Lara's Reviews > The Sherlockian

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
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's review
Jan 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011, e-books, historical-fiction, mystery
Read from January 19 to 20, 2011 — I own a copy

You know, I really, really enjoyed this! The narration cuts back and forth between events taking place in late 1900 involving Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, and their investigation of a series of suffragette murders, and events taking place in 2010 involving the death of the top Sherlockian scholar of the Baker Street Irregulars and the quest for Conan Doyle's missing diary. I found both stories pretty compelling, especially the one taking place in modern times, and although I had a few things figured out pretty quickly, for the most part I didn't really know where Moore was going with either mystery. And I thought he did a really great job with the characters--making Conan Doyle and Stoker feel like regular people with distinctly different personalities, and making a somewhat socially awkward Holmes scholar kind of lovable. I cared about all of them. And I liked the slow building of tension within both stories, and some of Moore's discriptions. I think my favorite part of the whole book is Harold's brief explanation of why he and his fellow Sherlockians are so drawn to the world of Holmes:

"Look, I get it. I'm a white, heterosexual man. It's really easy for me to say, 'Oh, wow, wasn't the nineteenth century terrific?' But try this. Imagine the scene: It's pouring rain against a thick window. Outside, on Baker Street, the light from the gas lamps is so weak that it barely reaches the pavement. A fog swirls in the air, and the gas gives it a pale yellow glow. Mystery brews in every darkened corner, in every darkened room. And a man steps out into that dim, foggy world, and he can tell you the story of your life by the cut of your shirtsleeves. He can shine a light into the dimness, with only his intellect and his tobacco smoke to help him. Now. Tell me that's not awfully romantic?"

Bravo, Mr. Moore!

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