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The Dark Water: The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes
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The Dark Water: The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Joseph Bell #3)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  262 ratings  ·  20 reviews
"The cliffhanger adventures of Bell and Doyle keep us enthralled, as does the -graceful flow of Pirie's evocative storytelling."-The New York Times Book Review "Pirie's knowledge of Doyle's biography, as well as of the Holmes canon, makes [him] an intellectual treat and a downright guilty pleasure."-The Washington Post "A convincing Victorian world of eerie moors and fearl ...more
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Pegasus Books (first published May 1st 2003)
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Aug 20, 2011 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book is not what I imagined, but I have no complaints. The title came up when I was trolling through a library catalog for books on "Sherlock Holmes". It's not about him, nor is there any specific mention of him in the entire book. On the other hand, this is an action-filled adventure staring Professor Dr. Joseph Bell (MD) and Arthur Conan Doyle, MD. "Who?" do you ask? Bell is the real-world archetype used to create Sherlock Holmes and ACD is the man who created him and his "Boswell", John ...more
The third Arthur Conan Doyle book (and last? I'm inclined to say it's not a trilogy now, but I can't find any information about future books online) isn't as focused as the second one was. Although the case that Bell and Doyle take on in a superstitious village is directly related to their search for the villain Cream, it seems tangential until the end. I've really enjoyed reading all three books, but the strength in plotting and pacing does seem to go up and down.
Riju Ganguly
The end of game, or was it merely the end-game? This third volume of "Murder Rooms" trilogy keeps the reader as well the protagonists (Dr. Joseph Bell, and Arthur Conan Doyle) on a tight leash till the end, with the shadow of Doyle's nemesis lurking at every unseen corner and unknown angle. I have to admit that towards the end of the book, the author had succeeded in making me rather paranoid and that had revealed a few things before their 'official' exposure caused by Dr. Bell, (e.g. the asylum ...more
This is the third book in Pirie's series about Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Joseph Bell. Unfortunately, I haven't read the first book. When I read the second book, I thought it was mildly interesting and enjoyable, but I wasn't really impressed. Well, either Mr. Pirie greatly improved, or I just didn't give his book sufficient attention, because this novel was excellent. Doyle and Bell, in their Watson and Holmes roles, continue to pursue the serial killer who has haunted them for the last several ...more
I had such high hopes for this book. I have read other books with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the main character before and really enjoyed them. I always think it is fun to see him put into situations like his creation Sherlock Holmes. It kind of shows how an author pulls ideas from real life experiences. That being said I just couldn’t get into this book. It became a chore to read and I struggled to move through this.

My problem with this book was the story. It took forever for any type of action
May 09, 2013 Jen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
The Dark Water: The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes is Pirie's third novel in his series featuring A.C. Doyle and Dr. Joseph Bell, Doyles' inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. Originally published in 2006, the novel is being republished this month.

Dr. Bell and Doyle (Holmes and Watson) have a complex relationship, and Pirie uses fact and fiction as he describes the cases the duo pursue.

The villain in this piece is Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, the real-life murderer known as the Lambeth Poisoner and
Laura Salas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 stars.

Enjoyable, but not as good as The Night Calls.

The beginning of the book was by far the best part, with Doyle imprisoned by Cream. The middle was interesting, but lacked some of the urgency that I think it needed. The climax doesn't pack as much of a punch as I expected after two books of build up.

Cream is still a chilling villain. Bell is excellent, yet again. Doyle feels mostly useless this time around, which is a shame.

All in all, I really enjoyed the series, and I wish there were
Hm. Despite my love for Sherlock Holmes, I think I'm going to have to give this one a pass. Hit a little too high on the grisliness scale for my taste, and while Dr. Bell (Doyle's inspiration for Holmes) had some good insights, he lacked the obnoxious brilliance of the Man Himself. Not a waste of time, but not a book I will be coming back to either. I give it a big fat MEH.
Picked it up on a whim from a display at my local library....

A mediocre read. Not a satisfying mystery - Dr. Bell (on whom Holmes was based) spends half the book off-stage detecting, and then solves the case all at once at the end, and the reader is left wishing we had been left some clues as he went gallivanting off.
This would have been a fine conclusion to the saga of Cream and Doyle. We’ve got revenge, we’ve got death, we’ve got horror, and we have a very reasonable ending. Either Pirie just can’t bear to give up the limelight (and the money), or he has something even better in mind for the next book.

Thank you to and Open Road Integrated Media for allowing me access to this title.

Interesting read. I loved the way the author creates an experience that would inspire the main character to write the "Sherlock Holmes" novels.

Recommended to fans of Sherlock Holmes.
"The Dark Water" is a fictionalized novel about Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Bell, the doctor who inspired the Sherlock Holmes character. The story is compelling and the dialogue is very brisk and satisfying. Recommended for anyone who's interested in Sherlock Holmes.
The entire series (assuming there will be only 3) was excellent. This one starts and ends great! In between, however, it dragged. Great book and I recommend reading the full trilogy but this entry was certainly not the best of the 3.
Annie Oosterwyk
Very good, but perhaps overanalyzed for the reader. I feel like I read the story twice, once to understand the action, and then again, when the main characters told me what really happened.
Jan Aldergate
Interesting start of the Sherlock Holmes stories - starting the story with Conan Doyle and Dr Bell. A bit dark, and ultimately a bit too predictable but an enjoyable read.
really liked it, keeps surprising.Would like to read another one, but is last in the series(so far I hope)and was published in 2004, so the outlook isn't too good.
Aug 05, 2012 Douglas rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sherlock Holme's fans.
Shelves: mystery
First book of this author I have read. I enjoyed this book immensely. I will have to read the 2 books that were published before this one.
Spooky! This is a fictional account of Arthur Conan Doyle, who acts like a dweeb compared to Dr. Joseph Bell.
This is the third book in the series. Have to read the others. Good story and preview of Holmes.
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David Pirie was a journalist and film critic before he became a screenwriter. Just a few of his numerous credits are the BAFTA nominated adaptation for the BBC of The Woman in White and his collaboration with Lars Von Trier on the script of the Oscar nominated film Breaking the Waves. David Pirie lives in Somerset.
More about David Pirie...
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