Set in 1905, Meyer’s memorable fourth Sherlock Holmes novel, his first since 1993’s The Canary Trainer, convincingly mimics Conan Doyle’s writing style and characterizations. After the murder of British operative Manya Lippman, Holmes’s brother, Mycroft, the dead woman’s employer, asks for help in tracing the origins of the papers found on her corpse. Lippman apparently paid with her life for somehow obtaining a French version of the anti-Semitic tract known as The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which describe a Jewish plot for world domination. Mycroft is concerned about a possible connection between the documents, the annual meetings of Jews committed to the establishment of a Jewish homeland, and the untimely death of Zionist leader Theodor Herzl, who apparently suffered a heart attack right before he could be interviewed by one of Mycroft’s agents. Holmes and Watson’s pursuit of the truth takes them to France and Russia, where their ethics face a severe test. Meyer cleverly plays with his audience’s expectations, noting at the outset that the case was one of Holmes’s rare failures. Sherlockians will hope for a shorter wait for his next pastiche. Author tour. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary. (Oct.)
Reading Nicholas Meyer’s very first Sherlock Holmes adventure, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, made me decide to become a writer.
Reading his latest simply made me a delighted and satisfied reader.” Michael Chabon
“Mr. Meyer’s account of Holmes’s efforts to find the source and stop the spread of this vile hoax is rich with period detail and clever invention.” Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
"A successful narration of a previously untold part of the great consulting detective's life and times, worthy of being added to the Sherlock Holmes books already in your home library." The Oklahoman
“Protocols is an effective thriller, rich in atmosphere and period detail, as well as a wise affectionate and sometimes deeply melancholy portrait of Holmes and his world. It’s a masterful concoction that Sherlockian devotees will savor.” Mystery Scene
“Invigoratingly engaging from start to finish, Nicholas Meyer has yet again created a fresh take on an old genre.” NY Journal of Books
"Fabulous... Holmes enthusiasts will relish this well-crafted novel." Library Journal (starred review)
"Packs an abundance of suspense, intrigue and Holme-sian flavor." Bookpage
"Inventive...the parallels drawn to the rise of fascism today will resonate with readers...an absorbing and exciting tale!" Booklist
"So many historical figures, from translator Constance Garnett to future Israeli president Chaim Weizmann, put in appearances that only the canniest readers will spot the few characters who are actually invented..there's sturdy adventure for Sherlock-ians whose appetites remain unsated." Kirkus Reviews
"Once again the game is afoot! Brilliantly rendered and ever-faithful to the Sherlockian Canon, Holmes, Watson and the world they inhabit come to vivid life in this story that is as entertaining, informative and enthralling as it is important and unexpectedly relevant to our modern world. This novel is a tour de force that is not to be missed!" John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author
"The discovery of unpublished work by John H. Watson is always a cause for joy, and this case is essentialnot just for its globe-trotting adventure...but also for its timely resonance." Glen David Gold, bestselling author of Carter Beats the Devil
"Nicholas Meyer's new novel brings some welcome new dimension to the characters of both Holmes and Watson, as well as delivering a suspenseful narrative enhanced by remarkable period detail. More importantly, the book's main themes, painfully relevant to our current age, make it a surprisingly vital and urgent read." Dennis Palumbo, author of Daniel Rinaldi series and screenwriter of My Favorite Year
"Holmes and Watson reunite to eradicate the greatest lie ever told, in this thrilling and surprising new tale by Nicholas Meyer, the legendary author of The Seven-Per-Cent Solution. Why, oh why, Mr. Meyer, have you 'discovered' only four of these treasures in the past 44 years!" Leslie S. Klinger, editor, New Annotated Sherlock Holmes
"What a splendid book, what grand fun...A corking good read and a cracking good adventure that performs the delicious miracle of bringing back to life the greatest detective of them all." Chicago Tribune on The Seven Per-Cent Solution
"A gem...delightful reading for everyone." Wall Street Journal on The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
Prolific screenwriter, showrunner, and sometime Sherlock-ian Meyer (The Canary Trainer, 1993, etc.) returns to update the Sacred Canon once more with a previously undiscovered adventure from 1905 that might just as well have stayed hidden.
As so often in latter-day Holmes pastiches, the great detective's brother, Mycroft, drags him into this one. Popping up at a dinner Dr. John Watson gives for Sherlock's 50th birthday, Mycroft quietly demands a meeting the next morning at the Diogenes Club, where he shows his brother a single bloodstained page of a manuscript so incendiary that it's already provoked the murder of Manya Lippman, Mycroft's colleague in the Secret Intelligence Service. The manuscript, written in French, is The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a forged plan for world domination designed to stoke anti-Semitism that Mycroft's determined to suppress or discredit before it can metastasize and turn a generation yet unborn against the Jews. Since the Protocols are a real-life phenomenon, not so much peculiar as monstrous, that would ultimately travel the world to be embraced by parties from Hitler to Hamas, it's no surprise to read in Meyer's introductory note that this adventure marks "the biggest and most consequential failure of the detective's entire career." But that's not for lack of trying. Tracing the source of the monstrous hoax to Russia, Holmes travels with Watson and American translator Anna Walling across Europe to the czar's kingdom, quickly identifies the manuscript's vengeful creator, and extracts a written confession that it's a forgery and a plagiarism to boot before returning on the Orient Express for a climactic episode cribbed, as Meyer's closing Acknowledgments cheerfully admit, from Alfred Hitchcock's film The Lady Vanishes. So many historical figures, from translator Constance Garnett to future Israeli president Chaim Weizmann, put in appearances that only the canniest readers will spot the few characters who are actually invented rather than summoned.
The mystery is slight and the frequently coy footnotes annoying, but there's sturdy adventure for Sherlock-ians whose appetites remain unsated.
Rejoice, Sherlock fans! Meyer returns with another thrilling adventure for Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (after 1993's The Canary Trainer and 1976's The West End Horror). In 1905, Holmes and Watson begin a secret investigation at the request of Mycroft Holmes. A British agent has been murdered while smuggling The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a manuscript that endangers the entire Jewish population, The quest leads Holmes and Watson, accompanied by a gorgeous Russian translator, on a perilous journey from Paris to Russia aboard the Orient Express. The intrepid trio seek the manuscript's creator in a desperate attempt to stop the insidious spread of the anti-Semitic document. A fabulous Sherlockian tale ensues, complete with unexpected twists, disguises, abduction, and Russian roulette. VERDICT Director and author Meyer puts his own stamp on the Holmes and Watson tradition, basing his story on historic events with contemporary relevance, as lies become accepted as truth by means of willful ignorance. Holmes enthusiasts will relish this well-crafted novel.—Barbara Clark-Greene, Westerly, RI