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The Secret Notebooks of Sherlock Holmes Hardcover – 1 Apr 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby; First edition. Hardback. edition (1 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749006986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749006983
  • Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 14.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,401,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The many who hunger for more tales of the Great Detective will delight in veteran British crime writer June Thomson's fifth Sherlock Holmes story collection, The Secret Notebooks of Sherlock Holmes. Thomson is able both to summon Watson's unique narrative voice and convincingly recreate the characters of Holmes and his Boswell. These six new adventures respectfully emulate Conan Doyle's originals with nary a false note -- or historical guest celebrity." -- Publishers Weekly

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First Sentence
It was a bitterly cold November morning, not long after my old friend Sherlock Holmes and I had returned to London from Devonshire following the tragic conclusion of the long and complex Baskerville case, when a visitor, a Mr Godfrey Sinclair, called at our Baker Street lodgings. Read the first page
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. Plant on 29 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
While the subtitle of this is 'The beginnings of the most famous friendship ever recorded' it is in fact a complete biography cum chronology of their entire lives, to my mind it hovers on a line between being a biography and an extremely long essay, possibly the essay effect is caused by the copious footnotes detailing historical facts and working out how Holmes and Watson would fit into them and who in real life their more famous clients would have been.

I really was hoping when I bought this book it would be a detailed fictional account of the first few months of life at 221B, a skipped over and intriguing period of time, what would Watson have thought of the assorted and bizarre characters that were shown into the flat, Watson retiring upstairs to give privacy but not knowing what Holmes did? What decided him he could put up with midnight violins and indoor target practice? While all of Holmes and Watson's character traits are touched on there isn't the depth I was hoping for. The author does, after all, also write Holmes pastiche stories like Secret Notebooks of Sherlock Holmes, The but this is more a recounting of the dates of life events and cases with speculation about their motivations for certain actions and how they would have felt about events. Perhaps it's just that a biography of a fictional character seems pointless but I wasn't really gripped by any of it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. Plant on 17 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the first of June Thomson's pastiches I've read, though it isn't the first in the series but I assume they, like this, are an attempt at creating complete stories to go with those intriguing mentions of other cases made in Conan Doyle's original stories.

These stories are supposedly published from Watson's recovered, unpublished notes. The setting and language are very true to the original, the cases themselves are based on odd lines e.g. 'the singular affair of the aluminium crutch' is a line from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. While I didn't have any difficulty believing these cases were things Holmes /might/ have investigated they overall seemed a little *prosaic*, smash and grab thieves, insurance fraud etc., I could quite imagine these as the cases Watson recorded and then decided weren't quite /exciting/ enough to publish rather than too racy as suggested in the original. Perhaps the earlier books in the series are better and the author had run low on idea by this one? It's not a bad book at all, I have made the stories sound boring, which they aren't, they just aren't as bizarre and twisted as Conan Doyle's works.

What I don't like about them is the reams of footnotes, supposedly added by the inheritor of Watson's dispatch box of notes, that seem to be there merely to prove that the author has seriously read and researched the original, and which assume the reader either hasn't read them or has forgotten almost every important fact in them. The notes are on virtually every page and add nothing to the reading experience, and in a few cases are really irrelevant [a bit about the pubs in on a dark street Holmes and Watson are passing through 'shining like beacons' links to a note about Sherlock once saying boarding schools being 'Beacons of the future!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 29 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
I hadn't heard of June Thomson's pastiches of Sherlock Holmes so was surprised to find that this is the fifth volume, and wasn't sure what to expect. In summary this is an entertaining read which tries to stay faithful to Conan Doyle's creations and manages that fairly well. Thomson's Holmes is a softer character than the original, teasing Watson affectionately about his lack of erudition more in the manner of Poirot and Hastings than true Holmes. And while Thomson works hard at capturing the atmosphere of Victorian London, there's something oddly different about the tone of the stories here. For example the first one concerns two card-sharps who are cheating in an illegal gambling hall, which seems an odd choice for a SH story. Despite tiny quibbles, this is an entertaining collection of stories that pays tribute to a greater author, and for fans is well worth a read.
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Format: Hardcover
As all admirers of the great detective of Baker Street know, in his records of the cases of Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson refers to a large number of cases that were not written up or published. There is a veritable industry to write up these tales, attempting to recreate the language and atmosphere of Conan Doyle’s world, with varying degrees of success. This is the fifth volume of such stories by June Thomson. They follow the canon faithfully, admirably attempting to reproduce Dr Watson’s familiar style. They make for an amusing diversion, but would certainly appeal more to those already highly conversant with, and admirers of, the Sherlock Holmes stories. The plethora of unnecessary footnotes is a bit of a nuisance, otherwise the stories are entertaining and undemanding to read.
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