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The Resource The Italian secretary : a further adventure of Sherlock Holmes, Caleb Carr

The Italian secretary : a further adventure of Sherlock Holmes, Caleb Carr

Label
The Italian secretary : a further adventure of Sherlock Holmes
Title
The Italian secretary
Title remainder
a further adventure of Sherlock Holmes
Statement of responsibility
Caleb Carr
Title variation
Further adventure of Sherlock Holmes
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Review
  • When Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes take the plunge into Reichenbach Falls, little did he know that eventually he would be compelled to resurrect Holmes--or, more amazingly, that countless other writers would also revive the Baker Street sleuth. Carr, author of The Alienist (1994), is the latest to try his hand at constructing a new Holmes adventure. Where contemporary authors go wrong is in trying to replicate Conan Doyle’s style and in trying to duplicate the verbal sparring between Holmes and Watson. Carr fails on both those scores, but aside from that (and that’s a big aside), the novel has a number of appealing features for readers who enjoy Carr and don’t mind secondhand Holmes. Chief among these is its setting, Holyrood House, the royal palace in Edinburgh. The gloomy aura of Edinburgh, particularly the Gothic pile of Holyrood, is a perfect foil for a Victorian mystery. The plot centers on two deaths during the reconstruction of parts of the palace: the suspicious accident that befell the chief architect of the refurbishing and the murder of his foreman, both near the site where Mary Queen of Scots’ trusted advisor, David Rizzio, was stabbed to death three centuries before. Very improbably, the scientific-minded Holmes suggests that Rizzio himself may be avenging his death through the new murders. Great setting, intriguing history, but clumsy evocation of the inimitable Holmes. -- Connie Fletcher (BookList, 04-01-2005, p1324)
  • Writing a Sherlock Holmes tale is, for popular writers, equivalent to playing Hamlet for male actors: a challenge that few refuse and many regret. Bestselling author Carr (The Angel of Darkness , etc.) acquits himself with honor, though not high honors, in this short novel that pits Holmes, Watson and Mycroft Holmes against conspirators at Queen Victoria's Royal Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh, Scotland. When the men are killed at Holyrood in a fashion similar to the slaying centuries before of David Rizzio, an Italian confidant of Mary, Queen of Scots, Mycroft, who is Victoria's head of intelligence, calls upon his brother and Watson to help solve the mystery. Are the killings the work of Scottish nationalists? Or perhaps the sign of a restless ghost? From the latter question, and the novel's primary setting of the dank castle, emanates a well-drawn atmosphere of gloom that makes this story a nice companion to The Hound of the Baskervilles . Holmes fans and scholars should be pleased with this novel, which generally hews to "the Canon" (unlike, say, Nicholas Meyer's Seven-Per-Cent Solution ) and reflects a deep knowledge and understanding of Holmesiana, but the primary base for this novel will be, of course, Carr fans, who won't be quite as thrilled—for while the novel captivates, it matches neither of Carr's previous megasellers in plot invention or depth of character. Still, this should hit bestsellers lists, though not in a major way. (May 10). FYI: The afterword by Lellenberg explains that this novel grew from a story that Carr was writing for a forthcoming Carroll & Graf anthology of original Holmes stories dealing with the supernatural, Ghosts of Baker Street. Lellenberg goes on to plead to Carr that he write a novel featuring both Holmes and Laszlo Kreizler, protagonist of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness. --Staff (Reviewed April 4, 2005) (Publishers Weekly, vol 252, issue 14, p44)
  • Will Holmes and Watson foil a regicide plot that seems the work of German spies colluding with Scots Nationalists? Is the queen Victoria?Carr returns to the period thriller genre (The Alienist, 1994, and The Angel of Darkness, 1997) with this sinuous caper, which begins when the Great Detective receives a coded message from his equally brilliant older brother Mycroft, a "solitary intelligencer" and government operative whose duties give him unprecedented access to the royal person. Before you can say, "Kindly serve the tea, Mrs. Hudson," Holmes and Watson are aboard a train heading to Scotland (briefly distracted by bombs tossed into their compartment), where Mycroft discloses the facts about two mysterious deaths. An architect and a workman involved in restoration work at the Queen's Edinburgh retreat Holyroodhouse have perished in frightful ways that suggest the possible presence of a vengeful spirit—that of eponymous royal servant "David Rizzio, private secretary, music instructor, and confidant to Mary, Queen of Scots"—who (Rizzio, that is) was murdered in 1566 by surly Protestants who declared him a papal agent. While never discounting the possibility of supernatural doings (to Watson's intense annoyance), Holmes interrogates Holyroodie's affable caretaker Lord Hamilton, a dangerous-looking butler, and his brood, along with the chaps at the Fife and Drum Tavern, then pieces together scattered clues to uncover a conspiracy rather different from the one Mycroft had suspected. It's fun for about a hundred pages, because Carr apes Conan Doyle's plummy storyteller's voice quite ably, making Watson (who narrates) agreeably bluff and direct. But the successive disclosures become increasingly preposterous, as a very protracted climax incorporates flaming bodies, a (really rather tiresome) maiden in distress, "a medieval siege weapon" —and Holmes's rather lame affirmation of all the things we cannot ever fully explain.We needed this, from Sherlock Holmes? No thanks. (Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2005)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
133499
Cataloging source
LKR
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1955-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Carr, Caleb
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Holmes, Sherlock
  • Criminal psychology
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a further adventure of Sherlock Holmes
Label
The Italian secretary : a further adventure of Sherlock Holmes, Caleb Carr
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
505877
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
266 pages
Isbn
9780786715480
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780786715480
Label
The Italian secretary : a further adventure of Sherlock Holmes, Caleb Carr
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
505877
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
266 pages
Isbn
9780786715480
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780786715480

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Manchaca Road BranchBorrow it
      5500 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX, 78745, US
      30.2166039 -97.79733689999999
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