This is a fun revision of Doyle redux in both contemporary and vintage modes. Moore is a witty writer and populates his first book with engaging characters: Bram Stoker, for one . . . There is a much to take in here. Moore will leave you alternately awed and mystified."
Booklist (Starred Review)
"The problem with Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories is that there aren't enough of them. Fans try to fill the gap with spin-offs, some of which work better than others. This engaging riff on the familiar themes by first-novelist Moore is one of the best . . . Moore spins his tale in prose that shifts easily from exposition to pathos to sly comedy . . . Mystery fans should love the mix of historical fiction and contemporary puzzle-solving. And Sherlockians? Try keeping them away."
The Daily Beast's "Hot Reads"
"A first-time novelist fictionalizes real-life events to write a compelling mystery about the society of Sherlock Holmes scholars."
Janet Maslin - New York Times

"Sly self-awareness keeps THE SHERLOCKIAN smart and agile, [and] it's possible to enjoy this book's laughable affectations and still be seduced by them... 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."
Janet Maslin - The New York Times
"[THE SHERLOCKIAN's] smart young author, Graham Moore, has done much more than fall into the fancy of Holmes's existence. He has fallen down a Holmes well. He's going to take a lot of readers with him too. Thanks to the sly self-awareness that keeps "The Sherlockian" smart and agile, it's possible to enjoy this book's laughable affectations and still be seduced by them. This is a novel by, for and about Holmes-quoting mystery nuts, and it understands what makes them happy. Red herrings, exclamations of "Elementary!" and the assurance that life's problems have logical solutions are at the core of Mr. Moore's world view . . . interestingly researched . . . based on something authentic . . . "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."
Scott Turow
"The Sherlockian is a well-written, fast paced and completely engaging homage to the legacy of Arthur Conan Doyle, in which an intriguing dose of literary history never stand in the way of an exciting present-day mystery."
Marilyn Stasio - New York Times Book Review
The mystery is gripping, and Moore has a feel for the transitional nature of Conan Doyle's era.
David Wolpe - The Huffington Post

"A truly terrific mystery ... Witty and breezy, yet [it]manages to explore the toll taken on Doyle by having created a character so beloved that the creation obscures the creator ... For a first book - actually, for any book - this is impressive. Among its virtues is a feel for the gas-lamp Victorian world. As we read, we understand Doyle's impatience with his world as well as [Harold] White's yearning to return to it ... The Escher like patterning of real life on fictional reconstruction, complete with murder, related rissoles and tentative love story all come off without a hitch. For mystery lovers, this book is a treat. For Sherlock Holmes lovers, it is indispensible."
Booklist (starred review)
"The problem with Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories is that there aren't enough of them. Fans try to fill the gap with spin-offs, some of which work better than others. This engaging riff on the familiar themes by first-novelist Moore is one of the best . . . Moore spins his tale in prose that shifts easily from exposition to pathos to sly comedy . . . Mystery fans should love the mix of historical fiction and contemporary puzzle-solving. And Sherlockians? Try keeping them away."
From the Publisher
Exciting, clever, and convoluted (as all mysteries are)...This is a book for Sherlock Holmes fans, Conan Doyle fans, Stoke fans, and anyone who likes a good mystery/detective story.—Tucson Citizen
Booklist
The problem with Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories is that there aren't enough of them. Fans try to fill the gap with spin-offs, some of which work better than others. This engaging riff on the familiar themes by first-novelist Moore is one of the best . . . Moore spins his tale in prose that shifts easily from exposition to pathos to sly comedy . . . Mystery fans should love the mix of historical fiction and contemporary puzzle-solving. And Sherlockians? Try keeping them away.
Associated Press Staff
"The tales of Conan Doyle and White, told in alternating chapters, make up "The Sherlockian," Graham Moore's entertaining debut novel. Both mysteries are well crafted, with gratifying and amusing nods toward the conflation of Conan Doyle and his most famous literary creation ... exemplary weaving of historical fact and fiction ... This is a novel clearly written with great affection, not just for Conan Doyle and Holmes, but their 21st-century fans as well."
Entertainment Weekly
Moore spins engaging parallel detective stories.
TheBookReporter.com
"Spins a tale full of characters that make his first book a fun read . . . I found myself getting pulled into each story simultaneously since Moore deftly parallels the action taking place in both stories . . . Moore is obviously an ardent fan of both Sherlock Holmes and his creator. He does a good job of capturing the time period in 1893, even including some new scientific discoveries such as indoor lighting, which adds a nice authentic touch. Even if you're not a fan of Conan Doyle, Moore will incite some interest in reading a few of his stories . . . enough to make you want to see if you own a copy of THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES or A STUDY IN SCARLET."
The Daily Beast
A first-time novelist fictionalizes real-life events to write a compelling mystery about the society of Sherlock Holmes scholars.
LA2DAY
"The final book published by Twelve this year, THE SHERLOCKIAN rises above the expectation that one has come to expect from the New York publishing house. . . . . The narrative is delightfully shaped, intricately crafted and promises to entertain."
The Buffalo News
"A clever debut . . . an insightful look at the rise of celebrities, extreme fans and a character who continues to be bigger than life as well as a testament to the power of storytelling . . . Moore deftly alternates between two heroes working in two time periods on two continents. Doyle would be proud of Moore's ingenious novel."
Book Page
The Sherlockian combines good pacing with an engaging plot, and its ample dose of Holmes quotes, errata and flair for humor have enough to keep anyone from an initiate to a dedicated Sherlockian on the hook . . . the kind of everyman adventure that one can't help but enjoy."
Los Angeles Times
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.
Bob Hoover
Fun and games with Sherlock Holmes is a never-ending pursuit, as "The Sherlockian" by first-time novelist Graham Moore (Twelve, $24.99) proves. Fans of the Baker Street sleuth can follow the life of his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, and an odd legacy that emerges in the present day.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
David Wolpe
For mystery lovers, this book is a treat. For Sherlock Holmes lovers, it is indispensible.
Huffington Post
Daphne Durham
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.
Amazon's, "Best Books of the Month"
Brian Wooley
[Moore] gives us two mysteries for the price of one, and what ripping yarns they are . . . Moore uses alternating chapters to tell his two stories - a method that could become clumsy, but doesn't. Then the tales merge in a grand finale that, looking back, seems inevitable. The Sherlockian on your Christmas list will love this book. So will any mystery lover, even one who has never read a Sherlock Holmes story, if there be such an unfortunate creature.
The Dallas Morning News
Sarah Weinman
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.
Los Angeles Times
Oline Cogdill
Moore deftly alternates THE SHERLOCKIAN between his two heroes . . . smoothly delivers an evocative view of late-19th century London as well as its 21st century version. The endearingly nerdy White is perfectly balanced by the arrogant and priggish Doyle. Doyle would be proud of Moore's ingenious THE SHERLOCKIAN. So would Holmes. As will any fan of Holmes.
Sun Sentinel
Janet Maslin
[THE SHERLOCKIAN's] smart young author, Graham Moore, has done much more than fall into the fancy of Holmes's existence. He has fallen down a Holmes well. He's going to take a lot of readers with him too. Thanks to the sly self-awareness that keeps "The Sherlockian" smart and agile, it's possible to enjoy this book's laughable affectations and still be seduced by them. This is a novel by, for and about Holmes-quoting mystery nuts, and it understands what makes them happy. Red herrings, exclamations of "Elementary!" and the assurance that life's problems have logical solutions are at the core of Mr. Moore's world view . . . interestingly researched . . . based on something authentic . . . "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.
The New York Times
Marilyn Stasio
The mystery is gripping, and Moore has a feel for the transitional nature of Conan Doyle's era.
New York Times, "Baker Street Irregular"
Carol Memmott
Thrilling . . . a ripping good story that's packed with loads of Doyle and Holmes trivia.
USA Today
Library Journal
This debut literary thriller, which revolves around a central mystery in Arthur Conan Doyle's life (why did he kill off Sherlock Holmes and then revive him?), weaves together two very different perspectives and time periods. At the annual Baker Street Irregular convention in 2010, newly minted "Irregular" Harold immediately begins investigating the murder of Alex Cale, a top Sherlock Holmes scholar who had bragged about finding the famously missing volume of Conan Doyle's diary. But when Cale is found dead in his hotel room, the diary is nowhere to be seen. Meanwhile, back in 1900, Conan Doyle, desperately sick of his famous character, decides he must channel his own creation to find the person who sent him a letter bomb. Teaming up with his friend Bram Stoker, the author finds the situation is much more complicated, involving suffragettes, cryptic tattoos, and murder. VERDICT The constant switching of narrators can be jarring, but Moore does an excellent job of making his characters and settings feel real, using his thorough knowledge of the Holmes stories to good effect. Given the enduring popularity of Sherlock Holmes, this title is an excellent choice for public libraries and historical mystery fans who enjoy Matthew Pearl's thrillers. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/10.]—Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib., CA
Kirkus Reviews

Another resurrection of Sherlockiana, the conceit here being the story of tracking down Arthur Conan Doyle's missing journal from 1900—and solving a murder associated with the journal.

Owing to a couple of scholarly articles on Sherlock Holmes, Harold White has just been inducted into the famous but secretive Sherlockian society; at 29 he's one of the youngest members ever invited to join. A game's afoot, however, for Alex Cale, perhaps the most prominent Sherlockian of all, has recently announced that he's found Conan Doyle's famous missing journal. His plan is to reveal the contents at the annual meeting of the Sherlockians at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, but Cale is found murdered, with the word "Elementary" written on the wall near his body. White decides to solve both the case of the missing journal and Cale's murder. In his investigation he's abetted by Sebastian Conan Doyle, the great-grandson of the author himself (who feels he's the rightful owner of the journal), and Sarah, a reporter bent on following White because she's sure he has the best chance of finding the journal and solving the mystery of Cale's death. Throughout the narrative White's mantra is "What would Sherlock Holmes do?" and his answers to this question lead him from New York to London to Cambridge and finally to the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland, the site of Holmes's putative death. Moore cleverly alternates his chapters between White's story in the present and Conan Doyle's activities in the fall of 1900, so the reader can better understand the reasons why Conan Doyle—or more likely his friend Bram Stoker—would want to suppress the journal. Along the way, Stoker winds up playing Watson to Conan Doyle, much as Sarah becomes a Watson figure to White.

While occasionally heavy-handed and coincidental, Moore's fiction provides a shrewd take on the noted author and his legendary scion.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410435347
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 3/2/2011
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 571
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Graham Moore is a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University, where he received his degree in Religious History. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt

The Sherlockian


By Moore, Graham

Twelve

Copyright © 2010 Moore, Graham
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446572590

CHAPTER 1

The Reichenbach Falls

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

August 9, 1893

Arthur Conan Doyle curled his brow tightly and thought only of murder.

“I’m going to kill him,” Conan Doyle said as he folded his arms across his broad frame. High in the Swiss Alps, the air tickled Arthur’s inch-thick mustache and seemed to blow straight through his ears. Set far back on his head, Arthur’s ears always appeared to be perking up, listening to something else, something distant and behind him. For such a stocky man, he had a nose that was remarkably sharp. His hair had only recently begun to gray, a process that Arthur couldn’t help but wish along. Though he was but thirty-three years of age, he was already a celebrated author. An internationally acclaimed man of letters with light ocher hair would not do so well as a wizened one, now, would he?

Arthur’s two traveling companions ascended to the ledge on which he stood, the highest climbable point of the Reichenbach Falls. Silas Hocking was a cleric and novelist well known as far away as Arthur’s London. His recent offering of religious literature, Her Benny, was a work Arthur held in high regard. Edward Benson was an acquaintance of Hocking’s and was much quieter than his gregarious friend. Though Arthur had met the two men only this morning, over breakfast at the Rifel Alp Hotel in Zermatt, he felt that he could confide in them safely. He could tell them of his mind, and of his dark plans.

“The fact is, he has gotten to be a kind of ‘old man of the sea’ about my neck,” continued Arthur, “and I intend to make an end of him.” Hocking huffed as he stood beside Arthur, gazing at the vast expanse of the Alps before them. Tufts of snow melted yards beneath their feet into a mighty stream of water that had, millennia ago, driven a path through the mountain as it poured loudly into the frothing pool below. Benson silently pressed a mittenful of snow into a tight ball and dropped it whimsically into the chasm. The force of the wind tore bits off the snowball as it fell, until it disappeared in the air as a series of white puffs.

“If I don’t,” said Arthur, “he’ll make a death of me.”

“Don’t you think you’re being rather rough on an old friend?” asked Hocking. “He’s given you fame. Fortune. You two have made a handsome couple.”

“And in plastering his name across every penny dreadful in London, I’ve given him a reputation which far exceeds my own. You know I get letters. ‘My beloved cat has vanished into South Hampstead. Her name is Sherry-Ann. Can you find her?’ Or, ‘My mum had her purse snatched exiting a hansom in Piccadilly. Can you deduce the culprit?’ But the thing of it is, the letters aren’t addressed to me—they’re addressed to him. They think he’s real.”

“Yes, your poor, admiring readers,” pleaded Hocking. “Have you thought of them? People seem so terribly fond of the fellow.”

“More fond of him than of me! Do you know I received a letter from my own Mam? She asked—knowing I would of course do anything she ever required—she asked that I sign the name Sherlock Holmes to a book for her neighbor Beattie. Can you imagine? Sign his name rather than my own. My Mam speaks as if she’s Holmes’s mother, not mine. Gah!” Arthur tried to contain his sudden burst of anger.

“My greater work is ignored,” he continued. “Micah Clarke? The White Company? That charming little play I concocted with Mr. Barrie? Overlooked for a few morbid yarns. Worse still, he has become a waste of my time. If I have to concoct another of those tortuous plots—the bedroom door always locked from the inside, the dead man’s indecipherable final message, the whole thing told wrong end first so that no one can guess the obvious solution—it is a drain.” Arthur looked to his boots, showing his weariness in his bowed head. “To put it frankly, I hate him. And for my own sanity, I will soon see him dead.”

“How will you do it, then?” teased Hocking. “How does one go about killing the great Sherlock Holmes? Stab him in the heart? Slit his throat? Hang him by the neck?”

“A hanging! My, are those words a balm upon my mind. But no, no, it should be something grand—he is a hero, after all. I’ll give him one final case. And a villain. He’ll be in need of a proper villain this time around. A gentlemanly fight to the death; he sacrifices himself for the greater good, and both men perish. Something along those lines.” Benson pounded another snowball into being and lobbed it gently into the air. Arthur and Hocking watched its open-ended arc as it vanished into the sky.

“If you want to save on funeral expenses,” Hocking said with a chuckle, “you could always toss him off a cliff.” He looked to Arthur for a reaction but found no smile on his face. Instead Arthur curled his brow in the tight-faced frown he wore when he was in the midst of his deepest thinking.

He gazed at the jaws of the chasm below. He could hear the roar of the falling water and the violent crush it made at the mouth of the rock-speckled river. Arthur felt himself suddenly terrified. He imagined his own death on those stones. Being a medical man, Arthur was more than familiar with the frailty of the human body. A fall of this height… His corpse banging, slapping against the rocks all the way down… The dreadful cry caught in his mouth… Torn limb from limb on the crust of the earth, the wisps of grass stained with his blood… And now, in his thoughts, his own body vanished, replaced by someone leaner. Taller. A thin, underfed ribbon of a man, in a deerstalker cap and long coat. His hard face obliterated, once and for all, on a spike of gunmetal stone.

Murder.



Continues...

Excerpted from The Sherlockian by Moore, Graham Copyright © 2010 by Moore, Graham. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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( 121 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 123 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Too much of the author's hand involved.

    Graham Moore's debut novel has all the ingredients to be a delicious mystery. it opens with Arthur Conan Doyle and his dear friend Bram Stoker as Arthur debates the pros and cons of killing off his famed character, Sherlock Holmes. Filled with a bitter hatred for his character because all of London believes Holmes to be real, and Arthur to be his literary agent, he sets about to destroy Sherlock and falls into a real life Holmes mystery along the way when murdered young women start appearing across his path. In the present, newly inducted Sherlockian Harold White celebrates his membership into the exclusive Holmes fan club, the Baker Street Irregulars. On the morning of the most important Irregular meeting in history, the presentation of the missing diary of Arthur Conan Doyle, Harold is pulled into his own Sherlock novel when the man who found the diary is murdered and the diary goes missing. Alternating between these two mysteries, The Sherlockian flows along quite nicely in the beginning. The plots are intriguing and, like a good mystery, keep you turning the page. But about a third of the way in a shift in the writing can be felt, a twist in the flow. No longer was I reading a mystery whose words carried the story. Suddenly I could feel the presence of the author, his hand in the way things were turning out, his decisions in making a clue appear here or there. It caused me to step back from the book and view it as a piece of the author's work, not a natural thing of its own. I know a good book because the writing works for itself, the characters carry me along, not the author. When I can sense an author at work, I am removed and the book feels clumsy and even contrived. Sadly, The Sherlockian became that for me. The writing was still decent, but Harold became an annoying, weak character instead of a charming Holmes enthusiast, and Arthur Conan Doyle became a silly, bumbling detective instead of the writer of great mysteries. Overall I became underwhelmed by The Sherlockian about half-way through. I persisted out of curiosity to see how Moore would solve the mystery of the diary, but in hindsight, I've already forgotten what kept me turning the page, and I only finished reading last night.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    The game's afoot!

    The Sherlockian opens in 1893 during the "Great Hiatus," which to all non-Sherlockians is the period of time when Arthur Conan Doyle had "killed off" the legendary dearstalker-wearing sleuth Sherlock Holmes and the fans were deprived of any new Holmes mysteries. Conan Doyle has made quick work of the great Sherlock by sending him over the falls, and he was presumed dead for several years. Any soap opera watcher knows that unless the body is found, there's no dead character. And so it was with Holmes when Conan Doyle slyly resurrected Holmes to the thrill of his fans worldwide.


    We then fast forward to 2010 New York, to the bastion of all-things-literary, The Algonquin Hotel. It's there that the most ardent of Doyle/Sherlock fans, The Baker Street Irregulars, are holding their private induction meeting to welcome their new member Harold White. All of the members were excited with news Alex Cale had finally located the long lost diary of Conan Doyle. Alex had arrived at the Algonquin on "a dark and stormy night", announcing to Harold that he was being followed and feared for his life. A well founded fear, as it happens.


    In The Sherlockian, author Graham Moore sets two clearly defined stages, telling two stories, both using Sherlock Holmes as a main character. While in the past, Doyle is aided by his real life friend, Dracula author Bram Stoker, as they try to solve a mystery surrounding the deaths of young women by using the techniques that Conan Doyle employed while scripting Holmes. A very clever and fun aspect of the story that first time author Moore uses brilliantly.


    Moore easily slips us back and forth between the end of the 19th century with Conan Doyle and then forward into 2010 with Harold and his "Watson" freelance reporter, Sarah Lindsey as they search for the long lost Conan Doyle diary.


    Being a mystery lover, I enjoyed the plotting and twists that Moore brings to the story. The Sherlockian is a work of historical fiction, and many of the situations and happenings in the book are events in Conan Doyle's life. Moore writes an enjoyable book, encompassing the telling of two gripping tales within the single book. The Sherlockian is the kind of book that I read quickly, rapidly turning the page in anticipation, only to realize I had almost finished the book and slow down to enjoy the end. I enjoyed this so much I'd pay hard-earned money to buy and give as a gift.


    I look forward to what comes next from Mr. Moore.


    Source: I received this book from the publisher at my request and in no way did this affect my review.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2010

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    So Much Fun!

    I love Sherlock Holmes stories and picked this up last week thinking it would be fun to read and I was not disappointed. It was very entertaining because of the parallel story lines of a modern day Sherlockian and Arthur Conan Doyle after he decided to kill Holmes. Anyone who's a fan of mysteries and/or Sherlock Holmes will enjoy this new novel from a promising new author.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2010

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    This is a superb Sherlockian thriller

    In the 2010 annual Baker Street Irregular convention, newby "Irregular" Harold investigates the murder of renowned Sherlock Holmes scholar Alex Cale. The homicide occurred just after Cale boasted he found the lost volume of Conan Doyle's diary. The valuable entry was not found in the hotel room where Cale was killed.

    In 1893, Arthur Conan Doyle is bone weary of Holmes as he has no life seemingly without the famous literary sleuth. However, he never anticipated the uproar and anger when he solved his dilemma at Reichenbach Falls. In 1900 he has a bigger concern to deal with since someone sent him a letter bomb perhaps because of what he did to his "alter-ego". He turns to his friend Bram Stoker, who understands what it means to write a novel with a character that takes on a life of its own, to help him ferret out who wants Doyle as dead as Holmes.

    This is a superb Sherlockian thriller with the focuses on why Doyle killed and later resurrected his hero. Readers see the same questions analyzed through the characters in the present day and over a century ago. The parallel subplots are rotated, which can be a bit overwhelming. The murder subplots though well conceived while enhancing the tale take a back seat to the overarching historiographical theme. Graham Moore proves modern day intelligent people unintended and unwittingly bring their imprint to Doyle and Holmes.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2010

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    By George, I think he's solved it!

    What ever mystery hunter would love that is a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes would be to solve a mystery of their own!

    Well in fact that is just what newcomer, Harold White, discovers as he attends his first official meeting of the Backstreet Irregulars, a private membership of those individuals who have an deep interest in all things involving Sherlock Holmes. The holy grail of all the members is the elusive diary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which has been missing for years. Only when a member by the name of Alex Cale announces he has discovered it, does the mystery truly begin.

    When Alex is found murdered, Harold White takes it upon himself to solve the mystery much like his nemesis, Sherlock Holmes would have.

    In the novel, The Sherlockian by Graham Moore, the reader is immersed from the first page into two different time periods, one dealing with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the famous author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and a modern day mystery involving solving the murder of Alex Cale who purportedly had the original diary of Mr. Doyle's in his possession.

    For those of you that love following clues, and unraveling the unknown mysteries in a great novel by fireside, this one is a must for you. I received this wonderful book compliments of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review and uncovered a 5 out of 5 stars!

    This book is available in hardcover, audio and eBook formats.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    worth the read

    Goes back and forth a bit but worth it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2012

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    Spot On

    The world's love affair with Sherlock Holmes and his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, continues unabated. With more motion pictures and television shows devoted to Holmes, we can only assume that even more readers will be drawn to the original stories as well as the myriad of offshoots penned by writers paying homage to the legend and his creator. The Sherlockian, by Graham Moore, is an excellent addition to the Holmes collection. Moore gives us a very detailed portrait of Arthur Conan Doyle at a crucial time in the writer's life. Doyle feels he is being overshadowed by his own creation. He kills off his hero, but is still daily faced with reminders of Holmes' presence. In order to prove his superiority, Doyle becomes involved in solving the mystery of a slain girl. As a counterpoint, Moore intersperses a storyline set in the present wherein a Sherlockian devotee, Harold, is totally involved in the legend and lore of Sherlock Holmes. He becomes involved in the search for a missing diary which Conan Doyle supposedly penned between the time he killed off Holmes and the detective's eventual resurrection. The past and present are artfully counterbalanced to present a blend of action and romance that takes the reader deep into Conan Doyle's life to delve into the last remaining mystery of a master of mystery. Provided for review by the well read folks at Twelve Books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Very very good!

    A must read for fans of mystery books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014

    Double the Sherlock, double the greatness

    It's my first mystery other than the original Sherlock series, definitely lived up to the standards. I would recommend this for everyone other than a few curse words, so not for the kids. Very suspenseful!!

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    Excellent

    Couldn't put it down

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    Great read!

    Interesting twist on a Sherlock story in a multitudinous world of Sherlock stories.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    soon I'll get to it

    I haven't read it yet but can't wait

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Loved it !!!

    I love "sherlockiana" (not sure if that is a word). I've read all of Laurie King's Mary Russell/Holmes series and Hockensmith, too. This is a fun addition to Holmes stories. I liked seeing Doyle's point of view. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Holmes stories.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2011

    ELEMENTARY!!!

    I could not put this book down... i even took it to work and read it there while on my breaks... Graham Moore creates a story that will have you trying to figure out everything that happens just like Holmes does. Its a great story that leaves you one step behind the hero and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle! A must read for all sherlock holmes fans!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Excellent gift for Sherlock fans

    If youknow a Sherlock fan, i recommend this book!

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    Worthy tribute to holmes

    I am in the middle of listening to this book. I find myself thinking about it at random times. The Doyle/Holmes interludes really are what make the book strong. I always enjoy story behind the story books that bring in the history.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    Decent book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2011

    Elementary!

    I ended up really enjoying this book but at the first 100 pages I wanted the pace to pick up...and it did. Once you get into it, you find it hard to put down. Most excellent in the way it all came together at the end.

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    The Sherlockian

    This book was very interesting. It was fast paced and really.kept me waiting. I would most definetely reccomend this.book to anyone up for a good mystery.

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  • Posted February 9, 2011

    Wonderful.

    This book was fantastic. It had a great pace and scintillating imagery. It was not hard to follow, even if you have not read any Sherlock Holmes stories. If you had, you find yourself trying to deduce along with the characters and solve the mystery with them. The interesting format the author uses by alternating each chapter from the point of view of Arthur Conan Doyle to Harold, the protagonist, is entertaining and keeps you from being able to stop reading. The end of each chapter is cliffhanger enough that you simply must continue reading. You find yourself immersed and trying to make the same deductions and conclusions you would if you were reading a S.H. novel or short story. Of course, this is simply my opinion, but I can't wait to reread it, now with the omniscient perspective. ....all this and the author was only twenty eight. Wonderful.

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