The Italian Secretary

The Italian Secretary

A Further Adventure of Sherlock Holmes

Book - 2005
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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are summoned to the aid of Queen Victoria in Scotland by a telegram from Holmes' brother, Mycroft, a royal advisor. Rushed northward on a royal train--and nearly murdered themselves en route--the pair are soon joined by Mycroft, and learn of the brutal killings of two of the Queen's servants, a renowned architect and his foreman, both of whom had been working on the renovation of the famous and forbidding Royal Palace of Holyrood, in Edinburgh. Mycrofthas enlisted his brother to help solve the murders that may be key elements of a much more elaborate and pernicious plot on the Queen's life. But the circumstances of the two victims' deaths also call to Holmes' mind the terrible murder--in Holyrood--of "The Italian Secretary," David Rizzio. Only Rizzio, a music teacher and confidante of Mary, Queen of Scots, was murdered three centuries ago. Holmes proceeds to alarm Watson with the announcement that the Italian Secretary's vengeful spirit may have taken the lives of the two men as punishment for disturbing the scene of his assassination. Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Caleb Carr's brilliant new offering takes the Conan Doyle tradition to remarkable new heights with this spellbinding tale.
Publisher: New York : Carroll & Graf, [2005], ©2005
ISBN: 9780786715480
0786715480
Branch Call Number: FICTION Car
Characteristics: 266 pages ; 22 cm

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Two aides to Queen Victoria have been murdered. What possible connection could there be to the death of the "Italian Secretary" 300 years earlier?


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WhidbeyIslander
Aug 10, 2017

Although I love the original Holmes stories that I read growing up, invariably I am disappointed when I try one of the Holmes stories written by others. This one has cured me of the desitre to read any more Holmes pastiches.

Being a fan of mysteries with supernatural overtones, I thought I would try this. But I gave up long before the ghost (or whatever) was introduced -- before they even arrived in Scotland, in fact. Talk, talk, talk, even when there was some action. This has convinced me to reread Doyle's books if I am in the mood for a Sherlock Holmes story, and not try any of the imitators.

KateHillier Sep 03, 2013

***Warning! Slight spoilers ahead!!***

Not a bad crack at Holmes from the author of one of my all time favourite books (The Alienist). Holmes and Watson are really a team here and I really like the way they play off each other off the cuff. I mean its something that you expect that they have between them but I love me a competent Watson and I love that Carr has a Watson who is capable of working on his own line with Holmes following suit as much as vice versa.

I love the use of Mycroft in any Holmes story but it seems here that he's absent far more than he ought to be. The story also sort of tilts from supernatural to not rather suddenly considering that we're meant to make Watson's mistake of assuming that Holmes actually believes, literally, in the power of ghosts. That's really my only point of contention. Otherwise it's good fun and a lovely ride with Holmes and Watson.

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InsJavert
Jan 13, 2013

Listen to the audio version. Interesting but only an average story.

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