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Moriarty (Professor Moriarty #3)

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  340 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
John Gardner's Moriarty is a posthumous novel, and that is a shame -- for several reasons. One, because it is the last book we will see from one of the most protean of crime thriller writers, a man who made a mark in a variety of different genres and whose prolific output never suffered a slackening of quality (as was the case with so many of his contemporaries and predece ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 10th 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 878)
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Sep 10, 2009 Iain rated it it was ok
Readable, not not something I'd recommend. The novel didn't really capture the sense of Holmesian Victorian London that I was hoping for and it seemed to rely too heavily on a mixture of fan-ish interpretations of the inconsistencies in Conan-Doyle's short stories and an ill-conceived notion that quoting lyrics from the popular songs of the day would somehow create a sense of authentic atmosphere. As a piece of fan-fiction, it's a decent enough attempt; as a professional novel I felt it fell far ...more
Apr 04, 2009 Caroline rated it did not like it
Whew. This was not good. Posthumous, perhaps. I think it was not edited before being released. Our protagonist is a bad guy, but once that's been developed we find the guys against him are child slavers and "baby farmers" (wtf?). There are hundreds of period songs injected seemingly at random into the text, and no suspense created before major plot advancements. Truly weak work. No Sherlock, and NOT in the style of ACD.

Stuart Douglas
Apr 24, 2012 Stuart Douglas rated it really liked it
The big list of Stuff I Like includes Doctor Who, David Bowie, historical fiction, seventies telly and classic crime novels (a combination of all of these in one would be the perfect product for me). So I'm inclined to be attracted to things like John Gardener's 'Moriarty', the third and final book in a series which tracks the career of Sherlock Holmes' nemesis after he (allegedly) survived his encounter with the Great detective at the Reichenbach Falls.

Don't be put off by the fact this is the e
Nov 11, 2012 Ashley rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery

SHERLOCK HOLMES FANS DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. It's crap--one of the worst books I've read in a long time. Admittedly Sherlock & related pastiches are always a gamble, & this book was a losing one. There is only the thinnest of plot lines thru the entire novel, & Gardner endlessly introduces character after character, while only developing Moriarty himself. Furthermore, Mr. Gardner seems much too fond of prurient sexual topics & descriptions, many of which would have made his 007 b
Jun 28, 2014 James rated it really liked it
The very meaty story of Moriarty's return to London and his attempt to regain his influence as the crime emperor of The Big Smoke. Be prepared. Found it rather uncomfortable at times.
Todd Stockslager
Jun 15, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Continuation of Arthur Conan Doyle's arch-villain Moriarty, who apparently died with Sherlock Holmes when both plunged over the edge of the falls in a case mid-career when Doyle was trying to kill off the fictional Holmes and take his writing career in a different direction. Foiled in this attempt by his demanding public (see The Doctor and the Detective: A Biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Holmes brought Moriarty back, and provided some additional detail to create a master criminal whose ow ...more
Oct 12, 2013 Lynne rated it did not like it
So wanted to like this, but I simply couldn't. I spent well over a week with this, and given that I am normally a very speedy reader, it was so disappointing that I found it very, very difficult to enjoy this. The characters seemed stilted and forced, Moriarty himself was more like a supervillain of the comic variety (not as in funny but as in strip cartoon mode), seemingly invincible and rather more like a Mafia boss. Gardner has researched the period impeccably but the actual plot of Idle Jack ...more
Brad McKenna
Apr 05, 2015 Brad McKenna rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Everytime I see a book about Sherlock Holmes, or in this case his nemesis, I have to pick it up. I just wish I picked up the first book in this series first. Not that I couldn't follow along, it's just I'm not used to footnotes in non-classical fiction.

This book Moriarty does battle with a new kingpin, Idle Jack, who encroached on The Professor's territory whilst he was away. We see Jack only thrice in the whole book and the main action centers around Moriarty trying to find the mole in his "fa
Marthe Bijman
Sep 21, 2013 Marthe Bijman rated it did not like it
John Gardner established himself by writing spin-offs of another more famous literary character, James Bond. It takes a special skill to avoid odious comparisons to the original author and Gardner does not always distinguish himself. In “Moriarty”, he starts the novel by an attempt at authentication, describing the unearthing of the original journals of Prof. Moriarty, in a style reminiscent of the announcement of the “Hitler Diaries” in 1983. The problem is of course, that Moriarty was a fictio ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Toni rated it really liked it
Sherlock Holmes isn't the only one who survived Reichenbach Falls. After a long absence, James Moriarty returns to London to discover someone has taken over while he was gone...Idle Jack Idell, an impoverish baronet. Now it's up to the Napoleon of Crime to get his lost sheep back into the fold, dispatch those who refuse to return, and discover the traitor in his midst.

This novel reads like a Victorian version of The Godfather with plenty of turn-of-the-century turns for criminals and crimes so t
Jul 29, 2015 Scoats rated it did not like it
After suffering though not one but two prefaces explaining the backstory of the fiction of finding and decoding the Moriarty journals, I finally got the first page of the story which was overwritten and tedious. Then the next page had footnotes. That's when I bailed.

This reminds me of Michael Crichton at his worst. I know a lot of work went into this project and I'm sure the research is amazing but I can't be bothered. It feels like more work went into the research and engineering than went to
Jan 02, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
Interesting reading... Moriarty as a Victorian-era Godfather. Don't expect any adventures with Holmes; this novel focuses squarely on his nemesis, James Moriarty and his numerous dark adventures. The book wrapped up with something of a let-down, almost as if Gardner was nearing the bell on a timed essay. That aside, a good, fast story that will leave you very grateful you weren't there in person.
Mar 25, 2013 Tom rated it liked it
Almost. The plot is great, the characters interesting and full-bodied, and Moriarty is one of the most interesting characters in the entire world of fiction. Sadly, the author's need to show off his research into the era's slang stilts dialogue and detracts from the plot. The end result is choppy writing and poor flow in an otherwise enjoyable book.
Kevin Orrman-Rossiter
Not worth the effort; quite cartoonish characters and plot - Moriarty would not be pleased, Holmes would have used it to light his pipe.
Oct 07, 2014 Jackie rated it liked it
OK but nothing to write home about. Probably the death of the author had something to do with the abrupt ending. He was planning a 4th book in this series but didn't make it. Unless you were a fanatic about reading variations on the Sherlock theme - I wouldn't bother.
Jul 23, 2009 Natalia rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009, library
eh, I just don't see the point of a book set in the Sherlock Holmes universe, but lacking an appearance by Holmes himself.

The book itself was kind of slow-moving, especially compared to Conan Doyle's stories and books. There just wasn't enough dramatic tension.
Kay Robart
Jul 23, 2013 Kay Robart rated it did not like it
A book about Professor Moriarty without Sherlock Holmes? That's not the only disappointment in this dull novel that features brutish and uninteresting characters.

See my complete review here:
Sep 23, 2014 Amanda rated it it was ok
A very badly written book. The only thing that kept me going was the semi-interesting plot.
Julian White
I'm sure I've read at least one of the previous novels in this series (but a very long time ago) and this seemed a bit of an oddity. It's written in a faux-historical style that comes across as a bit dry (despite the subject matter!) and seems oddly structured - the ending is a tad rushed and one or two revelations actually fall a bit flat. However, it fleshes out the Moriarty character a bit - Holmes is mentioned two or three times but doesn't appear - and I now need to find the earlier books.. ...more
Wayland Smith
Dec 19, 2014 Wayland Smith rated it liked it
Gardener was a great writer, and really good at capturing the tone of other people's work. I first ran across him when he was writing the James Bond books. When I heard he'd written in the Holmes world, I had to check it out.

As the title suggests, this isn't really about Holmes himself. James Moriarity, Holmes' arch-foe, is the center of this story. He battles corruption and deceit inside his own organization. It's a very good thriller, with some unexpected twists and turns.

Recommended for peop
Aug 10, 2009 Sketchycat8 rated it it was ok
slow slow slow
Jim Richards
May 09, 2013 Jim Richards rated it liked it
... I picked this up having slithered through "The Return ..." and "The Revenge ..." ... being a Star Wars fanboy (funny at my age) my trip through the "dark side" would have felt incomplete had I been satisfied with just that ...

... this was NOT a reprint ... it was published to complete the trilogy (interest leading to the subsequent reprints), despite Gardner not having FINISHED it, quite ... nonetheless, it does its job ... BUT, surprisingly, it succeeds as a stand-alone novel, taking place
Charles Turek
May 12, 2013 Charles Turek rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone over 17
Shelves: read-enjoyed
It's January 1900, and Professor Moriarty is getting up there in years. He's got a son at Rugby and he's just decided to make a return to London and reclaim a criminal empire that has gotten a little frayed around the edges. No longer at constant odds with the police or one Sherlock Holmes, Moriarty is more interested in finding out who among his Praetorian Guard is a traitor and how many of his former criminal family he can coerce away from his competitor in the evil genius game, Idle Jack Idel ...more
Gregg Chamberlain
Feb 16, 2016 Gregg Chamberlain rated it really liked it
the final book of what finished as a trilogy (John Gardner indicated he planned a fourth volume but passed away before he could get to it) presents Professor Moriarty in a more sympathetic light... but still with a steel-hard streak of villainy, though the chapters dealing with his child born out of wedlock with his favourite mistress and the antipathy he displays towards a competitor's reliance on child prostitution shows a side of Moriarty that is more human.
Suzanne Brett
Apr 30, 2016 Suzanne Brett rated it really liked it
This book was different, if your a Sherlock Holmes fan then I would not bother reading this as there was no mention of him or of the Detective Crow. The character was what I would imagine the Kray twins to have been like but this was set in the 1900's or just after.

It was quite violent in places but it was worth reading. There was a twist at the end which was intriguing. Also there was a love interest for moriarity and that is something that is never dreamed of in the sherlock holmes book.

I read this many years ago as a teenager, so it's a bit hard to remember all the details. I had recently finished reading all the official Holmes stories and wished there were more. A lot of Holmes spin off stories are not very well written. I stumbled upon this one in a used bookstore, and it turned out to be fantastic. It brings the underworld of Victorian London to life and is well written. The author researched the historical setting and I feel did a great job of adding in true historical fa ...more
Jul 15, 2015 Vincent rated it it was ok
It felt incomplete. And you'd think at least one friend who read for him would have told him before his passing that Yellow Face is never a good thing.
Aug 06, 2014 Katie rated it liked it
An interesting detailed story of Professor Moriarty's return to criminal power in London in 1911. Really graphic and unexpected plot twists with well developed characters. Written in a diary form so it sometimes lost me in the backstory. I left it on a park bench in Surrey for a new reader.
Jason Arnett
I liked Gardner's writing well enough but the story moved slowly and it didn't pull me in right away. It's apparently the third book in a series. I gave up 70 pages in, which I don't like to do, but I wanted to get on to something I've been anxious to read. I'll give it another try later on, but for now it's shelved.
Emilie Leming
Mar 07, 2011 Emilie Leming rated it liked it
I know I've read John Gardner's books on Moriarty before & was enthralled. But, did he only write two or were there three? He's gone now & the inside cover page only lists two, neither of which is the title of this one... anybody know???
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Before coming an author of fiction in the early 1960s, John Gardner was variously a stage magician, a Royal Marine officer and a journalist. In all, Gardner has fifty-four novels to his credit, including Maestro, which was the New York Times book of the year. He was also invited by Ian Fleming’s literary copyright holders to write a series of continuation James Bond novels, which proved to be so s ...more
More about John Gardner...

Other Books in the Series

Professor Moriarty (3 books)
  • The Return of Moriarty (Professor Moriarty, #1)
  • The Revenge of Moriarty (Professor Moriarty, #2)

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