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The Return Of Moriarty
John Gardner
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The Return Of Moriarty (Professor Moriarty #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  373 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
It is the turn of the century and, far from perishing during the struggle with Sherlock Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls, Professor James Moriarty is alive and well and about to realize his plans to establish crime syndicates in the major cities of the United States. But suddenly he is called back to London, where his vast criminal society has been overrun by a rival concer ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 31st 1974 by George Weidenfeld & Nicholson (first published January 28th 1974)
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I wish I could rate this as 2.5 stars.

The premise: Neither Holmes nor Moriarty died at the Reichenbach Falls. The story is written from Moriarty's POV, and I was excited to get a glimpse of the inner workings of his criminal empire.

Sadly, it fell flat with me (no pun intended).

I found the story to be alright, overall. It had it's moments, but generally it was slow, uneventful, and forgettable... Nothing really happened. It may have been better as a novella.

One thing that irked me, though, is t
Joe White
review 7/17/15 : The Return of Moriarty; John Gardner
Berkley Book - G.P. Putnam's Sons Berkley Medallion Edition April 1976

3 stars

As a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I started this book thinking it would be a Holmes "continuation" or Knock-off.
Not so. The entire focus is on Moriarty and the reestablishment of his empire after Reichenbach Falls.
The first third to one-half is a narrative of a series of common crimes of 1894 London's Waterfront and Industrial districts. It reads like a Mafioso manifesto f
Catherine Thompson
In 1894, Sherlock Holmes returned to Baker Street, after having been presumed dead for three years.

So, apparently, did Professor Moriarty.

That is the premise behind John Gardner's pastiche, The Return of Moriarty. Supposedly based upon journals kept by Moriarty, the novel recounts the titular event, with Moriarty coming back to take the reins of his crime family, plot a consolidation of criminal power in Europe, and make an assault upon the heart of Britain itself.

I didn't really care for this b
Morgan McGuire
Feb 13, 2009 Morgan McGuire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book...but it was not what I expected (or what I feared). Sherlock Holmes is not a character in it, but it is written very much in a style like that of Sir A. C. D.

The characters in this book are bad guys (and girls). Really bad guys, with all that entails. It is fairly brutal at times, and virtue is a weakness that is punished.
Jul 28, 2016 Donna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started this and didn't like it. So I a few days later I started it again....and again I didn't like it. Same with the third time. I got to almost the halfway point...but I didn't want to go any further. Sadly, this is one of the very few books that is DNF for me. I just couldn't get into it.
May 22, 2008 Rae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Based on the premise that Sherlock Holmes' nemesis Moriarty did not die at Reichenbach Falls. The book contains "notes and diaries," recently discovered, that describe Moriarty's nefarious activities in the East End. The writing is amazingly faithful to Conan Doyle.
Nov 19, 2015 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm super sad not to have liked this more, as I think Holmes and Moriarty are some of the greatest characters ever created. I was just...bored, though, honestly. The Holmes connection is very tenuous; he's introduced early in the book so as to give Moriarty backstory and then is dispensed with via some super odd storyline that he and Moriarty, in not dying, came up with a pact to just ignore each other forever.

What? No. Sherlock Holmes would have had to have had a literal come-to-Jesus moment to
Nov 12, 2013 Caroline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
After three years away from London, Moriarty returns to fix the cracks in his criminal empire caused by negligence from Colonel Moran. He reigns his men with a iron grasp and inspires their loyalty by treating them as family at the same time. The story goes through getting the territory back in under Moriarty's grasp which is done with schemes and violence.

An interesting book that I don't regret reading. There were moments when I found myself rooting for the antiheroes when they were dealing wi
Shawn Cosby
A beautifully written book that unfortunately doesn't live up to the power of it's prose. The book is written in an arabesque style that is unquestionably a pleasure to read... but nothing really happens. A major twist falls flat and basically we get a Moriarty who more closely resembles Don Corleone than the Napoleon of Crime
Yosef Shapiro
This book focuses on Moriarity and his criminal network. The Holmes stories are referenced. But, the facts from those stories are looked at from a different perspective. For example, the fight at the Reichenbach Falls have a very different outcome in this story. It does not contradict the established facts from the Doyle stories. It just presents them in a different light.
Anna Lord
Dec 19, 2015 Anna Lord rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fictional bad guy can so easily descend into caricature but not here. The evil characterisation is deftly handled by JG. Moriarty comes to life as a gangsterish anti-hero. If you are interested in the criminal underworld of Victorian England then this is the book for you. Well researched, well written and a great read.
Jim Richards
May 09, 2013 Jim Richards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
... this is a reprint ... I was young when Gardner first published it and unwilling to visit the "dark side" (3 years before Star Wars) ... I still wanted heroes in my life (real and literary) and followed Holmes & Wolfe & Bond (unaware, of course, of Gardner's future role in that franchise) & Oakes (Gardner's own reluctant hero - a man after my own stamp) ... but I'm much older, now, and not so reluctant to wander behind that curtain ... I was satisfied enough to repeat that action ...more
Oct 24, 2009 Ryan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I was pretty disappointed in this book. I thought it was a pretty interesting concept: what if Holmes and Moriarty hadn't perished together in Germany? It gives a glipse of Moriarty's criminal empire (as envisioned by John Gardner), and centers him as the anti-hero of the story. My problems with the book: it's pretty long and I felt like almost NOTHING happend! Also, Holmes is only briefly in the book, and does nothing to stop Moriarty's plans - Holmes wouldn't just stand by because he ...more
Nicole (kasinda)
Jun 08, 2016 Nicole (kasinda) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sherlock Holmes stories are my favorite. But there are only a limited amount to satisfy my cravings. This is a good substitute! Delving into the mind of Moriarty, the author has created a romantic underworld that leaves the reader with vivid images on the opposite side of the street as Holmes.
Jun 21, 2016 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot, it was well written and had a lot of action and suspense. It was a little deceitful to have "Sherlock Holmes" written at the top of the cover, he was less than a bit part. Funny how the author claimed it was all based on fact.
Jan 13, 2013 JayeL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best written books I have read in a long time. I had a very hard time putting this down. The funny thing is that I almost didn't buy it, because I wasn't sure about John Gardner. Now I'd like to read more by him. I thought the premise was excellent and I found that adding the footnotes about discrepancies and explanations was very helpful. I felt some sympathy for Professor Moriarty, but by the end of the book the listener doesn't anymore. It is a great story about how everyth ...more
Diane Heath
Apr 02, 2015 Diane Heath rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was an interesting look at the Moriarty story. It is based on the premise that Moriarty, like Holmes survived and has returned to London. We meet some of his people and since Holmes is effectively out of the picture, we meet Inspector Crow who is a worthy adversary
Leslie Ross
Very well done. He read his Conan Doyle.
Jul 15, 2015 Vincent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Craig Robinson
Jul 16, 2016 Craig Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellently written and narrated... Bravo.
Erik Moloney
Jan 29, 2014 Erik Moloney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The novel that reintroduced the Napoleon of crime to the Victorian underworld is now back in print—after almost forty years. London is in terror. The streets are filled with dippers, macers, and bullies of every description, all collecting "contributions for the Professor." But Holmes saw Professor Moriarty swept over a waterfall in Switzerland! Could it be that Europe's Master Criminal somehow survived, and has returned to battle Holmes again in the greatest crime duel of all time? It could ind ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Keri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not a must read if you're a Sherlock Holmes fan--since he's only in it for a few pages at the most--but it if you're a fan of 19th century London then I'd recommend it. I thought it was interesting to see something from Moriarty's point of view, but I mostly liked the book because of the character Paget. The footnotes were a little distracting and unnecessary in my opinion. They could have been left for the end of the book I think.
May 18, 2015 Roman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ниасилил! Бред для второклассника....
Frankly, my dear, I was disappointed. I had thoughts of a Nigel Bruce/Basil Rathbone type saga involving the return of the famed Dr. Moriarty, Holmes' archnemesis. Sadly not. Holmes hardly figured in the book at all. Disappointing. Too bad Goodreads doesn't let you indicate half-stars, as this was probably a 2 and a half. It was okay.
Thomas S
Yet another derivative of the Sherlock Holmes franchise, this is a good solid, novel. I don't know enough about Arthur Conan Doyle to say how faithful the story is to Doyle's plotlines. Nothing really special here but a good look at the underbelly of Victorian England.
May 01, 2013 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written story of Moriarty after the disapearance on the falls. This story is told without Sherlock Holmes and focuses completely on the villain family of Moriarty. Everyone is a villain in this story and you still end of liking some of them. Recommended.
Dec 26, 2013 verbava rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: retellings
про джека різника - нудно, про шерлока холмса - нудно, про вікторіанську англію - нудно. сюжет є (місцями), атмосфери нема. і хоч вона й не зовсім трагічна (принаймні я її не покинула недочитану), але продовження не хочеться.
Jan 30, 2009 Ikonopeiston rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is a cleverly written novel. It blends Professor Moriarty of the Holmes stories with the Godfather of Puzo fame. I know that many writers have battened off the Godfather saga but this was one of the first.
Susan Scott
Dec 29, 2012 Susan Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sherlock Holmes' nemesis is alive. How I didn't discover these books until recently is just crazy. Well written, and a good account of Moriarty's beginnings and current activities.
Fantastic, Very Well Written. always nice to see a Villain properly explored instead of remaining 2 dimensional. Highly recommend.
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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...

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Professor Moriarty (3 books)
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