Book Review: The Sherlockian

Title: The Sherlockian

Author: Graham Moore

Setting: late 19th century England and modern day LA/England

How I heard about this book: Library Display

Summary: A Sherlock fan uncovers a real mystery when a fellow scholar is murdered just when he is due to reveal a secret diary at a convention.

This was essentially two mysteries in one, one involving a meeting of the Baker Street Irregulars which is marked by the murder of a Sherlock scholar just as he is set to read a shocking new paper. New member Harold White discovers the body. He decides to find out who killed his friend and what happened to the missing diary which might finally reveal why Doyle brought Holmes back from Reichenbach Falls.

The other mystery follows Arthur Conan Doyle and his good buddy Bram Stoker as they try to figure out who mailed the letter bomb that almost killed the good doctor. Their investigation intertwines with a series of murders targeting young women.

I picked this up because I am always interested in new Holmes stories. Sometimes I really like them, sometimes I hate them, but I love Sherlock Holmes as a character. I’m not as crazy about the actual stories – I find his writing uneven and careless. In fact, this book reveals a little of his writing process, which was hasty at best. But you have to admit that Doyle created one of the most iconic characters of the 19th century.

I enjoyed this, but with reservations. Doyle comes off as pretty unsympathetic – pompous, cynical, vain. I liked Bram Stoker, but he’s not the central character. The modern mystery was more interesting than the supposed historical one. I found it interesting at the end to find that the modern mystery was based on actual events. If you like Holmes, I would recommend looking at this one to see if it interests you. I think if you were just mildly interested in Holmes, but like Bram Stoker, I’d still recommend it. I’d rate it at 3 stars.

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