The Sherlockian
Graham Moore
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Buy *The Sherlockian* by Graham Moore online

The Sherlockian
Graham Moore
368 pages
December 2010
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes was a dazzling character who has been highlighted in films and documentaries and no small number of books. The common consensus is that there aren't enough tales involving the gifted sleuth, so everyone tries to conjure their own stories. Author Graham Moore riffs on the Holmes legacy by approaching his subject in two different centuries.

Harold White is a modern-day detective who runs into someone claiming to have located Doyle's long-lost diary. That someone is murdered, and White is sent scurrying off to find the culprit. Balanced against this is Doyle himself, in his own time era, gleeful about having murdered his most popular creation at Reichenbach Falls.

This is a fun revision of Doyle redux in both contemporary and vintage modes. Moore is a witty writer and populates his first book with engaging characters: Bram Stoker, for one. This is Stoker's first meeting with Doyle as imagined by the author.

Arthur turned. A thick, wide-shouldered man emerged from the third pillar back, materializing into the sunlight like a spirit made flesh. His beard was cropped tightly to his cheeks, his unfashionably short hair pasted across his scalp from a deep part far to the left. He wore coat and tails, and shoes of such deep black that they sparkled directly into Arthur's eye. He was dressed for a state funeral - or, more likely in his case, for opening night. After a few seconds had passed and Arthur had recovered from the shock, he recognized his old friend.

"Bram," said Arthur with a deep, steadying inhale, "You gave me some start."
It is a witty scene and presents the Dracula writer as a phantom himself emerging from the mists.

There is a much to take in here. Moore will leave you alternately awed and mystified.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2010

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