The Last Sherlock Holmes Story
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The Last Sherlock Holmes Story

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,371 ratings  ·  98 reviews
For fifty years after Dr Watson's death, a packet of papers, written by the doctor himself, lay hidden in a locked box. The papers contained an extraordinary report of the case of Jack the Ripper and the horrible murders in the East End of London in 1888. The detective, of course, was the great Sherlock Holmes - but why was the report kept hidden for so long? This is the s...more
192 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1978)
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Oh my god. Literally. Just don't read this book. That's all I can say. Promise me? PROMISE? Don't do it. It'll ruin you for at least a whole day with rage and an intense feeling that you just wasted two hours of your life that you can't get back. But you know, if you want someone to take Holmes and mostly destroy him as a character then yeah, go for it. This is JUST the book for you. Otherwise, STAY AWAY.
Dibdin is a decent writer, and I found the writing itself rather enjoyable. That's the upside. But I absolutely detested this particular book because of the story and the premise. When I finished it, I wanted to throw it across the room, stomp on it, and then tear it into little pieces. I settled for fobbing it off to a used bookstore, where hopefully it languishes unread, instead of infecting the psyche of some other poor sod...
Amy Sturgis
I understand why this Sherlock Holmes-meets-Jack the Ripper novel is controversial among (even hated by) some Holmes fans who are wed to one interpretation of the detective, but I found it to be fascinating and very well rooted in the canonical Holmesian texts. Its sophisticated (and darkly Gothic) psychological look not only at Holmes (whom I found to be poignantly redeemed at the end, contrary to what I'd expected from other reviews) but also at the wonderful Dr. Watson kept me very interested...more
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If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan, I don't think this is a book for you. This is supposed to be a Holmes story written by Dr. Watson and held back for 50 years as provided in his will. Perhaps it is a good reading novel, though you pretty much know what is going to happen part way through, but I didn't care for its portrayal of Holmes. The Holmes in this story is not "my" Holmes.
I do not consider myself a Sherlock Holmes purest, but I confess that a certain revelation in the story, when I came to it, did give me a few minutes of angst. I spent more than a few minutes thinking about whether I could accept the story line and keep reading. I admit, my first reaction was “No, this is not my Sherlock Holmes!” It has happened to me before.

I was enjoying the writing style. I thought Mr. Digdin had caught the flavor Holmes and Watson very well. Everything Author Conan Doyle wa...more
Natalie Dale
When I first began reading this I thought it was a good read which stayed true to the previous works of ACD but also gave some inventive explanations and changes to give a different perspective on the infamous Sherlock Holmes. However, the twist is revealed half way through the book and, although abandoned by Watson as ridiculous at points, still does not lead to a surprise ending and appears to be very much an anti-climax after a trundling narrative in parts. Although it is still worth a read,...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Looking through the other reviews, I can see that either you love this book or you hate it. I'm in the first group. First, Dibdin shows you that he can capture the flavor of the old Arthur Conan Doyle stories perfectly; then, not content with merely imitating, he adds some disturbing new elements to the legend. In the afterword, he asks you to forgive him. It's heresy, he freely admits, but the heresy of the true believer. An eloquent and accurate summary!

I found this book truly disturbing.
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I hated, hated, hated this book.

To be perfectly fair, I was fourteen or fifteen when I found this on the shelf at the public library. I was a recently-minted Sherlock Holmes fan, and had been devouring The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes, so I was eager to read anything that had "Sherlock Holmes" anywhere on the cover. So this depth-plumbing horror was my very first Holmes pastiche, and probably a bit "mature" for me at that particular stage in my reading life. I consider it possible that s...more
Riju Ganguly
An extremely clever take on the whole Holmes v/s Ripper concept, with a twist-ending that will take your breath away! I know, it reads like those blurbs that we get to read on paperbacks ('The cover will show you somebody shot/the back will tell you what is the plot'!), but that is the most succint description of this book that I can produce without producing spoilers en masse! Read it, curse Michael Dibdin to the core (the guy is dead, so really can't effect any harm), and then keep thinking: w...more
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Alan Brindley
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Patrick Hilyer
OK, so this was a second-time read, but despite knowing the ending I enjoyed the clever way Dibdin dovetails Holmes and Watson into the grisly events in Whitechapel in 1888 – an over-used fictional conceit these days, but pretty original when the story was published in ‘78. A compelling and authentic voice that stops short of lampooning Conan Doyle’s bumbling Doctor or his enigmatic ‘consulting detective’.
I am a true and loyal fan of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, however, I can accept Holmes as portrayed by other writers. Some other writers, that is, but not this one. I wanted to like this book but I couldn't. Michael Dibdin was a fine writer and I was fully expecting to enjoy this book. After all, it has great subject matter...Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper. It turns out I didn't enjoy anything about this book.
There is no mystery in this novel because the mystery is given away half...more
Every once in a while, a contemporary author feels the need to confront Sherlock Holmes. Especially if the author works in genre literature. Dibdin, a justly acclaimed mystery writer in his own right does the tradition a classic tribute in this very clever take on the Holmes legend.
An amazing idea to combine the most notorious unsolved crimes of Jack the Ripper with the most notorious crime solver, Sherlock Holmes. Made me want to research both more after finishing this book.
This was horrifying.
Wow! This was entirely unexpected and really very inventive. And there's no way I'm going to be able to discuss without the most enormous plot spoiler, so if you don't want to know whodunit, look away now...

This is presented as a document of Watson's memoirs that have been stored in a vault for 50 years after his passing, such that they were opened and then published in the mid 70s. The fun thing about the presentation is that Watson makes reference to Arthur Conan Doyle and how some of his ear...more
I feel I can say very little about The Last Sherlock Holmes story without spoiling the plot. It's clearly aimed at fans of Sherlock Holmes, but I'm not sure many fans will like it. (I gave it four stars because I feel Dibdin did a good job, rather than actually *liking* it.) It's certainly unique in my experience.

Dibdin accounts for differences in writing style and character behavior by attributing the familiar stories as fictional works by Doyle loosely based on Watson's notes of cases Holmes s...more
Sarà che forse sono nel pieno della mia fissa per Sherlock Holmes, per questo sono rimasta così presa da questa lettura, che oltre ad essere scritta magistralmente ha anche il pregio di sembrare fino a metà un normalissimo caso alla ACD, per poi diventare improvvisamente tutto il contrario e tenerti comunque incollata alle pagine fino alla fine.
Un finale così potrà far storcere il naso a molti, ma io l'ho trovato molto bello, specie per il dialogo tra Holmes e Watson nelle ultime pagine. L'idea...more
Tinneal (42books)
'The Last Sherlock Holmes Story' by Michael Dibdin is just one of the many Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper fictions that exist within the world of Holmesian literature, but this story is has very singular factors which separate it from other stories written.

The story exposes the reader to an entirely different perspective on Holmes that is entirely possible, given Holmes’ history and the canonical details referenced. I think the fact that it’s so possible, and so undesirable at the same t...more
Jamie Bernthal
The 'horrifying twist' is painfully obvious. I mean, if you can't guess it after reading the blurb or reading between the lines of any individual response to the book then you'll never make a Sherlock. And of course, I came to it all post-Robert Lee Hall so nothing struck me as revolutionary.

That said, the story is well-told. Dibdin is a little restrained at times as though afraid of developing too much of a narrative voice. But I loved his explanation for the discrepancy between the canon and h...more
My first introduction to Sherlock Holmes was through his 'last' case with Jack the Ripper in this very book. I was very young when I read this, and it left such an impression-- I still remember passages from the book that rings sometimes in my mind, and a particular illustration near the ending. I suppose it had to do with the fact that I was impressionable when I read this book, but it doesn't take away the influence it had.

Fans would probably revolt at the idea of Sherlock Holmes as a villain...more
This book started out with a strike against it as the Holmes vs The Ripper idea has pretty much reached a complete saturation point. In fact, often while reading this novel, I felt that I had read it previously only to find a new bit here or there that would have left enough impression on me to precisely remember having read this book or not.

That being said, the quoted reviews on the back cover claim the book to be "controversial", a claim with which I can readily agree. As a traditionalist, I f...more
Steven Espinosa
I gave this book 3 stars because it was promising. NO SPOILER here. Once the big revaluation was made I went into a tirade. If I rant here, those who have not read the book will certainly know what is going on. So suffice it to say that it was not my favorite story of Sherlock Holmes by authors other than Arthur Conan Doyle. There was also a great deal of "fluff" pages that tried to let you into the mind and feelings of Dr. Watson that were unnecessary. There is mention of Dr. Watson impending m...more
Austen to Zafón
I'm a Holmes purist for the most part. I don't like it when writers bring him to modern times or put him in a sci-fi story or make him ridiculous instead of edgy and a bit scary. But Dibdin did draw me in on this one, even though he strays WAY away from Doyle's Holmes. Boy, it's quite the thriller. The writing is tight and relentless in that way that makes you keep reading even when you want to toss it away and get out Paddington Bear to combat the creeping, horrific realizations. I couldn't loo...more
A phenomenal read for any avid fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's canon. Dibdin truly captures the entire essence of ACD's style, adding his own flair as Watson narrates in a world where he is friends with our real-life creator of the world's greatest detective.

With an ending that fits canon as well as brings something entirely new to its core to the the table, the novel is one large climax from beginning to end that is almost impossible to put down before reaching one of the few breathing points...more
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Baker Street Irre...: The Last Sherlock Holmes Story ****SPOILERS**** 5 47 Dec 01, 2012 04:15PM  
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Michael Dibdin was born in 1947. He went to school in Northern Ireland, and later to Sussex University and the University of Alberta in Canada. He lived in Seattle. After completing his first novel, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, in 1978, he spent four years in Italy teaching English at the University of Perugia. His second novel, A Rich Full Death, was published in 1986. It was followed by Ratki...more
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