28 year old Graham Moore has written a soon-to-be-released mystery “The Sherlockian” focusing on a female murder investigation undertaken by famous Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle in London in the fall of 1900. To assist in this pursuit is his friend, now famous Bram Stoker (author of Dracula). In 1893 Conan Doyle had ended the life of his “creation” detective Sherlock Holmes, which was “mourned” by his readership all over the world.
The story fast forwards to 2010 where at a Sherlockian society meeting in New York, a death occurs at the Algonquin Hotel of one of their more famous members/scholars Alex Cale. Their most newly inducted member, literary researcher Harold White, becomes the fellow who undertakes a “Sherlock Holmes” style investigation of that death (murder?) This part of the story ties in to the 1900 fictional investigation done by Conan Doyle & Stoker, with the limited assistance of Scotland Yard. It’s all about a missing diary of Conan Doyle’s allegedly found by Alex Cale decades later, which in 2010 is now worth millions.
This novel is exciting, clever and convoluted (as all mysteries are), and leads the protagonists from New York, to England, to Switzerland. Accompanying Harold is over-eager journalist Sarah Lindsay, who may become a romantic element of the plot.
This is a book for Sherlock Holmes fans, Conan Doyle fans, Broker fans, and anyone who likes a good mystery/detective story, like me.
From the publisher’s website:
In December 1893, Sherlock Holmes-adoring Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines– anticipating the detective’s next adventure– only to find the unthinkable: his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning — crowds sported black armbands in grief — and railed against Conan Doyle as his assassin.
Then in 1901, just as abruptly as Conan Doyle had “murdered” Holmes in “The Final Problem,” he resurrected him. Though the writer kept detailed diaries of his days and work, Conan Doyle never explained this sudden change of heart. After his death, one of his journals from the interim period was discovered to be missing, and in the decades since, has never been found.
Or has it?
When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he’s about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: the missing diary. But when the world’s leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold – using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories – who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer.
What’s particularly charming is that almost every chapter begins with an actual quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself, and the book the quote derives from. There are even Bram Stoker quotes as well.
Being as I just wrote a review of “Dracula” which is being performed here in Tucson at the University of Arizona Marroney theater till October 31, Bram Stoker is still very popular today. Read my blog of that play here.
Author Graham Moore is from Chicago, a graduate of Columbia University with a degree in religious history, who now lives in Los Angeles. This is his debut novel, and it was his dream to write a mystery.
Book release date: December 1, 2010 by TWELVE, Hachette Book Group, 237 Park Avenue, New York 10017, phone 212-364-1266, contact Cary Goldstein (associate publisher) at Cary.Goldstein@hbgusa.com, www.twelvebooks.com.