The Italian Secretary
The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin(October 27, 2009)
Caleb Carr's novel, The Alienest, was a blockbuster international bestseller and positioned its author as a modern master of the historical thriller. Now, Carr reaches back further, to the age of opium dens and Jack the Ripper, when fictional detective Sherlock Holmes made the science of murder as real as the gore on a killer's hands…
Mycroft Holmes's encoded message to his brother, Sherlock, is unsubtle enough even for Dr. Watson to decipher: a matter concerning the safety of Queen Victoria herself calls them to Edinburgh's Holyroodhouse to investigate the confounding and gruesome deaths of two young men--horrific incidents that took place with Her Highness in residence. The victims were crushed in a manner surpassing human power. And while recent attempts on Her Majesty's life raise a number of possibilities, these intrigues also seem strangely connected to an act of evil that took place centuries earlier…
For indeed, the slaying of David Rizzio, music master and friend to Mary, Queen of Scots, was an extraordinarily brutal and treacherous act--even for a time when brutality and treachery were the order of the day. Now, the ghosts of Holyroodhouse are being reawakened by someone with a diabolical agenda of greed, madness, and terror as Holmes and Watson set out to trap a killer who is eager to rewrite history in blood...
This is my second book by Caleb Carr, the first being The Alienist.
This is a Sherlock Holmes story. Generally, I am not the biggest fan of Holmes books that aren't by Doyle, but since I liked the writing of the first Carr book I decided to give it a go.
His writing is really good. The old Holmes language is used and I had no problem hearing Basil Rathbone's voice for Sherlock. (As much as I love Benedict Cumberbatch, Basil Rathbone will always remain the "original"). Carr used the familiar characters of Watson and Mycroft, but put them in Scotland instead of Baker Street. Still if you are a Holmes fan, even if Doyle isn't the author I would say you would like this book.
The only problem, at all, that I had with this book was, "Holyroodhouse". I won't tell you how many times I read "Hollywoodhouse".. *sigh*.
This would be a good "carry along" book. Not big in pages and there's not many who don't like Sherlock!