I cannot what to tell you about today’s book! I loved it for so many reasons and I can definitely understand why it became a New York Times Bestseller and has gotten rave reviews from everywhere including the New York Times Book Review, the New York Post, Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News, even Edward award-winning creator of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Rupert Holmes, just to name a few. It’s The Sherlockian by Graham Moore!!
Harold isn’t what you’d call an adventurer. He has a normal job, an apartment in California, four friends that he has lunch with once a month, and the one event he looks forward to every year. The big Sherlockian convention in New York! But this year the convention is even more special: Harold, at 29 years of age, is to be the youngest member inducted in to the Baker Street Irregulars since Alex Cale (the greatest Sherlockian alive). A great honor indeed. Soon, something is going to happen that will shatter the monotony of Harold’s life.
Arthur Conan Doyle is doing his best to put “The Great Detective” behind him. “If I had not killed him, he certainly would have killed me” Arthur complains to his friends. Seven years since he threw Holmes off the Reichenbach Falls, people are still mentioning him. But at least at Arthur’s new home in Hindhead, it’s starting to slow down…that is, until now…until this visit to his mailbox to look at the day’s post…what happens next will change Arthur Conan Doyle in ways he never expected.
What do these two events have to do with one another? Find out in The Sherlockian by Graham Moore!
I’ve been really excited to read The Sherlockian since I read a description of it in Daedelus. Now that I’ve read it: I’m so glad that I did! Here’s why:
First, there is Harold. Harold is the kind of character with whom we all identify. The person who does enjoy their life, is proud of their accomplishments, and definitely would not mind a break from the “same old, same old”. Then, he gets the opportunity that all true Sherlockians have dreamed of: a chance to use Holmes’s methods in real life. Following his story from zero to unlikely hero is really a joy.
Second, the way that Graham Moore writes Arthur Conan Doyle and his friends as a character in his book is truly brilliant. You can really tell that Moore did his research when developing Arthur’s personality for the purposes of The Sherlockian. The writing made me feel like if I had known Arthur Conan Doyle in life that might have been his real personality. That was fun to think about as I read the book.
Third, the Sherlockian details. Oh my goodness! All the real elements from the Sherlockian world that Graham Moore included were amazing! The Baker Street Journal, the conventions, the societies, London, the museums, The Reichenbach falls, Undershaw as it was in the past and the present, and so much more! Even Jeremy Brett gets a proper mention! I couldn’t help grinning from ear to ear like a complete dork while reading!
Fourth, the plot twists! Holy cow! While some twists I may have seen coming, others took me completely by surprise! But I love that! I enjoy not being able to predict the entire course of the book even when I’m more than halfway through.
Fifth, were the beginnings of each chapter. Graham Moore uses quotes from the original Sherlock Holmes canon, Arthur Conan Doyle’s other writings and speeches, friends like Bram Stoker (author of Dracula) etc. to foreshadow at the beginning of each chapter. That was a really fun detail.
There are only a couple of drawbacks with The Sherlockian. First, there is the issue of spoilers. If you are reading through the Sherlock Holmes Canon or some of Agatha Christie’s work (particularly The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) be warned that certain stories will have major details or endings ruined. However, I can’t blame the author because it is necessary to the story and many people that will read this book will have already read most of those mysteries. Second, this book has some very strong language as well as some brutality (only seen after the fact not during). Also, there was a lot that revolved around prostitutes (no sex scenes just their trade and people’s attitude about them) and their side of town, so while this is a great book, it’s definitely not for the children.
The Sherlockian was a pleasure to read! I definitely recommend this book to adults. If you’re a fan on murder mysteries, history, Arthur Conan Doyle, and especially Sherlock Holmes, you really want to read this book! You’re going to love it!
Buy The Sherlockian Here
Until Next Time,