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The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  741 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Sherlock Holmes is dead—or so most of the world thinks. His fatal plunge over the Reichenbach Falls as he struggled with his archenemy, Moriarty, has been widely reported.

But Holmes has escaped and is alive.

In his immediate circle, only Holmes’s brother, the lethargic genius Mycroft, knows of his survival. Even Dr. Watson thinks that the great detective is dead. Among his
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Hardcover, First Edition (US/CAN), 320 pages
Published 2003 by Random House
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  741 ratings  ·  55 reviews


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Jaylee
I couldn't get past the first case in this book.

1. By the powers of YOGA, Holmes can now apparently magically reshape his face/body like he's made out of silly putty.

2. This is Watson telling a story that Holmes is telling. So basically, Holmes is our narrator, and yet he adds in dozens of details about the character's emotional state, their love life... a lot of superfluous stuff that I don't think Holmes would ever bring up.

3. It's painfully boring. x_x It's written very much like the
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Arun Divakar
There is a gap in the lifetime of Sherlock Holmes which all of his readers are familiar with. The timeline between his apparent death in Switzerland to his reappearance three years later is shrouded in a fog of mystery. This time frame then proves to be a sort of goldmine to authors who pen pastiches. The author here taps into this mine and tries to recapture Holmes's adventures in the Orient.

It is mildly amusing at places and dead flat at others in terms of characters, build up and plot. The
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Meaghan
Jul 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The tone of voice and style were off. Someone used a thesaurus too much and the stories were not particularly interesting. I really *wanted* to like this book, but just didn't.
Joe
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
So far I'm on-board with Riccardi but, I'm a little shaky after reading that Holmes is now able to alter his appearance using a mysterious yoga technique newly acquired from his travels in Tibet. That is fine, I think, if it subtly aids in his use of disguises, but when Riccardi describes Holmes actually transforms into a 'Solid red faces member of the working class' and then into a 'swarthy Brahman' right before Watson's eyes with in a matter of moments, I find myself hoping these stories will ...more
John
I had two issues with the book, the first being that I wasn't able to get into the initial stories set in Nepal and Tibet easily, but that's me as I don't have a great fascination with those locations. I found the later Indian ones were a bit more interesting.

Point-of-view was the other, more serious problem. Watson was not present for any of these adventures, so he serves as a sort of omniscient narrator based upon what Holmes has told him. However, Holmes himself regularly butts in with direct
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Marcia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria
Aug 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
If you're a true Sherlock Holmes fan, then this book is a fun, light read; but it's nowhere near as good as the original Conan Doyle books/stories.

One of the quoted reviews on the back cover states that the author "captured the precise cadence and style of Dr. Watson's accounts." I disagree. The sentence structure is often awkward in its attempt to mimic Conan Doyle's style, and Holmes' methodology here isn't nearly as erudite as in the originals.

Plus, the edition that I have would have
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Leslie
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The language used was reminiscent of Doyle's works, though there were many times where phrases or full sentences were pulled from the Doyle source material (once or twice could be shrugged off as "paying homage," but this was excessive in my mind). However, I think the author failed to get the full flavor of Watson-as-narrator. I know these are stories that Holmes tells Watson after they have happened, rather than stories they experience together, but Watson is really ... glazed over in most of ...more
Jayme(the ghost reader)
I found this book and I was excited because it claims to be the lost cases of Sherlock Holmes after he faked his death. The setting is India and Asia particularly Nepal, Katmandu,and Tibet. I think those places are exotic places. Unfortunately, the stories are rather boring. The plot doesn't really seem to be a plot rather a recount of events. On the plus side, the author kept the original style of the writing. I felt like the original author was writing this book. I am glad I didn't spend money ...more
Katie Christian
Nov 04, 2012 rated it liked it
This is the first Holmes book I've read that wasn't written by Doyle. I was immediately impressed with the language used and the plot and characters in the first few cases were well-done and stayed true to the original books. The last half of the book seemed to wander a bit. Holmes always gave explanation for his findings, never leaving it with, "You know my methods Watson. Apply them." I found the entire last case hard to stay focused on. It was never resolved and therefore in my mind should ...more
Christina
Oct 17, 2012 rated it liked it


Engaging, but not much more. The book does a good job of replicating Doyle's tone, but it's often at a remove. All the stories are in retrospect, so it's challenging to feel engaged in the action.

Also, yikes, how poorly edited in places. Clearly the author or editor made some changes in the point of view during the revision process, but no one managed to pick up all the POV changes

Overall, a fun read for the Holmes enthusiast.
Rachel Kennedy
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Not a very good replica of the Sherlock Holmes character or story. Grammar errors made some stories difficult to read/follow. Endings were quick, unsatisfactory, and unlike the original tales, as Sherlock is not the victor. The author is clearly familiar with the locations of the tales and goes into great detail about same. However, as I am not familiar with India and other locations, I was not as entertained by the descriptions as others might be.
Sid
Jun 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Well I think i expected much more from the book. Set in India and asian subcontinent with sherlock holmes involved offered a lot. But I guess Sherlock Holmes is not just the character it is the plot, the stories and the writing by Arthur Conan Doyle. And Ted Riccardi doesn't do this justice. I found the plots convoluted and not properly compelling. Found a bit too much detail historically which at times was redundant and not useful .

Really hoped for a better book, coudn't go past 300 pages.
John
The writing is impeccable, but the storytelling lackluster. Most of these mysteries are fairly dull, and their resolutions underwhelming. Riccardi expertly delves into the cultures of India, Nepal, and Tibet, but at times this book reads too much like a travelogue. Unless you are inordinately fascinated by this part of the world, wading through this book will feel like a chore.
Rob McMonigal
Feb 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love Sherlock Holmes and I love most of the various non-Doyle versions, which, while varying in quality, keep him quite active.

I did not love this one.

I was a bit nervous about something called "Oriental Casebook" but given the time period of Holmes' adventures, it's not out of the realm for that term to be in active use. But then the stories started, and dragged on with tons of asides that seem to serve no purpose other than to pad the narrative. Holmes is very much detail-oriented, but when
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J.P. Coman
I almost liked it. It almost grabbed my attention. For some reason, this author uses 'almost' a lot, which my own editors told me was poor writing. "The almost cloudless sky" and "we were almost at the top of the hill" (when there was no reason not to be on top). The stories were set in Nepal, India, other eastern locations which needed a lot of description to bring the reader into the story. I think I've now run the course of Holmes FanFiction and Pastiche stories.
Bill Suits
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good stories but heavy on detail and many could have been edited down. You don't need to have everything a ridiculously long narrative. More variety would have been better or in some case a decrease in length. I have to say that the Giant Rat story was the most disappointing. Best one was the Holmes and Mycroft narrative on a rainy day.
Matt
Dec 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I gave this book several chances, but I just cannot enjoy it at all. Aside from the nonsense yoga that others have mentioned, the character did not seem, act, or think like the “real” Holmes for much of the book. And it gets annoying when a story features a spoken paragraph, then a narrated paragraph, alternated on end, while telling a third-and sometimes fourth-hand story.
Pat Beard
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
There were a few good plots in these short stories but the details and voice were just enough off that I couldn't give it a higher rating. I also agree with the reviewer that just couldn't deal with the "shape-shifter" Holmes.
Suyog Garg
Good Stories but lacks the thrill and intrigue of the original canon. Nice attempt though.
Jeff
May 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Got 43 pages in but just wasn't into it.
Mark Stratton
I was disappointed. Great writing, poor focus on story telling and far too much flashback within flashback. The latter stories did improve. Just not enough to raise the overall rating.
Michael Brown
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Stay at home over the holiday since family get together was next day read. Again some good, some poor and a few areas not really well presented.
Brian B.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
After suffering through an hour introduction, followed by listening (audio version) to Watson tell the story that Holmes is telling him, I couldn't bring myself to listen to/read any more. I was excited about it, I wanted to like it, but it was just too hard. I was relieved when the first case was over. It meant I could stop.
Kayt O'Bibliophile
I'm not sure if I can ascribe my lack of interest in this solely to the book, or to the fact that I was also in the middle of moving/starting a new job/life changes and just lost interest. It's probably both.

Unlike other post-canon Holmes stories I've read, this one didn't feature Holmes and Watson running around together because it focused on the time between Holmes' supposed death at Reichenbach Falls and his return, and sets him along and solidly in India and Tibet for the most part. So we
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Shalet Jimmy
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Lost Years of Sherlock Holmes by Ted Riccardi


When you step into the shoes of a master writer, meticulous care has to be taken. There should be neither a spill over nor a deficiency. The author has certainly adhered to these cardinal principles. Right from the chapter ‘preface by Dr Watson’, Ted Riccardi has not shown any inclination towards himself but always to the celebrated author who has produced the greatest sleuths of all time- Sherlock Holmes ‘. Neither once did he let the reader to
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Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws
I read this book quite some time back but refrained from reviewing it before today because recently I have also read and reviewed two Sherlock Holmes Novels by Donald Thomas. I felt it was only right to give this novel some time to settle down with me because living up to the expectations of ACD is difficult enough without this review being influenced by another author’s work.

As the name of the book suggests, the stories in this book are of the time when Sherlock Holmes was thought to be dead
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Sundeep Supertramp
3.5

The original review of this book is posted in my blog...

To read the original review, click here...


Foreword:

This is one of the three Sherlock Holmes books I have received from Marina, of Jaico Publications.

The other two books of the Jaico Sherlock Holmes Series,
New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Execution of Sherlock Holmes
I had already read and reviewed New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. That leaves me with only two other books. From the remaining, I guessed that the other one was about the
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Mike
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sherlock Holmes as Indiana Jones pretty much sums it up! For some reason I really enjoyed this book (even though I had been reluctant to read it due to the necessary exclusion of Watson as a character).

Riccardi features a version of Sherlock Holmes who doesn't exactly match canon because he is a little too human. In both of these books he is a man in full (be it an extrordinary well disciplined version) but something in this character grabbed my attention and would not let go.

I once heard
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Mike
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable read...it had to be savored slowly as all good Sherlock Holmes must be -- after all, Sherlock tells a story in his own inimitable way and at his pace. The book necessarily excludes Watson from the adventures, but includes him as the narrator/guide for the tales.

And maybe therein lies the real tale of this book. Deeply purist Holmes fans will undoubtedly find minor points to quibble with, and the language is not quite identical to Arthur Conan Doyle, but it is a fitting, enjoyable
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Ted Riccardi (born 1937) is a professor emeritus in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University.