"Why'd she come here? Why'd she come to you?"A cloud passed over the sun, casting a long shadow across the gardens."Hope, I suspect," said Holmes. "It seems I am known for discovering answers when events appear desperate."It is 1947, and the long-retired Sherlock Holmes, now 93, lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse with his housekeeper and her young ...
"Why'd she come here? Why'd she come to you?"A cloud passed over the sun, casting a long shadow across the gardens."Hope, I suspect," said Holmes. "It seems I am known for discovering answers when events appear desperate."It is 1947, and the long-retired Sherlock Holmes, now 93, lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse with his housekeeper and her young son. He tends to his bees, writes in his journal, and grapples with the diminishing powers of his mind.But in the twilight of his life, as people continue to look to him for answers, Holmes revisits a case that may provide him with answers of his own to questions he didn't even know he was asking-about life, about love, and about the limits of the mind's ability to know.
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This was a fun read, extending the career of Sherlock Holmes past the two great wars of the 20th Century. Not really a mystery so much as a biography of a fictional character, and quite well done. Recommended.
Feb 13, 2010
This is an amazing book
Most readers know Wolf Hall (a book of historical fiction) won the Man Booker prize this year. I read that and liked it but THIS book, ostensibly about Sherlock Holmes, has writing so powerful, it made me cry for the first time in 20 years while reading fiction.
And I mean cry from the incredible artistry in a tale told in less than straight foward fashion, where, for once, the artifice had a reason.
My first and probably last review ever. READ THIS BOOK if you love quality fiction.
Aug 29, 2007
I really enjoyed this book. It is a different view of the Sherlock Holmes mythology. Readers of Doyle's detective series have always seen Holmes as an energetic younger man at the height of his mental powers, but what would happen when he gets older? Well, Cullen attempts an answer added to a delicious mystery worthy of the original books. It made me view aging and Sherlock Holmes in a new way.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-02-14 The Sherlock Holmes pastiche is a time-honored tradition, though most attempts are interesting primarily to Sherlockians who pick them apart, searching for mistakes. But Cullin (Branches; Tideland; etc.) has produced an ambitious, beautifully written novel that examines an enfeebled but still intellectually curious Holmes as he copes with the indignities of old age. It's just after the end of WWII: Holmes's brilliant brother Mycroft is dead, as is Watson ("You know, I never did call him Watson-he was John, simply John"). Now 93, the great detective has been retired for decades; he spends his days immersed in his lifelong passion, beekeeping, and in writing various articles and letters. One of his projects is an account of a case concerning a mysterious young woman who played the glass armonica. Holmes will complete the manuscript by the book's end, and the fascinating result will explain something of his peculiar character. Cullin gives Holmes a companion in his housekeeper's young son, Roger; their close relationship is a great solace to the prickly and famously solitary old man. It is this elucidation of Holmes's "true" character that is the purpose of Cullin's story. This look at Holmes near his natural death is a delight and a deeply satisfying read-more so than Michael Chabon's recent The Final Solution, which also features a nonagenarian Holmes. (Apr. 26) Forecast: Cullin's work is hard to pigeonhole-Texas noir (Tideland; Branches), coming-of-age novel (Whompyjawed), academic satire (The Cosmology of Bing)-but his talent is undeniable. This sophisticated spin on Doyle's perennially popular detective could take him up a notch recognition-wise. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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