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The Night Calls (Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Joseph Bell #2)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  217 ratings  ·  19 reviews
As a young medical student, Arthur Conan Doyle-the creator of Sherlock Holmes-studied under one of the pioneers in forensic medicine, Dr. Joseph Bell. While details of Doyle’s actual relationship with the Doctor remain shrouded in mystery, author David Pirie has created an engrossing series that pairs the two as partners in criminal investigations in the dark underworlds o ...more
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published August 8th 2003 by Minotaur Books (first published 2002)
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I have had David Pirie's trilogy of books featuring Arthur Conan Doyle on my list of potential books to read for quite some time now. I wish there was some way to know what books you will love before you read them.... perhaps a little metal detector, or a literary Geiger counter that would give you a reading on its dial indicating you will like this but not that, even a forecast predicting have a seventy five percent chance of enjoying this book. If only... and if so, then I woul ...more
Earlier I had noted that this book picks up right where The Patient's Eyes leaves off. It tells the full story of what is continually hinted at in the first book, and I find it slightly odd that David Pirie paced his trilogy the way he did. The Patient's Eyes is almost like a prologue to the full story that's covered in this book and, from what I can tell from this book's ending, The Dark Water as well.

In any case, whereas The Patient's Eyes only got a 3-star rating from me, this book gets a ful
The historical note at the end is fairly amazing because it makes you believe for a second that there is some mystery from Doyle's real life that has been covered up.

I love this series and the adaptations. I do feel that Doyle gets a bit annoying with his doubts about Dr. Bell. Clearly he should idolize Bell. How could you not? It's a long book and it does add some nice wrinkles to the standard serial killer novel.

The author says he does not like pastiche and this is not. It is clever and has m
Apr 08, 2008 C rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
A good accompaniment to Sherlock Holmes. There are even allusions to Holmes stories in the plot. The beginning is a little confusing as I was trying to link the characters to what I knew of Holmes, but in time it became more clear. This book is incredibly dark and has a bad guy that could give you nightmares. It was okay, but I'm not sure I would ever read it again.
Riju Ganguly
After the exceptionally well-crafted "The Patient's Eyes", this second book of the 'Murder Rooms' trilogy is a slight let-down. Chronologically speaking, the events happening in this book precede those in "The Patient's Eyes", and describe the following: -

* although the events that had first brought Arthur Conan Doyle into the world of Dr. Joseph Bell had been described in the 1st book, the events that had followed that 'introductory' phase, are all here;
* the deep scar left by Arthur Conan Doyl
Sep 17, 2011 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is the second book about the early life and adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle. Partly based on the author's own research into the factual history Conan Doyle and a healthy imagination, this series reveals how his last two years as a medical student and early years as a doctor gave him the insights and experience to later create the World's Greatest Consulting Detective. Key to this premise and in the historical record is Doyle's knowledge and familiarity with a brilliant and "peculiar" Profe ...more
I'm interviewing myself about how I felt about this book, since I don't feel like writing a regular review, thought it would be an interesting format.
I sat myself down and mercilessly questioned me. Here's what I had to say.
Interviewer: Hello, good to see you again. You're looking good.
Me: Thanks.
Interviewer: OK, so what did you think of the book?
Me:(Takes a gulp of water) Well, I obviously thought it was good if I gave it 5 stars, right?
Interviewer: Why did you give it 5?
Me: (Shrugs)5 sounded
4.5 stars.

Wow! I am very glad that I continued with this series. I was on the fence about The Patient’s Eyes when I read it, but The Night Calls blew the first book out of the water. I completely devoured this thing in two evenings.

The mystery is strange, gripping, and horrifying. There is an amazing twist in this book that hit me like a punch in the gut and actually made me shout out loud in shock. That’s a pretty rare thing.

Doyle is far more likeable and interesting in this story than he was
Emily Whetstone
The conceit of this book, a very Sherlock Holmesian fictionalized version of the adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle and his mentor Dr Joseph Bell, is a wonderful one. It frees Pirie to be creative and pay homage to Doyle's creation without attempting to directly mimic the famous characters. The story flows quickly and has some chilling moments. The ending is a cliffhanger, so if those bother you, you should probably have The Night Calls lined up to continue reading. I started with this rather than ...more
Phillip Ramm
Very enjoyable pastiche of the Sherlock style, supposedly based on the scant facts we have about the real life of Conan Doyle. Dr Joseph Bell was a lecturer at Edinburgh University when Doyle was a medical student there. He was certainly the model for Sherlock Holmes, a critical observer and adherent of the inductive method. Substitute him for Homes and Doyle for Watson and you have it.
Like another reviewer said, this is a very "dark" novel. There are two mysteries, one of which is solved. The other mystery is solved, but the offender is not brought to justice. I love the atmosphere of this series and the Doyle and Bell characters are fascinating. Of course, I'm a Holmes fan, so I may be biased.
I loved how the author uses Arthur Conan Doyle in the mystery! Very creative! It's a very creative and well-written book. It has everything I love- dark, well-developed characters and it takes place in Victorian England. A great read!
If I didn’t already know the story behind Dr. Cream and his “pink pills for pale prostitutes,” I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this story nearly as much as I did. I haven’t been this shocked by a sudden plot twist in ages.
I sort of read these books out of order. I have yet to find the other two and I would love to read them, as well as The Night Calls again.
A-Maz-Ing. I have to split it up it was that good. Have you read this series yet? No? GET ON THAT.
Once again, too scary, need the print book. Being a scaredy cat is a pain in the arse.
Read about 20 pages, couldn't get into. With Arthur Conan Doyle as protagonist.
The rather unsavory early beginnings of Sherlock Holmes. Fun ride!
The ending is great!
Sarah Nemeth
Sarah Nemeth marked it as to-read
Mar 25, 2015
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Mar 17, 2015
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Joseph Bell (3 books)
  • The Patient's Eyes
  • The Dark Water: The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes
The Patient's Eyes The Dark Water: The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes A New Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema, Revised and Updated Edition The Vampire Cinema A Heritage of Horror: The English Gothic Cinema, 1946-1972

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