Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Favorite Reads of 2010: The Sherlockian

It's that time of year again -- your friendly neighborhood librarians are eager to tell you about their favorite reads of 2010. Here is Aunt Agatha with a review:
I'm glad to know that the book reviewer for the New York Times agreed with my assessment of Graham Moore's The Sherlockian. When I read the Advanced Reader Copy this past October I was immediately captivated by Moore's debut novel and knew at once it was going to be well received indeed. Since then, the book has racked up quite a number of glowing reviews, even landing on Entertainment Weekly's "The Must List."

When Arthur Conan Doyle decided to kill off his greatest creation in 1893, Sherlock Holmes fans revolted. To say that Londoners were quite upset would be putting it mildly. The London Times even proclaimed "Famed Detective Perishes!" So what did Conan Doyle do during that period between Holmes' fatal plunge over the Reichenbach Falls and his detective's return in The Hound of the Baskervilles?

Graham Moore's clever debut novel, The Sherlockian, takes that question and turns it into the foundation of a delightful literary intrigue intertwining two centuries and two storylines. While Arthur Conan Doyle took great glee in the demise of his fictional detective, he was not prepared for the depth of outrage felt by the reading public. As a result of a letter bomb in his mailbox, he soon becomes involved in a real crime. Investigating a series of murders with his close friend, Bram Stoker, Conan Doyle documents the search in his journal, which later mysteriously disappears.

The prestigious group of Sherlock Holmes aficionados, the Baker Street Irregulars, convenes in present-day New York for their annual dinner. Scholar Alex Cale electrifies his colleagues with the announcement that he's discovered the missing Conan Doyle journal. Before he can make his presentation, however, Cale turns up murdered in his hotel room and the journal is missing once again. Twenty-something researcher Harold White slaps on his deerstalker hat and proceeds to track down the murderer with true Sherlockian zeal.

Author Graham Moore will be visiting the Burbank Public Library on Saturday, January 22. He will be "In Conversation" with Sherlock Holmes expert Leslie S. Klinger at the Buena Vista Branch at 2 PM, so mark your calendar for a stimulating and entertaining afternoon with "The Sherlockians!"

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