Monday, April 4, 2011

The Italian Secretary - Caleb Carr

The Italian Secretary
By: Caleb Carr
Published: 2005
Audiobook Read by: Simon Prebble
My rating: Interesting

This one caught my interest right off since I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes and Watson find themselves summoned to Scotland by Mycroft Holmes. It appears there is a ghost going about doing all kinds of nasty things and Mycroft would like the matter cleared up posthaste! One complicating factor is the location of these hauntings; the Royal Palace of Holyrood! Holmes and Watson are only too happy to assist their Queen, so they set out to solve these bizarre happenings and end up in the middle of an adventure that very nearly is their last!

As I said, I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and was excited to find this authorized continuation of his adventures. I was a little disappointed though. The story was very engaging but it just didn't capture that flair that Doyle put in his works. As a general mystery tale it was pretty good, but as a Holmes mystery it wasn't up to snuff. The writing is great and the plot flows along quite nicely. The mystery itself was fairly well thought out and the characters are pretty well developed. I guess being in the shadow of a master raises the bar to much greater heights!

I listened to the audiobook read by Simon Prebble. Simon had an excellent voice for the part of Holmes. I love it when a narrator's voice fits my mental image of the character! He did an amazing job with the entire book and I very much enjoyed his performance!

Overall this is a fine mystery novel and has a lot of appeal of it's own. However, if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, don't approach it with too high expectations.


  1. Andy,you make me miss reading! Since I started blogging I don't do much reading anymore,and I miss it! Soon I will be gardening,and have even less time on my hands to do the things I want to do. Oh, well, I may just head towards the library! Blessings jane

  2. You really need to try out audiobooks! You could be listening while you work in your garden! You could get a stereo and some great big speakers out by your garden and blast the neighbors out with some good quality literature! Or you could just get an MP3 player and some earphones! :)

  3. I will have to get this book. I love all the Sherlock homes stories, whether by Doyle or not. You might like the Laurie R. King series. She gets Sherlock just right.

  4. Thanks, Nancy. I just went and put a request in at the library for The Beekeeper's Apprentice. I had never heard of her.

  5. I hope you like them. That is the first one, I think. My favorite is Justice Hall. Just fabulous.

  6. That is the first one. I always try to go in order if I know there is more than one. I'm looking forward to getting it! Thanks for the tip!