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The Consulting Detective Trilogy Part I: University by [Cypser, Darlene A]
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The Consulting Detective Trilogy Part I: University Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 331 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 783 KB
  • Print Length: 331 pages
  • Publisher: Foolscap & Quill (20 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0084XKZHS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,617,372 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
This is the second of Ms. Cypser's biographical series on Sherlock Holmes. It begins immediately following events in her earlier book, "The Crack in the Lens." This book covers Sherlock's experiences at university, specifically at Sydney Sussex College at Cambridge University. This book does not have the dark overtones of the first volume, but it does depict Sherlock attempting to deal with the immense trauma he suffered as a teen.

Looked at in retrospect, this book is remarkable. While reading it, there seems to be action proceeding all the time, but after it is finished, the reader realizes that the `action' was mostly internal. Events occur, but most of the narrative is taken up with Sherlock's reactions and adaptations to those events. Again, while reading, worlds of possibilities open up and all sorts of consequences become possible, but really, only fairly normal things actually occur. It is a truly remarkable narrative that rings with possibilities and yet makes the events described seem to be natural outcomes of the situations. This makes it difficult to review.

I could say that the action is riveting, as it was, but there is really little action. I could say that the characters are fascinating, which they are, but most appear and then disappear, leaving their interactions with Sherlock as the only evidence of their existence. The relationship between Sherlock and Mycroft remains the same as it ever was, but it seems fuller and richer as we learn of how they shared experiences and learned from one another. So it is with the entire book. Sherlock learns to cope with stress and guilt, he learns to react to the world and he learns about himself.
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Format: Paperback
In her intensively researched and lovingly written novel "The Crack in the Lens", Darlene Cypser wrote of the boyhood of Sherlock Holmes. She continues the story in "The Consulting Detective Trilogy, Part I: University", which covers the years from December 1871 to January 1875. Like Dorothy L Sayers, Ms Cypser sends the young Holmes to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, but his experiences there, apart from his unusual introduction to Victor Trevor and the tale of the Gloria Scott, come mostly from her own powerful imagination. We learn how he was introduced to drugs and to tobacco, how he became an expert swordsman, and how - and why - he set about becoming a detective. "Part II: On Stage" will follow in 2013, and "Part III: Montague Street" in 2014.
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By Mark Chisholm TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is no other way of saying this but no doubt at all I've been cheated. I bought this book because of the two glowing reviews and the fact that price wise it reflected the critiques. I now have to wonder who on Earth could give reviews as full of praise as they are.

In all fairness the book is competently written - but that's about it. Story? What story. I manfully ploughed a furrow through this book all the time wondering when something was going to happen that vaguely reminded me of the great detective himself. I confess that I fell at the half way mark having failed to find anything that could possibly pique the interest of anyone familiar with the original Cannon. Maybe I should have marched onward to the end. Maybe just after the halfway mark a ray of light would burst through and we would stumble onto something that resembled a story and a plot.

Certainly up to the half way point all we get is a boring ramble through cod psychology vainly attempting to tell us how Sherlock became a cocaine addict because of a trauma in his late teens. God, it's crap. In effect we just have a bad version of a book justifying counselling.

If you have any love of the great fictional detective at all, then please save yourself five quid. If you want to inflict this much pain on yourself just go find a ball pein hammer and give your thumbs a good whack. Then take the five quid down the pub and by a couple of pints to salve the hurt.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"University" follows Sherlock's life right after the tragic events in Yorkshire. Due to the excellent research the reader gains an interesting glimpse into university life in the Victorian era. As in "Crack" I became very emotionally invested in the character as portrayed by Ms Cypser and had a hard time to part with him when the book ended. If anything is wrong with this book it's the fact that it is too short.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want it to end..... 14 July 2012
By Leah G - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Darlene Cypser begins this first volume of her Consulting Detective Trilogy right where she left off with its prequel, The Crack in the Lens. At the conclusion of that book, Sherlock Holmes, still not recovered from the illness which almost took his life, struggles downstairs to his father's study in an effort to salvage his opportunity to attend university. This scene is repeated, after which we follow Sherlock in his efforts to regain his mental and physical health in time to start his studies with the new term. However, his lungs are not Sherlock's greatest problem. The events of November and December still haunt him, and it takes only his mother's careless disclosure, a glimpse of the moor or a fencing bout into the shade of the outbuildings to throw him back into what his loyal manservant, Jonathan, calls an "attack" (and what we would call PTSD). Fearful of his father's reaction should he find his son mentally compromised, Sherlock forces his way through these episodes until, by the time he leaves for Cambridge University's Sidney Sussex College, he believes he has them conquered. Sherlock begins his college career uneventfully enough, settling with Jonathan into what seem to be very nice quarters, playing "the game" by observing his fellow students in chapel, and studying the mathematics his father has prescribed. He's not overly thrilled with the subject, finding all of the memorization boring, but he wants out of Yorkshire, and becoming the engineer his father wishes seems as good a way as any. He doesn't really mesh with the other young men at his college, and his reaction to their innocent questions about his illness puts them off even further. Still, things seem to be going well for him until, one day in November, he leaves the lecture hall and walks into a snowstorm.

There are some struggles that are never really over. Whether they have their roots in events, our own peculiar demons, or some unholy combination of the two, we are destined to fight and refight these battles throughout our lives. The ghosts of 1871 revisit Sherlock with a vengeance, taking him on a terrifying, dangerous journey through his unresolved guilt and grief, his only hope of recovery lying in the meager treatments available at the time. He doesn't fight alone. Mycroft, the alienist Dr. George Mackenzie, university staff such as Senior Tutor Rev. John Clowe, Victor Trevor and his prescient father; and, most of all, Jonathan Beckwith, provide him with invaluable support. Still, in the end, it is Sherlock Holmes himself who discovers the one antidote which will keep his mind from "tearing itself to pieces."

Perhaps in no small measure to Dr. Watson's own efforts, we often come to see Sherlock Holmes as someone not quite human. In his efforts to chronicle the detective's exploits and (let's be honest) sell stories, Holmes' admiring Boswell sacrifices a bit of his flatmate's humanity in the telling. Ms. Cypser's Holmes, however, is extremely relatable. Unlike other writers who take on the project of exploring Sherlock Holmes' unrecorded youth, she doesn't bring in unusual characters or spectacular adventures. Sherlock's dilemmas are, instead, familiar to all of us. He wonders how to reconcile his skills and interests with the courses and careers available to him. He has difficulty making friends and runs afoul of a student known for his ability to destroy reputations with a few well-placed rumors. He tangles with authority, both academic and familial, building the confidence he needs to make that final, necessary break. In the second half of the book, he begins to try his hand at detective work, but his "cases" are such as one might expect to find in a university setting. Most importantly, however, he grapples with the puzzle of his own mind. None of this is spelled out for the reader. Instead, Ms. Cypser skillfully and subtly takes the events of Sherlock's university career and, just as she did in The Crack in the Lens, leaves it for the reader to deduce how they helped to create the detective of Baker Street.

Like its predecessor, University stands up well to re-reading. As a matter of fact, the reading upon which I am basing this review is my fourth-since April. University is impressively well-researched and documented; several characters are based on actual people, and there is an essay on sources in the back of the book. When it comes time for Holmes to spend time with Victor Trevor and his father at Donnithorpe-a crucial event which Watson records as "The Gloria Scott"-canon and book are expertly combined. Holmes' world is vividly drawn and compelling; once you enter, you won't want to leave.What I loved most about University, however, was the suspense. Although I enjoyed The Crack in the Lens immensely, there were times when I wondered why a particular scene was included and, for me, this slowed down the story. University presents no such problems. Every scene has an ultimate purpose, and nothing is wasted. I was pulled in from the first, and had no desire to resurface. During one particularly suspenseful chapter (there are several), I found myself beginning to worry about Sherlock-then realized with a start that *spoiler alert* the very existence of the canon meant that he would be able to fight his way through. My advice? Forget chores, ignore the laundry, order takeout for dinner and just settle in for the ride. You'll miss it when it's over.
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Done Pastiche! 3 Feb. 2017
By Kennedi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story exceeded my expectations!! Usually, I don't expect much for Holmes' pastiches, as I usually find that the authors cannot quite catch the tone of the original series. However, this one did well. I loved the descriptions of Sherlock as a young man, and felt like the story of his life at university fit right in with the storyline. The only critique I have is with the punctuation and spacing at the beginning of the book; however, it seems to resolve itself as the writing goes on. Really though, that is only minor. The story itself was very good - I am really glad I found it. Worth all of the good reviews, and I cannot wait to read the next one!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, Andrew Lane, But These Are Better! 11 Jun. 2012
By Kate Workman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is another series of Young Adult Sherlock Holmes books being released by Andrew Lane. Death Cloud and Rebel Fire, so far. I have them, but haven't completed them. What I have read, however, shows me that MsCypser's books are on a completely different, in my opinion higher, level.

University, the first of the sequel trilogy, is absolutely wonderful. It begins right where The Crack in the Lens leaves off, and follows through Holmes's college time. Through the novel, we see the changes that take place in Holmes's character, bringing him from a young man, violently affected by the events in the previous novel, to a capable, passionate adult who will soon fully transform into the detective we all admire so much.

Honestly, once again, I can't praise this book enough, but I don't want to write too much and spoil key plot points, either for this one or the one before it. All I can say is, go read it. This one, and its predecessor are must-have's for any Holmes collector.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read. Can't wait for the next one. 26 Dec. 2012
By The Blue Carbuncle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This series has got me hooked. I generally don't care for Holmes stories that try to add "facts" to Holmes life as portrayed in the canon that suddenly come to light later during his career. But this continuation of "The Crack In The Lens" is developing the character of young Sherlock in ways that are totally believeable and in keeping with the character of Holmes as we came to know him under the writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Thoroughly enjoyable and addictive. Can't wait for the next volume.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have the next two in trilogy!!!! 10 Jun. 2013
By Kennedy Pajeot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read the Canon many times. Cypser is flawless in her understanding of the period and Doyle. I hope after she does the early Holmes she does the "retired" Holmes. Please erase from my mind some of the horrors I've read along those lines.
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