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Moore, Graham - 'The Holmes Affair'
Hardback: 368 pages (Jan. 2011) Publisher: Century ISBN: 1846058767

As most people would suspect from the title, the book is about Sherlock Holmes.

Conan Doyle has just decided to "kill" Sherlock Holmes, little realising the impact this decision will have on his reading public. He is vilified, people mourn the death as if of a real person and he receives a letter bomb. On reporting this to Scotland Yard he is shocked by the incompetence of the officers. He decides to track down the bomber himself and asks his friend Bram Stoker to accompany him. Their investigation leads them to a serial killer and to women who support the suffragette movement - a cause that Conan Doyle has spoken against.

In modern day America, Harold White has just been admitted to the hallow ranks of the Irregulars - a group a Sherlockians that include all the most knowledgeable people of the canon of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle is considered by many to be just the literary editor of the great man. Harold's colleague has announced that he has found the long lost diary of Conan Doyle and will be revealing it to the Irregulars. However the morning of the long anticipated unveiling, he is found dead in mysterious circumstances. Harold joins forces with Sarah, a reporter. They intend to solve the murder and, more importantly, to find the diary that is, once again, missing.

Alternate chapters of the book detail the actions of first Conan Doyle and then Harold White. A lot of the book is based on true facts and these are woven together with a fictional story to make a credible account.

This is not a great read but an enjoyable one all the same.

Susan White, England
February 2011

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 5/02/2011 14:27