The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
Posted by Caitie F on March 21, 2011
Title: The Sherlockian
Author: Graham Moore
Hardcover: 350 pages
Publisher: Twelve (Hachette Book Group)
Year Published: 2010 (December)
Summary (from goodreads):
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.
I have read several really good books already this year, but this book was by FAR the best. If you like mysteries or Sherlock Holmes stories at all you need to go buy this book (or put it on hold at your library).
The biggest stand out of this book is the writing. The style made me feel like I was reading a Holmes story. It had the two stories, one set in the early 1900s and one set in modern times, which was cool on its own. What really made it different is that something that happened in the past would happen in the present or effect what was going on in the present. It made for a very unique narrative and made the book so much fun to read!
It was also a lot of fun to read the parts with Arthur Conan Doyle because he was such an fascinating guy! His hatred of Holmes and his decision to kill him made me think about how a character as iconic as Sherlock could affect an author and at times it had me laughing a little because of what I knew that Doyle didn’t. Bram Stoker was also an influential character in the book and Orson Wells is even mentioned! Seeing unromanticized an version of london at the time made for a great setting!
The modern mystery was really exciting too. I did not even know there were Sherlockians (yes it is real. This is a historical fiction book and that is an accurate aspect. The author actually has what is true and what isn’t at the end which made me appreciate the book and author so much more!). Harold is a great character because he is a complete nerd who has finally found his place in his society and has to go off and be like his favorite detective.
This book was so much fun to read. I really look forward to reading more by Graham Moore, since this book was such a joy to read!