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The Last Sherlock Holmes Story [Paperback]

Michael Dibdin
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

2 Aug 2012

There can be no question that the contents of this book will prove extremely controversial. Many people will be deeply shocked by the nature of Watson's statement. Many will no doubt prefer to reject it rather than surrender the beliefs of a lifetime. Others will at least regret that two of the great mysteries of crime are finally solved...

An extraordinary document comes to light which for fifty years had been held on deposit by the bankers of the deceased John Herbert Watson MD - better known as Dr Watson.

The document, written by Dr Watson himself, opens in the East End of London in 1888. Three women have been savagely murdered by Jack the Ripper. To calm the public outcry, Scotland Yard approaches London's most eminent detective, Sherlock Holmes, and asks him to investigate the killer.

Can Holmes solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper? And why has this story been suppressed for so long? As cunningly plotted as anything by Conan Doyle, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story is a thrilling addition to the Sherlock Holmes canon from another of Britain's best-loved crime writers.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (2 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057129085X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571290857
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

Book Description

From the acclaimed author of the Aurelio Zen mysteries comes a classic must-read for all fans of Sherlock Holmes!

About the Author

Michael Dibdin was born in 1947. He went to school in Northern Ireland, and later to Sussex University and the University of Alberta in Canada. He lived in Seattle. After completing his first novel, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, in 1978, he spent four years in Italy teaching English at the University of Perugia. Ratking won the Gold Dagger Award for the Best Crime Novel of the year in 1988 and introduced us to his Italian detective - Inspector Aurelio Zen. His last novel, End Games, was published posthumously in July 2007.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Sherlock Holmes Story (BBC Audio) 26 Nov 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Last Sherlock Holmes Story (Unabridged)

This is a very good story. However do not expect a normal Holmes story. As the plot twists and turnes you realise that all is not going too well for Sherlock. Accept this what if tale for what it is and enjoy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't read the review below! 21 Jun 2010
I'm not one to usually write reviews on here. I will say this, for a big Sherlock Holmes fan, this is a must read and is very well written. My main purpose however is not to recommend the book but to say please don't read the review underneath. I made the mistake of buying the book and seeing what the reviews said before reading it. I'm sorry to say that the first review on the page gave away a huge plot spoiler and did annoy me. I enjoyed the book nevertheless, but I couldn't help but wonder how much better it would have been if I didn't know what was going to happen anyway. It's all very well to recommend a book and to talk around plot points, but I don't agree with giving those plot points away. I'm sure it was meant with the best of intentions, but it did make a potentially great read into just a good one.

Do give this book a chance, it's worth every penny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I found this book totally absorbing 2 April 2011
...and two things probably help with this. Firstly, the fact that it is short and can be read in one sitting. Secondly, I'd never read any of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories prior to reading this. Whilst some of the intertextual points may have been beyond me at certain points (or were they? Everyone surely knows at least the basic outlines of Holmes and Watson) I felt that this was a good place to come in. My impression of Holmes as eminent detective had not been formed and, perhaps through this, what I found to admire here more than deduction, or other themes normally to be found in police procedurals and amateur sleuth stories, was Holmes' cunning.

Aside from Holmes, I found Watson to be particularly engaging narrator who led me along with a sprightly if slightly gammy-legged skip. Enjoyable, readable and a perfect starting place to help with delving into the original Conan Doyle stories as I am going to do now.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Sherlock 25 Mar 2011
By kenW
Many authors have tried to reinvent the Auther Conan Doyle's detective but have failed in the attempt. Michael Dibdin's Sherlock is about real historic events The Jack the Ripper murders. I am just going to say it is a fantastic read. Buy it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and clever 13 Sep 2002
By A Customer
This is a great read - fast-moving, with the very best sort of twist: one which makes you think again, not just about this novel but also about Conan Doyle's Holmes stories. I'd say it was a great pastiche, too - but that might suggest that it was to be read ironically, or as a mere parody of a greater work, whereas the book stands on its own as an excellent piece of crime writing.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever, but ultimately ridiculous 30 Aug 2000
By A Customer
The author has constructed a clever and complex story that apes the style of ACD well enough. I personally much enjoyed the first half of the book, but the basic premise of the story is too incredible to be convincing. If like me, you have gained immeasurable pleasure form Holmes over the years, you may also find this book something of an unnecessary and unwelcome post script to his adventures. Clever, yes. Satisfying, no...
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking and interesting... 4 Jan 2006
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
There is a long and honoured tradition among mystery writers and fans of the Sherlock Holmes tales of writing one's own mystery. This can take one of several starting points - to take a detail in the canonical stories and develop it more fully (there are a lot of dangling pieces in there), to take the characters of Holmes and Watson (and perhaps others) and involve them in completely new fictional scenarios, or, as author Michael Dibdin does here, involve the characters in actual historical events. Dibdin is not the first to pit Holmes against the murderer of Whitechapel, whom history has come to know as 'Jack the Ripper'. Indeed, if there was one case upon which the Holmesian skill was needed in London a hundred years ago, it was that case, still unsolved by the authorities.
Dibdin, however, does a twist to this. Holmes is involved in solving the case, but even he cannot do it. This, we discover in the course of things, is because of a very dark secret indeed. Holmes is known from the canonical stories to be a cocaine addict, a seven-percent solution being his favoured dose. Dibdin set the premise that this has caused Holmes to have a split personality, and that his nemesis Moriarty is in fact Holmes himself. This is an overlay of the idea of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, a story contemporary with Conan Doyle's canon, and also one involving drug transformation.
This is a story for the true Holmes fan. As another reviewer has commented, those who are not intimately familiar with the Holmesian canon are likely going to be lost in many of the details and get a vastly distorted picture both of the detective and his arch-enemy. This is a flight of pure fancy, a 'what if?' very well crafted and executed, but rather far from what the traditional Holmesian and Sherlockian followers will accept.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not great 22 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the cod victorian writing but I was hoping for a twist at the end other than the obvious.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Precociously good for a first novel
The late Michael Dibdin was only 30 when this, his first novel appeared. As a pastiche of the Sherlock Holmes canon, it's likely to have split opinion I guess, between those who... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Jl Adcock
2.0 out of 5 stars Read as a library book
Oh dear, Dibdin is a professional author whose Zen books are great. However the take on Holmes and Watson here is so bizarre as to require not just suspension of disbelief but a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by S M A S K
4.0 out of 5 stars A very ingenious solution to a couple of mysteries!
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I have to admire Dibdin's skill in making up a fictional explanation for a set of real murders - very entertaining!
Published 6 months ago by David Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Can the world's greatest detective unmask JTR?
Can the world's greatest detective unmask Jack the Ripper? It is a long time since I read the original stories but I know that this is a brilliant page turning "pastiche".
Published 7 months ago by Ransen Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Heard the review on radio4's "A Good Read" and a good read it is. The characters are already well developed by Conan Doyle and this author remains true to the original. Read more
Published 8 months ago by M. G. Penfold
2.0 out of 5 stars AWFUL
Poor plotting, no tension, boring read. Does not enhance the Sherlock Holmes experience and is not up to Dibdin;s other writing but I think this may have been his first book so... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lindy
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok
I heard about this on the BBC book program. it was reasonably well written but i struggled to finish it. It didn't hold my interest. I won't ssave it to rad again.
Published 8 months ago by MR IAN SMITH
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Conan Doyle
I've enjoyed Dibden's Zen books up to a point, although the regular setbacks suffered by Aurelio due to corruption and interference tend to be a bit depressing, but this story was... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Joe Fajerman
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the bloody Reichenbach again
As Mozart might have said, "It doesn't really work, does it?" Holmes was a fictional hero and the Ripper was real: the gruesome world of the Whitechapel slayings is very different... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. M. Neligan
4.0 out of 5 stars An intruiging twist on a familiar character.
I read this after it was recommended on Radio 4's book programme, and it wasn't disappointing. Dr Watson tells the tale in his own words.
Published 8 months ago by Celia Rose
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