by Graham Moore
Review by Carolyn Frank
Twelve Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780446572590
Date: 01 December 2010 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Book's page / Show Official Info /
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote Sherlock Holmes mysteries until 1893 when he killed Holmes off. For reasons of his own, Conan Doyle resurrected Holmes eight years later, and since then, the many Holmes fans have kept both Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes alive in their hearts. In 2010 when one such fanatical fan, Harold White, finds himself at the death of a noted Doylean scholar, Harold attempts to investigate using Holmes' methods, becoming
The book alternates between the two time frames, that of Conan Doyle during the time of the missing diary, and that of Harold White as he attempts to unravel the mystery of the death of the Doylean scholar and the still missing Conan Doyle diary. During the time of the missing diary, Conan Doyle attempted to solve mysteries working for and around Scotland Yard, using Holmes' techniques. As his suitably secondary companion in solving these mysteries, Bram Stoker, whose Dracula had not had anywhere near the success of Holmes, follows Conan Doyle about.
The modern Sherlockian, Harold White, is a free-lance consultant to the movie industry. Based on his endless reading and memory of old novels, he provides studio legal departments with a defense against claims of copyright infringement of screenplays. Having read and analyzed the entire Sherlock Holmes writings, Harold has written learned articles about Holmes. The foremost Sherlock Holmes society, the Baker Street Irregulars, invited him to join and Harold is attending his first conference as the newest and most junior member. For his suitably secondary companion, he ends up with Sarah Lindsey, a self-proclaimed reporter on the track of the missing Conan Doyle diary. With Harold being a modern geeky nerd, no romance ensues.
When Harold and Sarah end up in the hotel room of the dead Doylean scholar before the police, Harold tries to follow Holmes' methods of investigation. Of course, this leads the police to the initial identification of Harold as the murderer, but after questioning, the New York police let him go. And so Harold and Sarah are off to find who killed the Doylean scholar and, somehow more importantly, where is the missing Conan Doyle diary and what does it say.
Keen scholars of Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes will probably not enjoy this book, which is meant for the rest of us who have read the major stories at some earlier point in our lives and remember just enough to follow along. The nineteenth century and the twenty-first century mysteries intertwine at a basic level and both are suitably resolved in a fashion that Watson would approve.