I am so upset that I didn’t get to this post yesterday. It was National Read a Book Day!! I’ve been fighting a summer cold for about a week now and yesterday, I was convinced my head was trying to throb its way off of my neck. I could barely move let alone type. My headache did back off around 9 last night so I was able to read, which was nice, but I wasn’t able to chat about it until now.
Yesterday, I finally finished The Sherlockian by Graham Moore. It took me 15 days to read this book. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t have a flow that kept me from putting the book down. Moore wrote this book from the perspective of Harold, a Sherlock enthusiast/scholar/fan/ and from Arthur Conan Doyle’s perspective; alternating chapters from 1900 to 2010. Just when I started getting into the story, the chapter would end and I would have to switch times and characters. Oftentimes, I would forget where the one time had left off and would have to go back two chapters to refresh my memory. Considering the story that Moore was trying to tell here, I can’t imagine another way that he could have written it and maybe other readers have an easier time staying with the flow of a book like this than I did.
Harold’s story involved trying to solve the murder of a fellow Sherlockian and recover a missing volume of Conan Doyle’s diary. Harold is by no means a detective, but he figures that he would have as much of a chance as anyone else at solving the murder with all of his Holmes knowledge. Arthur Conan Doyle’s part of the story is Moore’s speculation as to what is in the missing diary. Since nobody knows what’s actually in the missing diary, Moore’s story is as good a guess as any. This book is almost a retelling of the events that actually occurred surrounding Conan Doyle’s diary and Moore does an excellent job of it.
I considered dnf’ing this book a couple different times, mostly because I was frustrated with myself and not the book. However, considering how much I enjoyed Moore’s The Last Days of Night I was convinced that it would be worth it to finish the book, so I did, and it was. I liked the ending and Moore’s author’s notes made the entire journey worthwhile. I think that somebody with Harold’s enthusiasm for all things Sherlock Holmes would have enjoyed this book more than I did and they wouldn’t have struggled with it quite the same way that I did either. That being said, I would recommend this book to people who like to read books about books and authors, historical fiction, and those who imagine themselves to be sleuths. I’m giving this 3 hearts out of 5 only because I don’t do fractions. In reality, it’s more of a 3 3/4 hearts.