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.
(Story synopsis from goodreads.com)
Once again, my sorority Pi Beta Phi is hosting a virtual book club. I took part in the book club two years ago and am participating again this year. The Sherlockian by Graham Moore is actually the January book club choice, but if you visit my 2015 Books page you will see that I have been reading quite a bit. I was actually unable to read this book until now, but I am very glad that I did.
This is a great book for anyone who enjoys Sherlock Holmes (even just a little bit) and a fun mix of historical fiction. As many of my readers will know, and as I have written many times, I am a
fan huge lover of historical fiction. This novel also pulled at my English teacher’s heart with a great mix of perspective from a fictional Arthur Conan Doyle and the main character Harold.
This story was a lot of fun to read and had all of the elements of a Sherlock Homes novel without Sherlock Holmes himself. I loved the dual mysteries that were involved, but it was great how the two story-lines were interconnected throughout the entire book.
I would highly recommend The Sherlockian to those who are looking for a fun bit of mystery but also love the aspects that are found in a Sherlock Holmes novel. I thought Mr. Moore did a great job of utilizing the tools of Doyle in his writing while also creating his own work. I say, “Bravo!” and hope that I can read more of his novels in the future. I must also say that this was a great pick by Pi Beta Phi as a way to kick-off this year’s virtual book club.
As a personal, side note, as someone from the suburbs of Chicago originally, I secretly loved the fact that Graham Moore is originally from Chicago. 🙂