October, 1900: Three years after Arthur Conan Doyle killed off his most famous character, he receives a box with a pipe bomb in it. It doesn’t kill him, but it does set him on a trail: someone murdered an innocent woman, and Doyle’s going to figure out who it is.
January 2010: Harold White has become the newest inductee into the Baker Street Irregulars, the most prestigious of the Sherlockian groups. While at the conference, he discovers the murder of the group’s most illustrious scholar, Alex Cale, who had recently found a diary of Doyle’s that had gone missing 80 years before.
Both men will find themselves knee-deep in mysteries that will baffle them and have them asking the most logical question: What Would Sherlock Do?
For both the Sherlock fan as well as the casual admirer (the latter is where I firmly place myself), The Sherlockian is a intriguing look at all things Holmes: from the creator’s life to the world of the fanatics. As for me, I enjoyed the historical sequences best; Conan Doyle (and Bram Stoker!) made for an interesting character, and I found myself intrigued about his relationship (mostly loathing) to his most famous creation (even if it was fictionalized). The modern sections were not as compelling, though I did enjoy Harold; he was smart not because he was brilliant, but because he was well-read and able to connect the dots.
However, the actual mystery left a little to be desired. I felt that for all the buildup that we were given, the solution to the mystery was, well, a bit understated. Perhaps that was the author’s intent: the fun was in the journey, but not in the resolution.
And if that was the case, then he succeeded: because getting to the end was a lot of fun. Even if the end wasn’t all that I hoped it would be.
Rated: Moderate for language, including two f-bombs.