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The Seven-Percent Solution

(Nicholas Meyer Holmes Pastiches #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  22,528 ratings  ·  377 reviews
First discovered and then painstakingly edited and annotated by Nicholas Meyer, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution relates the astounding and previously unknown collaboration of Sigmund Freud with Sherlock Holmes, as recorded by Holmes's friend and chronicler, Dr. John H. Watson. In addition to its breathtaking account of their collaboration on a case of diabolic conspiracy in wh ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 17th 1993 by W.W. Norton & Company (first published July 1974)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Seven-Percent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, MD, Nicholas Meyer
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D. is a 1974 novel by American writer Nicholas Meyer. It is written as a pastiche of a Sherlock Holmes adventure, and was made into a film of the same name in 1976. The novel begins in 1891, when Holmes first informs Watson of his belief that Professor James Moriarty is a "Napoleon of Crime". The novel pre
Fiona MacDonald
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's very difficult to produce a replicate of an Arthur Conan Doyle story when you aren't the man himself. But Nicholas Meyer has gone all out, and produced a staggeringly good work. In this story, Holmes is suffering with his addiction to cocaine, and Dr Watson is terrified he is going to die. So he calls on the gifts of another doctor, who has recently done research into the drug to 'save' Holmes - his name is Sigmund Freud. And so it continues. It's funny, intelligent and very 'real' to the g ...more
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and Sigmund Freud join forces to deal with Holmes cocaine addiction, to rescue a woman, and possibly to prevent a giant European war.
Dan Schwent
Sigmund Freud cures Sherlock Holmes of his cocaine addiction, forces him to deal with his issues regarding Professor Moriarty, and gets involved in Holmes' case, complete with battle on the roof of a train. What more could you ask for? ...more
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
To think that this is "the true story of Holmes' absence from Baker Street for those three years that he was gone" and that John Watson made up the two stories, namely The Final Solution and The Empty House to explain the absence is just too much, but a lovely story after all! If one cannot get enough of the Great Detective and his Boswell, Watson, it is one of the best.

I admire Mr. Meyer for imagining and writing such a wonderfully well done story of the two amazing companions of 221B Baker St
Jun 04, 2007 rated it it was ok
50¢ at a book sale, and with my current love of Sherlockia, I couldn’t resist, even though I was pretty sure I would hate it. I didn’t hate it. It’s too well-intended to hate, too joyfully fannish, and I must admit that some of Meyer’s footnotes on this “found” manuscript made me laugh out loud. (In case you’re curious, it was the one where Watson writes, “I believe it was in Julius Caesar that Shakespeare said…*” and Meyer’s footnote is simply, “*It’s not.”) However, this fannishness was I gu ...more
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very fine read.

The first part of the book is the best. Here we learn that Holmes' addiction to Cocaine (a feature of the original stories) has caused him to become delusional. The result is that some of what we thought we knew about Holmes was misleading to say the least. Watson, fearing that Holmes addiction will destroy him, takes him to get psychiactry help from a young Sigmund Freud. Such a move might seem a little silly on Meyer's part; however, it works rather nicely. For the first half
Amy Sturgis
This was a very solid, very able Holmes pastiche. I quite enjoyed the way Meyer captured Watson's voice as narrator, worked in multiple references to Arthur Conan Doyle's original canon, dealt with Holmes's cocaine addiction, uncovered the "true" story of Moriarty, and incorporated the historical figure of Sigmund Freud as a character in the story. I definitely plan to read Meyer's other two Holmes novels.

I clearly see how this novel informed Michael Dibdin's The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, whic
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it

This book was really a pleasure to read as it does a great job in bringing the detective alive again. It comes pretty close to the originals with respect to the writing style, both in word choice as well as in keeping humor in it in spite of its gravety (sometimes through witty annotations).

It's really interesting that this book explores Holmes’ cocaine use, both its origins and its effects. It also gives a closer look into the personalities of Mycroft, Mrs. Hudson and Moriarty. (view spoil
Scott Rhee
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, holmesiana
There is a growing oeuvre of Holmesiana out there, much of it pretty good. "The 7 Per Cent Solution", a short novel written in the '70s by Nicholas Meyer, cleverly pits Holmes and Watson against Holmes' true arch-enemy, with the aid of Sigmund Freud. For those die-hard Holmes fans, this novel takes place in the time period between Conan Doyle's "The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of the Empty House", in which Homes supposedly battled Professor Moriarty to the death but "miraculously" survived ...more
Except for Sherlock Holmes and cocaine and Freud, the rest is all fuzzy.
Lindsay Stares
Jan 03, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who are NOT huge Holmes fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
DeAnna Knippling
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sherlock Holmes and the case of the deadly cocaine addiction!

This was more of a novella than a novel, very short. At first I didn't like it; it assumed you had obsessive Sherlockania information that you didn't necessarily have, and it seemed like cheap opportunism: let's analyze Sherlock! But the book gets into the realm that's always been kind of a crux in mystery novels: physical clues vs. motivation/profiling. Do we need to understand the criminals in order to catch them? And Sherlock's time
Sarah Sammis
Sherlock Holmes is among an elite set of fictional characters who has outlived his creator and even his own written death (The Final Problem1893). Holmes continues to solve crimes as written by a number of authors including this 1974 version, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer. The book was made into a film in 1976, which I've enjoyed watching a number of times.

One thing that is universal across all these Sherlock Holmes tales (those by Doyle and these later ones) is that the stories
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To his credit, Meyer not only disregards the unwritten rule that modern Sherlock Holmes stories must feature Moriarty as either the main villain or in an ominous cameo, he goes one better and first introduces and then relegates the incongruous villain to his rightful place.

I always thought that “The Final Problem” and “The Empty House” felt the least Holmes-like of all of Doyle’s original stories. The introduction of a mastermind behind most of the crime in London seemed all too sudden and very
Reese (whimsicalbibliophile)
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me by Sil (anivlisandbooks), who could not have been more spot on with a recommendation! I really love the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Conan Doyle, and I love reading anything that extends that universe. The Seven Per-Cent Solution is in a way your usual retelling of a Sherlock Holmes story because it essentially retells The Reichenbach Falls by imaging a different reason why Holmes might disappear for months. What I liked about it, though, was that it was 1) ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
A lifelong Holmes fan, I try to get my hands on as many continuation stories and pastiches as I can. Many lists of the great pastiches list this one chief among them, so I figured it was about time I consumed it.

Let me start by saying (not at all pompously) that I am a big fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works and consider myself a purist in that sense; I most enjoy works that are written in similar voice, structure and with nods to the original works. Seven-Percent Solution (no spoilers) takes
Jun 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans looking for a new Sherlock Holmes fix
While no one can replace Arthur Conan Doyle, this homage by Nicholas Meyer is a fairly good attempt. It hits all the right notes -- with guest spots by favorites such as Professor Moriarty, Mycroft Holmes and Tobey the tracking dog -- as well as raises the stakes by adding the celebrity Dr. Sigmund Freud to the mix, which despite seeming to be inspired by television teams-ups like Scooby Doo Meets Batman, actually works fairly well in the story.
Eli Easton
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for my Lifetime Challenge: Year 1974

Gosh, there were a lot of awesome books to choose from in 1974. I very nearly got pulled into Jaws, but decided I knew the story too well already. As a big fan of BBC Sherlock, I've been interested in everything Sherlockian in the past few years, so I settled down to listen to the audiobook of this one.

This book is written in a simulation of Dr. Watson's voice from the original stories, which is to say it reads like the 1800's even though it's from
Kathy Martin
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book makes a good addition to the wealth of stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, the world's greatest detective. This is supposed to be based on a manuscript discovered in a cluttered attic. It was transcribed by a secretary-typist the Dr. Watson encountered while he was in a nursing home. He is telling this tale at the age of eighty-seven and only then because the principals had passed away.

The story begins with a cocaine-addicted Holmes who is certain that mild-mannered Mathematics tutor P
Caveat: I have never read another Sherlock Holmes novels, though I’ve read a couple of Holmes-adjacent books. But the sequel to this book popped up in my social media feed, so I figured I should read the first one. And I’m so glad I did!

I realize that this is basically fanfic, but what’s wrong with that? From the author’s afterword, it seems as though Meyer did a lot of research not only through Conan Doyle’s works, but also through a great deal of the literary discussion regarding Holmesiana. I
A Man Called Ove
Oct 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
A short story stretched into an award-winning novel. Think ppl just got excited in the 1970s that someone had written a novel featuring Holmes and Freud. The only mystery was guessing when the mystery would begin ! Much ado about nothing!
On top of it, the short story was ordinary and wouldnt have made it to Conan Doyle’s 56 short stories. The intensity, the energy, the intelligence was missing.
BTW, I am a Sherlock fan and have read all the stories and novels thrice, some favourite ones even mor
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend. This was a 4 star rating until I got the last 30 pages of my ebook edition (Nook). The story follows Watson and Holmes from London to Vienna and it's a mystery within a mystery within a mystery: who is Moriarty? Who is the woman in the hospital? What is the international plot unfolding? And, oh yeah, from all of this what can we learn about Holmes' childhood, his decision to become a detective? ...more
I saw the movie many years ago and remember loving it. The book was OK, nothing special for me.
Watson and Mycroft maneuver Holmes into treatment for cocaine addiction. The doctor who is working to cure him is Freud. While in Vienna a case comes up, dragging Holmes from his drug free depression and putting him back to work.
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
There are obviously loads of Sherlock stories and novels written by writers other than Conan Doyle. This one, guest starring Sigmund Freud, is one of the better ones I've read. There's so much history going on and so many world stage figures who are contemporaneous with Holmes that such a Sherlock-meets-celebrity works could (and probably do) fill a shelf. ...more
Susan needs more books, not really
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sherlock, 2018
I think this book is one of the closest writing styles to Arthur Conan Doyle I've read in the Holmes pastiches. I found both Holmes and Watson true to character and thought the situations and journey to the conclusion well done.

CJ Bowen
An entertaining enough novel, successful at capturing tone and to a lesser extent voice, but just didn't get what a Sherlock story is supposed to do. Too much Freud, and too much fiddling with the canon to really stand out. ...more
Sara Almujhem
Too predictable except the last chapter that i would gladly give it a 4 stars
Puzzle Doctor
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full review at
Steve Kruppa
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun read. Sherlock Holmes going through rehab led by Sigmund Freud turns into a quaint mystery. Thrilling well written ending. I enjoyed this book and would recommend this tale to all fans of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.
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Nicholas Meyer graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in theater and film-making, & is a film writer, producer, director and novelist best known for his involvement in the Star Trek films. He is also well known as the director for the landmark 1983 TV-Movie "The Day After", for which he was nominated for a Best Director Emmy Award. In 1977, Meyer was nominated for an Adapted Screenpla ...more

Other books in the series

Nicholas Meyer Holmes Pastiches (4 books)
  • The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, MD
  • The Canary Trainer: From the Memoirs of John H. Watson, M.D.
  • The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D.

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34 likes · 6 comments
“He may of course resume it at any time. Such is the curse of enslavement to drugs. It would be interesting to know,” he added, with seeming irrelevancy, “how he became involved with cocaine.’ “I have always known him to keep it about his rooms,” I answered truthfully. “He says he takes it because of boredom, lack of activity.” Freud turned and smiled at me, his features displaying the infinite and nameless wisdom and compassion I had noticed the moment I first set eyes on him. “That is not the reason a man pursues such a path to destruction,” he said softly.” 0 likes
“That night Holmes awoke in a high fever and was delirious. As Freud and I sat by his bedside, each restraining the movement of his hands, he babbled of oysters overrunning the world and similar nonsense.* Freud listened with the greatest attention. “Is he fond of oysters?” he demanded of me during a quiet interval. I shrugged, too confused to answer accurately.” 0 likes
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