The Italian Secretary is a pretty sweet piece of Sherlock Holmes apocrypha There have been a number of attempts to write Holmes by authors other than Doyle, and those attempts have achieved varying degrees of success some dreadful and some impressive Caleb Carr s attempt falls between these extremes, although it is tiltedtoward the impressive end of the teeter totter.Carr does a fine job of capturing Holmes rhythms and personality, and one never feels like one s reading a false Sherl The Italian Secretary is a pretty sweet piece of Sherlock Holmes apocrypha There have been a number of attempts to write Holmes by authors other than Doyle, and those attempts have achieved varying degrees of success some dreadful and some impressive Caleb Carr s attempt falls between these extremes, although it is tiltedtoward the impressive end of the teeter totter.Carr does a fine job of capturing Holmes rhythms and personality, and one never feels like one s reading a false Sherlock, but the same can t be said for Dr Watson, and therein lies the very slight and slippery problem that keeps The Italian Secretary from being impressively brilliant Carr s Watson seems positively thick Doyle s Watson is often slow to pick up the meaning of threads that Holmes captures with ease, but he never seems stupid Carr s Watson, however Very ElementaryIt must be very difficult and also intimidating to try to follow in the footsteps of a well known author such as Arthur Conan Doyle, who has created the world s most famous detective and sidekick and who has spun a microcosm of four novels and fifty six stories The reading public s expectations will necessarily run high.To give Caleb Carr and his Holmes adventure The Italian Secretary their due, I d say that the language is redolent of the old fashioned and well paced style peopl Very ElementaryIt must be very difficult and also intimidating to try to follow in the footsteps of a well known author such as Arthur Conan Doyle, who has created the world s most famous detective and sidekick and who has Considering my feelings about Surrender, New York I m sure many of you figured Caleb Carr and I weren t on speaking terms Alas, I reserved this book for my libraries mystery book club before that dark day when I was seized with an urge to hurl that giant cheetah themed doorstop into a wood chipper wou Let me try this again and maybe this time I won t accidentally delete it Caleb Carr is not Dr Conan Doyle He doesn t present a carbon copy of Doyle s style and I didn t expect him to Nor did I attempt to compare and contrast the two Approach this book with that in mind and you might like it.I did.I kept getting the feeling at times that something which I couldn t quite put my finger on was lacking That may be in part because I thought The Alienist was brilliant and was hoping for somethi Let me try this again and maybe this time I won t accidentally delete it Caleb Carr is not Dr Conan Doyle He doesn t present a carbon copy of Doyle s style and I didn t expect him to Nor did I attempt to compare and contrast the two Approach this book with that in mind and you might like it.I did.I kept getting the feeling at times that something which I couldn t quite put my finger on was lacking That may be in part because I thought The Alienist was brilliant and was hoping for I had such high hopes for The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr My husband surprised me with it just after I had started to renew my addiction to Holmes and had read several mentions of it at the Sherlock Holmes Social Network.Of course, those mentions were not generally favorable, but the setting of a murder at the Royal Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh, Scotland sounded so inviting Here s the basic plot After several assassination attempts on Queen Victoria, Holmes and Watson are brought to Ho I had such high hopes for The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr My husband surprised me with it just after I had started to renew my addiction to Holmes and had read several mentions of it at the Sherlock Holmes Social Network.Of course, those mentions were not gener Number one, the translation caused me a headache.The translation aside, this book is disappointing the case might be sensational and sadistic , but the way the case is solved did not satisfy me I think that there are still questions left unanswered And seriously, those ghosts are unnecessary, something like disturbing Holmes world of logic The ghosts would fit a Professor Challenger story, but in Italian Secretary it only boiled down to raised eyebrows of the reader, which was me, that Number one, the translation caused me a headache.The translation aside, this book is disappointing 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 Holyrood House 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 I was truly disappointed by this novel I was looking forward to reading it on two fronts First, as a Sherlock Holmes pastiche Second, as an introduction to Caleb Carr The Sherlock Holmes story fell far short and left me not likely to read anything else by Carr.To call the novel wordy would be an understatement It was a full third of the way through the book before we arrive at the crime scene While I understand that a novel with an historic base will require a fair amount of back filling t I was truly disappointed by this novel I was looking forward to reading it on two fronts First, as a Sherlock Holmes pastiche Second, as an introduction to Caleb Carr The Sherlock Holmes story fell far short and left me not likely to read anything else by Carr.To call the novel wordy would be an understatement It was a full third of the way through the book before we arrive at the crime scene While I understand that a novel with an historic base will require a fair amount of back filling to get the reader up to snuff on the facts, the sometimes vicious banter between Holmes and his brother, Mycroft only added page upon page of useless wordiness that Carr seemed to feel necessary Thirty pages in a hansom between the railroad station and Hollyroodhouse was a bit much, especially after fifty pages on a train Sadly, by the end of the novel Carr has managed to Any author who dares to assume that his readers have an attention span that exceeds fifteen or twenty seconds has succeeded in capturing my attention no matter what the subject pursued Caleb Carr treats English as if it is tool for the conveyance of precise information and not as if it were a bludgeon to be used to beat the reader into submission His prose is elegant and precise, with slang terms used to emphasize characterization and to provide particular flavors and tones to conversation Th Any author who dares to assume that his readers have an attention span that exceeds fifteen or twenty seconds has succeeded in capturing my attention no matter what the subject pursued Caleb Carr treats English as if it is tool for the conveyance of precise information and not as if it were a bludgeon to be used to beat the reader into submission His prose is elegant and precise, with slang terms used to emphasize characterization and to provide particular flavors and tones to conversation The narrator is Dr Watson, not the familiar narrator of most of the Canonical tales, but rather this Dr Watson is clearly the man who wrote those tales This is not Rating Clarification 3.5 StarsPretty entertainly Holmes pastiche, although I have to admit that I found Carr s writing style somewhat convoluted and irritating However, the story premise and plot development kept me reading on Enjoyed the supernatural elements, and thought Carr did a good job of maintaining an authentic voice for Holmes, Watson and Mycroft although Carr s Watson and Mycroft were a little too dense aka stupid from ACD s original portrayal of th