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Review: The Sherlockian

I am a fan of most things Sherlock Holmes. I like the books by Arthur Conan Doyle, I like the movies with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, I like the PBS series starring Jeremy Brett, and the series Elementary starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lisa Liu, and I like Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock. I even like the books about Sherlock that are not written by Doyle. I guess one could say I am a fan.

Recently I read The Sherlockian by Graham Moore. It was recommended to me by a friend and sat on my To-Be-Read shelf for months until I found myself bookless (a rare occurrence). This book takes place in two different time settings – in 1893 featuring Arthur Conan Doyle with his friend Bram Stoker and in 2010 which features Harold White, a newly inducted member of the Baker Street Irregulars.

These parallel storylines both involve mysteries that require solving. In 1893, Doyle received a package in the mail. It was a bomb and it exploded ripping apart Doyle’s study, fortunately without harming Doyle or his family. This event sent the author to New Scotland Yard where he was treated with respect but the mystery of who sent the bomb was not. Doyle decided to investigate declaring, “It is not a case worthy of Sherlock bloody Holmes. It is a case worthy of his creator.”

In 2010, White and other members of the Baker Street Irregulars were eagerly anticipating the keynote speaker, Alex Cole, who found a long missing diary of Conan Doyle and was to present it at the conference. Instead, Cole was found dead in his hotel room. White asked himself, “What would Sherlock Holmes do?” He then donned his deerstalker hat and decided “The game is afoot.”

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