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The Sherlockian

The Sherlockian - Graham Moore As a professed Sherlockian I approach novels such as these with hesitation and, yes, even fear. But Moore has managed to write a Sherlockian novel without writing about Holmes, a creative and ultimately successful endeavor.The premise of the novel follows two paths. The first follows Arthur Conan Doyle and his friend, Bram Stoker (the author of Dracula) as they pursue the killer of three young women. The second is set in the present day as a new member of the Baker Street Irregulars (a highly selective Sherlockian society) attempts to solve the mystery of a murder and a missing diary from Doyle's collection.The book alternates chapters and for some time it seems as if the two will never meet, but the connection is ultimately made. Moore's characterization of Doyle is true to how he is often portrayed: a bit pompous, conservative, and intelligent. Stoker provides a great foil and even Doyle sees him as serving as Watson.The Doyle chapters take place after Doyle has killed off Holmes in "The Final Solution," much to the dismay of most of England. Moore gives an idea of how frustrated Doyle was not only by the public's anger at him for killing Holmes, but for their refusal to take seriously his other work. All of this outline is true, but Moore has fun with filling in the spaces.The contemporary chapters focus on Harold White and his Watson, a reporter named Sarah, as they travel to a few countries to solve the murder of a preeminent Sherlockian scholar and find the missing diary which got him killed. White is a self-aware bibliophile and young Sherlockian nerd -- he knows how he is perceived and deals with it. But the murder provides him with challenge of translating Holmes' methods into real life. The result is White moving from life in the books to a life lived fully and he clearly has not intention of returning.I'll avoid giving away the endings to the different plot lines, but they end without being rushed and without "deus ex machina" insertions. A great read for Holmes fans and a great way to create new Holmes fans.