The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr


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Caleb Carr does Arthur Conan Doyle

The Italian Secretary is another tale written concerning Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson.

Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft Holmes has sent a mysterious telegram to Sherlock.  Once it has been deciphered, it becomes clear to Sherlock that his brother is summoning him to the sometime home of Queen Victoria, Edinburgh’s Holyrood House.  There have been two murders and the manner of death seems to suggest ghostly possibilities.  As Sherlock, Watson and Mycroft investigate, we are given a tale within a tale of the brutal murder of David Rizzio, music master and friend to Mary Queen of Scots.  Could the murders be David Rizzio’s ghostly presence haunting the Holyrood House or are they part of a nefarious plot to assassinate Queen Victoria?

I can perfectly understand why Caleb Carr would be picked by the Arthur Conan Doyle estate to write another Sherlock tale.  Caleb Carr is a great author and his period mysteries are so well done.  But really, aren’t there enough Sherlock books already?  This was a mediocre tale which fell flat at the end.  It was nowhere near the quality reads that both The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness were.

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