The Italian Secretary
A Further Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes
by Caleb Carr
The game's afoot! Holmes and Watson
are back, and in top form in the hands of the respected author of
The Alienist. Here is one of the cases that Watson only hinted
at, a sensational and spooky tale of nefarious doings at Holyroodhouse.
Over three hundred years after Mary, Queen of Scots watched her Italian
secretary Rizzio stabbed in front of her, two more men have been stabbed
in a similar fashion. These murders coincide with the Queen's intended
visits, so it is up to Mycroft to alert his brother and get the case
solved as soon as possible.
"Do what you
like with him" Conan Doyle is quoted as saying, and many authors
have done just that. Here is a novel in the true Doyle spirit, the
sort of thing that can surely only be the work of somebody who knows
and loves the canon. There are dastardly doings on dark and stormy
nights, ancient bloodstains and the unquiet ghost of Rizzio, weirdly
shattered corpses and depraved aristocrats. Surely nobody can resist
such a heady concoction, and the book fairly rattles along at a
speed ensuring that it remains exciting with no sags or repetition.
This is no literary masterpiece with soul searching characters,
introspection and a leisured look at the case from all sides - and
thank goodness for that! If you too are cheering, then curl up by
your fireside and get stuck. This is the perfect book for Christmas
Eve (or any other time). I do hope Carr writes another.
Little, Brown (Time Warner)|
8 August 2005|
Historical Crime [1880s, Edinburgh]|
at Amazon.com US
Rachel A Hyde|