The Starving Bibliophile

Books before food (and any sort of comfortable life).

The Sherlockian

Summary: 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.

This book had me at the edge of my seat. I really loved how you got two stories that merged into one: Harold’s story and Conan Doyle’s story. They’re both trying to do the same thing (solve a murder) using the coveted wits of Sherlock Holmes himself. Although neither are as brainy, they each put their heads together with the help of their own personal “Watson” (Harold has journalist Sarah Lindsay, who has secrets of her own, and Conan Doyle has none other than Bram Stoker). Their mysteries lead them all over the place to areas that they have never been taken before. This book was really fun for me in that I love anything with a good mystery, and anything having to do with Sherlock Holmes is bound to be fantastic. I never saw the ending coming, in a million years, which made it all the more exciting. Although the perfect “happily ever after” ending is expected, Graham Moore does not offer that. Instead he offers a better ending: better for the characters, if not at all better for the reader, and absolutely perfect. Getting a look at a theory of why Conan Doyle killed off Holmes and then brought him back ten years later (if you don’t count The Hound of the Baskervilles which was published eight years after Holmes’ death but placed in a period before he dies in The Final Problem) was also a major plus toward the book. Honestly, I could go on all day, so I’m just going to shut it and tell you to read it.

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