The Italian Secretary: A Further Adventure of Sherlock Holmes Paperback – 3 Aug 2006
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Full marks to Caleb Carr for creating a new Holmes and Watson adventure (DAILY MIRROR)
Carr's is the real Holmes (Leslie Klinger, editor of THE NEW ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES)
Caleb Carr does not disappoint...A pacy and well-crafted mystery. (DAILY EXPRESS)
At the invitation of the Conan Doyle Estate, the best-selling historical thriller writer, Caleb Carr, has created a new adventure for Holmes and Watson, set in the grandeur of Holyrood Palace in the twilight of Queen Victoria's reign.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I have read and enjoyed Carr's earlier fiction, The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness. One of the hallmarks of both books was Carr's ability to create a seemingly auhentic picture of life in 19th-century New York. He also created a wonderful pair of characters in Dr. Lazlo Kreizler and his trusted comrade John Schuyler Moore. However, Carr faced two hurdles in writing the Italian Secretary. He had to recreate the atmosphere of Victorian-era Scotland, a region he was probably not as intimately familiar with as New York City. Further, while Kreizler and Moore sprung solely from Carr's imagination, here Carr had to find authentic voices for the esteemed Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, whose characterization by Arthur Conan Doyle must be fixed firmly in the imagination of anyone who has ever read the original Holmes tales. That is no easy task.
I have read virtually all of Conan Doyle's work but admit that I cannot claim as much expertise as devoted Baker Street Irregulars or other followers of Holmes. However, this amateur thinks Carr has done a terrific job replicating their original voices. It sound like Holmes and Watson to me.
The plot line is set out in detail in the product description and I won't go on at length about the plot or discuss any of the many twists and turns along the way. I did like the way Carr threw Sherlock's brother Mycroft into the story. Carr does an excellent job describing the petty sibling rivalries that must affect even the most accomplished of brothers.
Carr does a very good job of revealing bits and pieces of the mystery every few pages.Read more ›
Fast paced, Carr is off to the races with this one, bringing the Masterful Duo of Holmes and Watson to join Sherluck's brother Mycroft in defense of Queen and realm. Several attempts have been made on Her Majesty and, of course, it's without question to whom she calls to settle things, once and for all. With the usual puzzles, riddles, red herrings, and real clues, Sherlock focuses on what seems to be a most perplexing case. Somehow, he surmises, it combines the here and now, the mystical ("ghostly"), and historical (Mary Queen of Scots). As always, Mr. Holmes relies on his unmitigated logical skills (and culls away the impossible and improbably, leaving his Truth), supported ably by Watson and, in this instance, Mycroft.
Murder and mayhem occur in the Scottish royal stomping grounds (Holyroodhouse) and environs, with typical Holmesian characters and events. Probably, I found, the most outstanding attributes of Carr's "take" are his fast-paced narrative, his clever and sometimes biting humor, and his Victorian characterizations and descriptions. Carr's version on the almost sacred branch of Western Civilization's Great One is worth the read; hopefully, he's planning another episode.
Some nice humorous banter between the Holmes brothers, while Watson is very convincingly portrayed. The working-class minions at Holyroodhouse are perhaps treated a little patronisingly by the author (especially Robert Sadler), but this again enhances the period authenticity of the novel and is in no way offensive.
The plot is frankly daft, but there is growing tension and drama leading very effectively to the final confrontation.
An enjoyable novel, and an acceptable addition to the New Sherlock Holmes library.
So please, turn instead straight back to Conan Doyle himself - one of the world's greatest storytellers, and his wonderful short stories: Holmes of course, but also Brigadier Gerard, Professor Challenger, Captain Sharkey and a vast panoply of thrilling characters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At this point, there are certainly hundreds, and possibly thousands of Sherlock Holmes pastiches published. Read morePublished on 24 July 2014 by A. Ross
Mr Carr must have had Sherlock sitting on his shoulder this was well written in the true spirit of connan doyle,weel donePublished on 15 Aug. 2013 by Arnsby Beverley
I have always loved the original Holmes stories and have been interested in what other people are able to do with them, which is what led me to Carr's novel 'The Italian... Read morePublished on 20 April 2008 by Sarah Durston
I'm sorry, but for me this book just didn't work. The style was not the same as that of earlier Sherlock Holmes stories. It lacked the pace and the intrigue. Read morePublished on 4 Aug. 2007 by Emanon
I bought this book with no prior knowledge of the previous works of the author,so I had nothing to compare it with. Read morePublished on 10 April 2007 by Simon Hale
I bought this because I very much enjoyed The Alienist and,to a lesser extent,The Angel Of Darkness. Read morePublished on 14 Mar. 2007 by Johnnybluetime