The Sherlockian: A Novel
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.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2010: The Sherlockian begins with Arthur Conan Doyle pondering the best way to kill off the character that brought him fame, fortune, and the angst of a writer desperate to be remembered for more than “a few morbid yarns.” We then skip more than a hundred years into the future, to meet Harold White, a Sherlock Holmes devotee attending an annual celebration of hundreds of Sherlockian societies. When both Conan Doyle and White face grisly murders, Graham Moore’s delightful debut novel really takes off, bouncing merrily between these two characters and time periods. Replete with winking cameos and Holmes-worthy twists, The Sherlockian is an inspired historical suspense novel that will captivate Holmes fans and anyone who loves a good twisty, clever mystery.—Daphne Durham