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Sherlock in Love: A Novel
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Sherlock in Love: A Novel

3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  378 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
How did Sherlock Homes come into possession of a true Stardivarius? Who was the one true love of the great detective's life? And what shattering disappointment left the detective with feelings of overwhelming melancholy? As Holme's great friend, Dr. Watson, sets out to answer these questions and recount the thrilling "lost" adventure of Holmes's attempt to rescue the love ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 8th 2001 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1993)
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May 24, 2015 Margaret rated it liked it
"Sherlock in Love" is supposed to be the story of Holmes' one great love and how he obtained his Stradivarius violin.

Nice idea, reasonable plot, but it would have helped if the author had actually read ACD's original stories. In the story "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box", Arthur Conan Doyle himself stated that Holmes brought his strad from a pawnbroker in the Edgeware Road. That failure to keep to canon gave the book a major strike against it before I even began to read it.

I also found it ha
Jun 16, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok
This is hard to explain. But let me just start by saying I think I paid about 50 cents for this at a library book sale and uh, I'd say that was a pretty accurate price point.

Basically, the novel is structured like a Conan Doyle story but a bit more topsy-turvy. Holmes is dead (never explained, how exactly and I know it's not Reichenbach falls so sometime after and during the Bee Keeping days? so who the hell knows) and Watson suddenly has a mood to write up some old stories he must have missed
Dec 15, 2014 Marfita rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristen Chandler
Apr 08, 2014 Kristen Chandler rated it really liked it
I have not read any of the original Sherlock Holmes tales (the horror, I know). I have also not read anything by Sena Jeter Naslund. I decided to read this book because I am attending the Alabama Writers Symposium this month, and Naslund will be a speaker there. Why did I pick this and not one of her other books? I honestly have no idea. Because, like I said previously, I'm not a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. I just read the blurb and said "Sounds interesting, think I'll read it." This story is writ ...more
Mar 30, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
Sena Jeter Naslund is an interesting author for me. I love one of her novels (Ahab's Wife), Hated another so much that I couldn't finish it (Four Spirits) and this one was just slightly better than ok for me. Her idea of creating a love lost for Sherlock Holmes is and interesting one. I like the idea that Naslund researched her fictional characters well enough that their actions seemed in line with Conan Doyle's characterizations.
Sherlock in Love is told in the point of view of Watson after the
Andrea Scherer
May 04, 2014 Andrea Scherer rated it really liked it
Dr. Watson is lonely. He has lost Sherlock and the second Mrs. Watson to death and is no longer sure how to spend his life. He decides that the best course of action would be to write the biography of the great Sherlock Holmes and puts out an advertisement into the paper seeking any and all information on Sherlock. It is then that he is haunted by visions of Sherlock. Papers begin to go missing from his notebooks and Sherlock's and he isn't sure what he has opened. He must solve this case withou ...more
All I have to say about this book is eww. I have read every Sherlock Holmes story and novella and cannot begin to imagine where the author thought this story fit in. Disappointment would be one thing I read "The Final Solution" and was disappointed in that. But to a true fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle this story borders on sacrilege.
Jul 19, 2015 Jami-leigh rated it it was ok
I will give Sena Jeter Naslund credit for mimicking Conan Doyle's style beautifully. In terms of writing style, this novel reads like a Sherlock Holmes story, without a doubt. However, it lacks the flow of Conan Doyle's stories, and more importantly, it lacks character integrity. Watson is fairly well portrayed, but Holmes is far beyond a deeper, more personal view of the character. He is someone else entirely. Without the name, I never would have recognized him. And the little twists in the sto ...more
Jul 09, 2010 Mickey rated it did not like it
I wish we could give less than 1 star ratings, but since this is the lowest, it'll do. The WORST Holmesian tale I've ever read, including my own childish attempts to wrte one at the age of 12.
That was the weirdest slash I ever read. Well, not including slash that have pregnant men in it.
Jul 07, 2011 Sara rated it it was ok
"Sherlock in Love" is an....interesting pastiche of Sherlock Holmes. I must be more of a Holmes purist than I originally thought because I just couldn't gloss over the out-of-character/non-canon things (and there are many) in this book. In all honesty, the book - on its own - isn't terrible. However, since it very much involves Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved characters, I do somewhat judge the quality of a work with the original text in mind. The constant name dropping of cases (i.e. original ...more
Mar 23, 2009 veronica rated it did not like it
I had heard great things about Sena Jeter Naslund's Ahab's Wife, and when I went to check it out from the library, I noticed a much shorter book by her, Sherlock in Love. Now, I usually delight in pastiches, even in parodies, of famous books (Shamela, anyone?) so I thought, if AW is supposed to be good, SIL should be good too! Wrong!

This books is truly terrible! Sandwiched between a somewhat intriguing beginning and a flaccid, unfulfilling end, is a ridiculous plot peppered with even more ridi
Feb 14, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sherlock fans. Really.
My family includes several avid Sherlock Holmes fans. The most avid of them all once told me that he's read many of the Sherlock knock-offs written by other others, and that none have done the originals justice. (Of course, he does keep reading them.)

I meant to stick with the original Sherlocks, but then came across Sena Jeter Naslund's Sherlock in Love. SJN invariably rocks my world, and I couldn't resist.

Thank goodness, because this book was fantastic. It almost fulfilled my dream of waking u
Aug 05, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
A thoroughly engaging read. Naslund's writing evokes the mood and characters of the original AND brings a new addition to the lore. Holmes is dead, and Dr. Watson in his loneliness decides to write a bio of Holmes. Someone seems to be thwarting him, pages from journals are missing, threatening letters appear, he is "haunted" by Holmes and others. As Watson tries to get to the bottom of things he reflects on past adventures, including an unpublished job that ended in failure.
Feb 04, 2010 Jeanne rated it liked it
I’ve enjoyed two of Sena Jeter Naslund’s novels: Ahab’s Wife and Abundance. When I saw Sherlock in Love on the library’s shelf, I was excited. This novel was written before the other two novels I had read, and I had no knowledge of its existence.

In Sherlock in Love, Naslund presents us with a previously unpublished Sherlock Holmes mystery. Her narrator is Watson, and she assumes his identity convincingly.

A violinist named Victor, a mad king, and magic tricks all figure into the story. But that’
Eugenea Pollock
Jan 28, 2015 Eugenea Pollock rated it really liked it
I thought that Naslund had the voice of Dr. Watson spot on in this story and that the device of weaving references to familiar Sherlockian adventures was well used. This very imaginative plot provided a plausible explanation for both Holmes's melancholy and cocaine abuse. Overall I enjoyed it despite what were, in my opinion, a few blunders in Bavaria.
Sep 22, 2014 Jackie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A little gem of a book, that I found accidentally while looking for Ahab's Wife, by the same author. It develops a different and more 'human' aspect of my old friend Sherlock Holmes. NOW I'm going to find Ahab's Wife.
Mar 01, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
This book was kind of fun, but not really worth spending the time on. An intriguing idea. All in all, if you're in the mood for Sherlock Holmes, better to go read Arthur Conan Doyle.
Nivi Engineer
Jan 12, 2016 Nivi Engineer rated it it was amazing
What fun! I have not read many Sherlock Holmes books, so I cannot speak thoroughly about the authenticity of the voice, but it certainly felt real. I could totally picture Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in these roles, if that counts for anything. I appreciated the shifts in voice from section to section, and the jumps in time were managed well, coherent in a way that made me feel at no time disoriented. Transitions between times and narrative voice were smooth and clear, as well as the ...more
Elizabeth Jenks
Jun 08, 2012 Elizabeth Jenks rated it it was amazing
i will read anything sena jeter naslund writes. sometimes i enjoy her choice of subjects more than others. i did not expect to enjoy this book as much as i did as i am not well versed in sherlock holmes. but as usual she can take any character, real or fictional and weave a beautiful narrative around them. her writing is so full of details it is easy for the mind to imagine the setting and the senses almost to feel an active part of the story. this book is about love, but even more so (as you wo ...more
Nov 27, 2010 Gabrielle rated it liked it
Shelves: re-read
I am eager to re-read this book -- I like her work so much -- but the real draw this time is because of the superb BBC Masterpiece series called SHERLOCK that aired a few weeks ago. Three episodes wasn't enough!

So I finished it -- I love Naslund's writing -- her ability to weave historical fiction and historical fact in tiny doses so subtle that if you miss it it doesn't matter, but if you get it the book opens up to you in beautiful and brilliant ways. The story itself had the real authentic vo
Sep 01, 2009 Kim rated it it was ok
An interesting twist on the Irene Adler aspect of the Sherlock Holmes stories. SJ Naslund does have a good grasp on the AC Doyle originals, and immitates the voice well, but her portrayal of both Holmes and Watson is a little lackluster, and certainly not as good as Laurie R. King's inventive and incredible well researched re-imagining of the Great Detective.

However, SJ Naslund does play with the sexual identity of Holmes in some very fun ways, and there are two great plot twists.

It's short, so
May 12, 2015 Stephanie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
light, easy read. Interesting, entertaining diversion.
Oct 14, 2012 Monica rated it did not like it
This is easily the worst Holmes-related book I have read so far; a place previously held by the ghastly "Whitechapel: The last stand of Sherlock Holmes".
The story is ridiculous and the characterization so thin that even the inclusion of mad King Ludwig II fails to spark a little interest. To add insult to the injury, the author throws an unlikely intervention of "the woman" herself, Irene Adler.
At least, it's a short read. Straigth to the recycle bin.
Shelley Dodge
Jan 12, 2014 Shelley Dodge rated it really liked it
Told mainly from Dr. Watson's point of view after Sherlock's death (his real one, years after the falls). Very touching in some areas. I enjoyed the retelling of part of the detectives life.
Granted--the title is terrible, but the book is better than the title. This was readable and interesting, especially for someone familiar with the Sherlock Holmes canon, since references to other characters/stories abound. I was a bit disappointed that while it initially seems to be Watson's story, he eventually recedes into the background (as in a typical SH narrative).
Sara  Liebman
Feb 03, 2013 Sara Liebman rated it really liked it
I have read this author before and really enjoyed the way she adapted her style to fit the topic she's writing about. In this case, it was Sherlock Holmes and I very much enjoyed the twists and turns of the mystery. The story is, as always, told from the point of view of Dr. Watson, and it sounds very much like the stories first written by Arthur Conan Doyle. A worthy read.
Enjoyable quick read. It obviously doesn't adhere to the original stories, but I didn't mind that too much. I don't have a problem separating Arthur Conan Doyle from the rest; sometimes it's just nice to meet Sherlock again. The only real issue I had was the twist at the end. Not sure I can get that out of my head now.
Oct 08, 2009 Ruby rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ruby by: library
Shelves: novels, mystery
I love the original Sherlock Holmes stories, especially because of the interaction between Holmes and Watson. This story effectively reflects the same style and tone of those stories and also has the unexpected twists and turns. It was a quick read--finished in just a few hours--and enjoyed it emmensely.
Feb 26, 2013 Deborah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fluff
Not up to the standard of Conan Doyle. The book had it's moments. At times you wonder why Holmes would not notice the obvious. If you are looking for some light fiction, you might want to read the book. If you are a die-hard Sherlock Holmes fan, you will probably be disappointed.
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Sena Jeter Naslund is the New York Times best-selling author of five novels, including Ahab's Wife (1999) and Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette (HarperCollins, 2006). She is currently Distinguished Teaching Professor and Writer in Residence at the University of Louisville and program director of the Spalding University brief-residency Master in Fine Arts in Writing. Recipient of the Harper Le ...more
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