This book has two plots, one in 1900 and one in 2010, running alternately through short chapters, with the first involving Arthur Conan Doyle (ACD) and the second involving members of the well-known Sherlock Holmes society, The Baker Street Irregulars (BSI). The author admits that he is no Sherlockian, and proceeds to prove it in many ways. He might also, more-forcibly, have mentioned that he is no Doylean. He states that this book is fiction, but claims that all the biographical information on ACD is true. There are, in fact, scores of major errors and inventions in connection with ACD, and with much of the rest of the material in the book. One might give a typical example from the beginning of the book, where Moore invents a son for ACD in 1900, called `Roger', to replace ACD's real daughter, Mary. He also invents a grandson and two great-grandchildren, with one of the last playing a major rôle in the 2010 plot. In fact, the Arthur Conan Doyle element of the Doyle family lasted for only two generations, as none of ACD's five children had issue, and the line sadly terminated in 1997. As an example from the end of the book, ACD is described as starting to write The Hound of the Baskervilles in December 1900 and publishing it in March 1901, when we know that he only started writing that book in March 1901 and it was not published until March 1902. I will spare you the details of ACD in female disguise in the ladies' toilet at a Suffragist meeting, but it is typical of the many puerile scenarios in the book.
The two plots are ludicrous, and the characters are gross caricatures which insult ACD and members of the BSI. The references to a collection of Doylean material being lost for 70 years after ACD's death in 1930 are nonsense, as these materials were merely sequestered legally, because of family property disputes, and one of ACD's biographers gained access to this archive and listed its contents in 1949. There has been no `missing diary', as the embarrassing events supposedly recorded in it never happened, and ACD did not find Agatha Christie when she disappeared in 1926, and he was not blown up by a Suffragist bomb at any time. Some of the real-life characters used by Moore have their personal details altered purely for his convenience. Moore clearly does not understand the British or Britain: we do not "...put on a pot ..." to make tea, and we drink pints of bitter and not "... a pint of bitters ..."! The walks around London and elsewhere read woodenly, as if taken from a map rather than from any real geographical awareness, and there are many locational errors. In Switzerland Moore confuses two separate Sherlock Holmes Museums and even moves the Swiss Alps. With his frequent use of Americanisms in the mouths of `English' characters ("... a bunch of noise ..." from a very senior Metropolitan police officer), I can only say, as Holmes once did: "... my well of English seems to be permanently defiled ..." through reading this book. The foul language put into the mouths of ACD and Bram Stoker, and even a lady, are purely gratuitous and insulting. None of this, however, mentions the deplorable taste of Moore using a highly questionable account of the recent, real-life, tragic death of the world's greatest Doylean scholar as a key factor in his 2010 plot. This deeply misguided book is certainly not recommended, and the confusion which it might cause is greatly to be regretted.