Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Book Review: "The Italian Secretary"

Caleb Carr, best known for The Alienist, has tried in The Italian Secretary to do the impossible: write a decent Sherlock Holmes story without being Arthur Conan Doyle. The result is surprisingly not bad; typically I cannot get through attempts like this, but Carr's effort was worth it - he comes perhaps as close as possible, but there's still something missing from the Holmes and Watson who appear in this novel (as I think there must be).

Nonetheless, this is a fine mystery in itself, with suitable suspense, decent plot twists, and appropriately nefarious villains. A fast read.