Arthur & George By Julian Barne
If you are a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories you will find this book a delight. If you have not yet read every book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you will be reading them all after you read this novel. Arthur & George is the story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, from the days of his childhood until his death–long after becoming the famous creator of Sherlock Holmes.
It is also the story of George Edalji, the son of an immigrant from India and a Scottish mother. He lived with his clergyman father, his mother and sister, in a small English village and moved through life with hardly a ripple, until accused of a vicious crime.
When George contacts Arthur Conan Doyle, already made famous by his Sherlock Holmes stories, their lives intersect and they are part of each others history until the end of their lives.
Theirs is a world of convention and the rules by which each layer of society lives is sacrosanct. When these men depart from their expected roles they must suffer the consequences.
It is a brilliant tale of life in England just before and after the turn of the last century–and of two eccentric boys, and the even more eccentric men they become.
The fictional creation of Arthur Conan Doyle is magnificent–he may not have been Sherlock Holmes in life, but he was in deed and in character.
Holmes by King
The Sherlock Holmes novels and stories are ones you can read and re-read with pleasure every few years. There have been many authors who have taken the character of Sherlock Holmes and continued the story–most without success.
Laurie R. King, however, has done it with perfection. Her Sherlock Holmes is in retirement–a bee keeper in the Sussex Downs, where he meets his neighbour, Miss Mary Russell, a young heiress.
It is Mary, matching and challenging Mr. Holmes in intelligence and tenacity, who forces the master detective out of retirement.
So begins a wonderful series, as Mr. Holmes and Ms Russell travel the world, solving the mysteries that come their way–every one delightful, and I believe Sir Arthur himself would approve of the way that Laurie R. King has continued the life of his creation. These are also perfect reading for young women, as the heroine, Mary Russell, is a great character and the perfect companion for the elderly–but still brilliantly intelligent Sherlock Holmes.
The first in the series is the Beekeeper’s Apprentice–read one and you’ll read them all–guaranteed.