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Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson

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3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  5,822 Ratings  ·  772 Reviews
From the gritty streets of nineteenth century London, the loyal and courageous Dr. Watson offers a tale unearthed after generations of lore: the harrowing story of Sherlock Holmes’s attempt to hunt down Jack the Ripper.

As England’s greatest specialist in criminal detection, Sherlock Holmes is unwavering in his quest to capture the killer responsible for terrifying London’s
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ebook, 352 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Simon Schuster
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Lauren Wedgwood Mullens From memory - none at all. It focuses on Sherlock and John and they stumble across the bodies. It's London's Whitechapel so there's plenty of grit,…moreFrom memory - none at all. It focuses on Sherlock and John and they stumble across the bodies. It's London's Whitechapel so there's plenty of grit, but no rape scenes. There may be mention of their activities of course but fairly certain nothing graphic.
Sherlock is lovely here. He's young, carefree and generally quite charming if eccentric. A scene that sticks in my mind is Lestrade telling him he's been accused of the murders himself and, laughing, he offers to show him the wound the Ripper gave him by unbuttoning his shirt and the Detective says 'no no that's quite alright.'
So you know, appropriate for the time period.

The author has written stories involving illegal underage brothels before and has not gone into explicit detail, so I think you're safe.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
The Gods of Gotham was great so wanted to try Faye again. Pretty gutsy for a debut don’t you think? To take on Sherlock Holmes and pit him against Jack the Ripper, had to read it just to see if she'd pull it off - she did. Obviously did her homework, it’s pretty fabulous, with Faye’s strength again her mastery of dialect. The Sherlock characters are faithfully rendered plus she’s thrown in Mary Ann Monk, an enchanting gin-swilling tart who “proves herself to be a woman of extraordinary fortitude ...more
Candi
"Once the sun has fallen, you can hardly see your hand before your face, and the slaughterhouses allow blood-spattered men to pass without remark."

Such is the district of Whitechapel, the legendary stomping grounds of the infamous killer, Jack the Ripper. I picked up this fantastic book for a challenge, never expecting to become quite so hooked!! In this one, Sherlock Holmes himself teams up with Dr. Watson, Scotland Yard's Lestrade, and a delightful new character, Miss Monk. Miss Monk was a ref
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Chrissie
Aug 11, 2012 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun, terribly fun. How can a book about the Ripper killings be fun? It is fun because the murderer is (view spoiler)! The feeling of London in 1888 is accurately described. I am absolutely no expert of either Sir Conan Doyle or the Ripper killings, but having listened to this book I feel I am well acquainted with both now.

If you are worried that the story could be too gory, don’t worry. It isn’t. The delight you get from this b
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Shaun
Oct 16, 2014 Shaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Loved it...LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it!

A fan of Sherlock Holmes who is fascinated by Jack the Ripper, I started this with high expectations. And I was not disappointed. A big kudos to Lyndsay Faye for managing to successfully integrate these two popular characters in one fantastic mystery.

What can I say...she's nailed Holmes and Watson in a page turner that boldly and cleverly pits the greatest detective of all time against one of history's most notorious serial killers.

So enjoyed this and so sad it h
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Amy Sturgis
It's entirely possible I've cast a shadow over the rest of my reading of Holmesian pastiches by devouring this novel so early in my project. I'm not quite sure how others will compete. That said, I can't remember when I've enjoyed savoring the first reading of a book as much. (Maybe The Thirteenth Tale last year? Although I think Dust and Shadow may exceed that experience, as well.) Lyndsay Faye delivered all I was wanting in this ambitious novel: excellent characterizations of the main characte ...more
Philip Jones
Sep 28, 2012 Philip Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a first novel for Ms. Faye and it is subtitled “An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson.” As a Sherlockian scholar, I maintain a database of Sherlockian pastiches, parodies and related fiction. Among other things, this database keeps reference to the subjects of its entries and “Jack the Ripper” is the single most popular subject for pastiche writers, other than “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” There are at least seventy five different items on file about attempts to tell ...more
Tracey
It is inevitable that writers feel a deep-seated urge to pit Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper. The murders happened in the midst of Holmes's career; his contemporary readership must have wished he could step out of the pages and hunt down their nightmare for them. So it's no surprise that this is not the first time the idea has been pursued; there have been a couple of films (Murder by Decree with Christopher Plummer and James Mason as Holmes and Watson, and A Study in Terror), a handful ...more
Kim
Aug 17, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I was encouraged to listen to this audiobook by the enthusiastic reviews of GR friends (thanks Tracey and Chrissie!) and by my own positive experience of listening to Simon Vance's excellent narration of a very different kind of novel, Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge. As I expected, Vance is excellent. His voices are appropriate for the characters, each one easily distinguishable from the others. If Vance has a weakness as a narrator, it's in his voices for young female characters. Howe
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Pupottina

Jack the Ripper sfida Holmes

È sempre un piacere divorare l'ennesimo pastiches che pone Sherlock Holmes sulla scena del crimine di terribili delitti. Soltanto lui può indagare e giungere ad una soluzione. La verità, anche la più difficile da scovare, con lui non ha scampo. Lo scenario è quello gotico del degratato quartiere di Whitechapel a Londra, nell'autunno del 1888.
Lyndsay Faye ha portato il personaggio di Conan Doyle ad indagare su uno dei più celebri gialli irrisolti della storia. Come se
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Jason Pettus
Jul 07, 2009 Jason Pettus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)


As I've mentioned here before, I'm one of the millions out there with an obsessive love for the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, originally the product of Victorian genre author Arthur Conan Doyle but that has since passed into the public domain, which now that anyone can write stories conc
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Taryn Pierson
Nov 14, 2016 Taryn Pierson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The day after I started reading Dust and Shadow, I came across Lyndsay Faye's open letter to The President Who Shall Not Be Named, which made me bawl like a baby (in a hopeful way). So yes, I'm officially a fan for life. I've added every book in her back catalog to my TBR. It's happening. Anyway, topical feels-y blog posts aside, this is a great book on its own merits and was just the kind of cozy read I needed to make me feel better about life. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson investigate the no ...more
Christopher Roden
Sherlock Holmes pastiche is a tricky subject. Picking up on the scenes of the times is one thing - and Lyndsay Faye does a good enough job with that, seemingly having researched London of the time. Capturing the language of the times, and the language and style of Conan Doyle is another, and whilst Faye has made a promising stab at doing that, DUST AND SHADOW still contains material that would never have made it into THE STRAND MAGAZINE. Rough as one of Holmes's associates is - and street ladies ...more
Wanda
I am neither a devotee of Sherlock Holmes nor of Ripperology (the study of Jack the Ripper), but I did find this book very engaging. I think that the author caught the rhythm and atmosphere of Conan Doyle’s fiction very well—there were only a few instances where modern sensibilities slipped through. By and large, I felt that Holmes and Watson behaved very authentically and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to my Sherlock-obsessed friends.

Mind you, I am also a fan of forensics-based mysteries,
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Rachel
Mar 01, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Christin
Listen, you all know how stingy I am with my 5-star ratings, because I've mentioned it only about a million times. I usually have to sleep on it before I can figure out if I'm really going to give it 5 stars or not. I have done just that, and I think this one deserves it.

Even if you think you've figured out some of the answer, there's always more to it than you could possibly imagine, and the thoughtfulness and planning of this story, in itself, deserves the 5 stars. So when you add to it how w
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Sara
Okay let me start by saying that anyone who takes on the gargantuan task of attempting to put on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's mantel and manages to stay true to the world, language and spirit of Sherlock Holmes is to be commended. Its no small feat that Lyndsay Faye, a clearly talented writer, is so successful in grasping Sherlock and Watson's personalities and the dynamic of their relationship so well. There is a tendency, with the exception of Jeremy Brett's fabulous interpretation, in film and te ...more
Susan
Mar 07, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sherlock meets Jack the Ripper. Sherlock and Dr. Watson must stop these horrible killings before the press or Jack himself frames Sherlock for his gruesome crimes. As usual Sherlock investigates, goes undercover and is always steps ahead of everyone involved. This would make a great addition to the Robert Downey/Sherlock movie series.

Wonderfully narrated by Simon Vance, as always he added depth and fluidity to the story. I am always amazed by how many books and different genre's he has done so
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Riju Ganguly
Aug 01, 2011 Riju Ganguly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holmes v/s Ripper has always been a favourite subject of discussion among people fascinated with the subjects of crime & retribution, essentially to "prove" that had there been any body like Sherlock Holmes in London, 1888, he must have caught the Ripper, and therefore, Holmes did not exist. Those who wish to bring the two Victorian icons (yes, even as you wince thinking about it, swirling fog brings the fiend of Whitechapel to mind as easily as it recalls Sherlock Holmes) together had alway ...more
Margaret
One of the wonderful things about this site is that the friends you make here recommend books to you. Derek recommended "Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr John H. Watson" to me. I am so very glad he did.

I admit I was worried at first, because Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper has been done to death in both books and film. I need not have worried as "Dust and Shadow" is an excellent Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

The story fairly rips along (sorry) and the original characters ha
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Melora
Mar 19, 2016 Melora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Wow. Four and a half stars. Lindsay Faye writes an excellent Sherlock Holmes. I've had this on the TBR shelf for quite a while, but the “Jack the Ripper” thing kept putting me off. It needn't have. Not that the Ripper's work isn't gruesome, but Faye keeps her descriptions tolerably brief, as Doyle would have done, and the story and excellently drawn characters are utterly engaging. Unlike Laurie King, whose The Beekeeper's Apprentice made Watson out to be a bumbling if fond idiot, Faye's Watson ...more
Sue Smith
Feb 11, 2015 Sue Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read! It was thoughtfully done, keeping true to Sherlock Holmes and the horror of the times during which Jack the Ripper ran rampant, killing at will. Part of the fascination with that whole sordid affair was the abrupt end to killings and the killer. It stays as one of those mysteries that people love to return to and conjecture as to the how and why that is. This book offers a very reasonable explanation and conclusion to the whole Jack the Ripper affair and its a great story that Sh ...more
Donna
Oct 10, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read my first Lyndsay Faye book this week and I could hardly wait to get my hands on another one. I liked this one almost as much as I did the other one. I'm not a fan of serial killer anything....but this was well done.

Faye merges fictional characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, with the very real Jack the Ripper. So those two elements made for some great historical fiction. She did her homework on both. I am officially a fan of this author. I have two more of her books coming my way.

I
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Cherie
I loved this book! I loved it in Audio! I loved listening to Simon Vance and all of his voices! I was in heaven the whole time I was listening.

What a great story! I cannot believe I almost did not want to read it. Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper just sounded too wierd!

I could listen to it all over again, right now.

I want to tell everyone that I know that they HAVE to listen to it!

Hannah
Jul 30, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2015-reads
Rating Clarification: 4.5 Stars

Bringing together two of my interests: Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper.

Faye does an incredible job with it. Look forward to reading more from her.
Ms.pegasus
Sep 18, 2016 Ms.pegasus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Readers of this book will undoubtedly be familiar with the characters created by Arthur Conan Doyle over a century ago. Faye revives those memories, opening with the wrap-up of a jewel theft case which has baffled the authorities. A nocturnal excursion to catch the perpetrator red-handed, the unique partnership of Holmes and Watson, and a bewildered Inspector Gregson stoke the reader's hunger for more of the fictional detective's cases.

Chapter 2 is our entry point to the infamous Whitechapel mur
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colleen the convivial curmudgeon
Yet another book where I'm wavering between 2 and 3 stars. (There have been far too many of these recently. Of course, I suppose it could be worse... )

Anyway -

I first became aware of this book looking on a friends to-read shelf, and when I saw that it combines Sherlock Holmes with Jack the Ripper, I had to read it. (I have since learned that there are actually a crap-ton of Holmes/Ripper books, but this was the first I encountered.)

First, to the good. Faye does a decent job of mimicking Doyle,
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Gena
Jun 12, 2011 Gena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Autumn 1888 and London is in the grip of a killer. When an unfortunate woman is killed outside a pub in the meanest part of Victorian London, there is only one man who can uncover the truth before more lives are lost. So enters the Great Detective himself, Sherlock Holmes, into the Jack the Ripper investigation. Soon Holmes and his trusty companion Dr. Watson are racing through the twisted alleys and back ways of Whitechaple on the heels of a very cunning killer. Thwarted at every turn, merciles
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Benjamin Thomas
After having read and thoroughly enjoyed Lyndsay Faye’s two Timothy Wilde historical mysteries I wanted to turn back and read her first published novel, a pastiche of Sherlock Holmes. It’s a gutsy move I think, to tackle Sherlock in your first book, especially as he takes on the Jack the Ripper case. That alone would give me pause about reading this one, but by now I had great faith in her writing ability and was not disappointed at all.

I loved the way the author created the environment of Londo
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Joe
Mar 07, 2014 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A certain part of reviewing and rating any book is analyzing just what a book was "going for." This is the same reason a person can give five star ratings to both "Of Mice and Men" and "Oh, The Places You'll Go!". Two very different works that are nearly perfect at what they are attempting to be. It is not fair to say, just because that book is from this genre or that genre it CAN'T be a five star book.

All that is preamble to say that this book about Sherlock Holmes and the Jack the Ripper killi
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Linda
May 30, 2009 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
New novelist Lyndsay Faye has done what few have managed before. She has resurrected Sherlock Holmes and company. Faye succeeds admirably in creating the ambience of the original novels, and by pitting Holmes against Jack the Ripper, presents him with a challenge worthy of his talents. The world’s greatest detective emerges true to form, with arrogance and foibles intact. Dr. Watson, dear as ever, remains at his side, but in this tale, he takes a more active role than was his wont. The usual lov ...more
Jitka
Mar 26, 2016 Jitka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prostě skvělé :)

Krom toho, že je kniha výborně napsaná, mě nadchlo i to, jak se autorce podařilo zachovat atmosféru původních příběhů. Je dost možné, že při psaní recenze ještě nakonec tu poslední pátou hvězdičku přihodím, momentálně mě totiž nenapadá nic, co bych knize mohla vytknout.

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“As he passed a hand over his eyes, I recalled the he could not have slept more than twenty hours in the last seven days. For the first time since I had known him, Sherlock Holmes appeared to be exhausted by work rather than inaction.

"Because if I am right," he murmured, "I haven't the first idea what to do.”
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“More accurately, on the bed and on the table lay various pieces of what had once been a body.

Holmes was leaning with his back against the wall, his countenance deathly white. "The door was open," he said incongruously. "I was passing by, and the door was open."

"Holmes," I whispered in horror.

"The door was open," he said once more, and then buried his face in his hands.”
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