Reviews

The Italian Secretary: A Further Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes, by Caleb Carr

brittaniethekid's review against another edition

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3.0

A decent addition to the Sherlock Holmes stories. Carr keeps pretty close to Watson's original voice while giving it a bit of an upgrade as to appeal to the modern reader. Holmes is a bit more witty and mirthful rather than just rudely cocky as seen in some of Doyle's original stories. I enjoyed Carr's take on the characters.
However, the story does at points fall a little flat and adds in unnecessary characters/plot devices to get the mystery solved. It took me longer than I would have liked to read this because there were just some parts that bored me to sleep though, overall, I did enjoy the story told.

pelachick's review against another edition

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4.0

The subtitle for this book is the 'further adventures of Sherlock Holmes'. Carr was commissioned by the estate of Doyle to write the book. I have read some of his other works which were much longer works. I enjoyed them. This book is good, but not quite up to the standard of the other books. But if you judge the book against the library of Sherlock Homes stories, it holds it's own.

jess_lindstrom's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5 stars

I've only read a couple Sherlock stories, one being The Redheaded League and I throughly enjoyed it. I did enjoy the historical aspect of this one, with the story of Mary, Queen of Scots which was both intriguing and tragic but all in all...I have to agree with other reviews in that this Watson falls a short of the original Watson; he almost reminded me of John in The Angel of Darkness at times.

This was still, to me at least, a fun read and I still am huge fan of The Alienist series but as with all interpretations that is exactly what this is, an interpretation of the author's own style. A good one but not astoundingly brilliant.

thekinkykid's review against another edition

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3.0

Me decepciono un poco, empieza muy muy lento, sin saber bien a bien que esta pasando y como se van desarrollando las cosas. Aparte el misterio resulta soso y nada convincente, y el final muy apresurado.

pelevolcana's review against another edition

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3.0

I really enjoyed Caleb Carr's attempt at Sherlock Holmes.

It's been a while since I've read Sherlock Holmes, so I cannot speak to whether or not the book is true to the original series. It was a satisfying romp.

Source: borrowed from friend

leialocks's review against another edition

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4.0

This was the audio book on my recent trip. It was a good one. Perfect length; sometimes you need the book to be over on some of them. Book was great fun with mystery and history blended together. Definitely a recommend.

kalinichta's review against another edition

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4.0

This book was great fun and let Carr's sense of humor shine out in a way that it hadn't in the Kreizler novels. And the idea put forth in the afterword of a teaming up of Holmes and Kreizler makes me dizzy with possibility.

marciatch's review against another edition

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3.0

I actually enjoyed the story of the book. It was quite entertaining.
Now, what first called my attention was the cover. I was going to buy the book even if it wasn't about Sherlock Holmes because I liked the contrast of color on the cover and I like mysteries.
I liked how, as in other new Holmes novels there is a small introduction, something as to why we're reading this now. I liked the constant references to the original stories, comparisons to the characters found there and things like that.
I thought Watson's voice was good sometimes, but other times he did or said something that made it ruined it. Holmes's voice was totally off for me. I understand what he said about the power ghosts had over people, the belief people had, but I found it contrary to what I've read on the short stories. He denies any possibility of supernatural activity.
I thought the usage of History was excessive. It is a detective story, but it became too much of a historical thriller to me, and the Sherlock Holmes stories mostly used History only as background, not as such a big part of the plot. Even the ones where the monarchy was somewhat involved, it was only because he lived at the Victorian Era, so that was the History that was going to be used. In this book, History was not part of the background, it was connect tightly to the plot. Without it, there would be no book.
I didn't like the excessive use of italics, in places there would be no need of such a tool, because there would be no need of emphasis: the reader could supply the voice of the character in their head and understand perfectly what was being said. However, something I liked, was that Carr, like in the original stories, sometimes told us how something would be important later, or how the importance of what was said or done would make more sense to Watson later.
In the end, I decided to give this story 3/5 stars.

liantener's review against another edition

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3.0

Me llamó la atención por tratarse del autor de "El Alienista", una obra que toma muchos elementos de la obra de Conan Doyle. El resultado es disfrutable, pero no sobresaliente.
La estructura de la historia guarda mucho en común con las historias originales de Holmes, el lenguaje está bien llevado, y la historia es interesante, si bien nada extraordinaria y hasta predecible. Carr agrega unas escenas de acción poco usuales, pero que no desentonan para compensar.
Lo que no me gustó fue la distorsión que hace Carr de la personalidad de los personajes, en especial de Mycroft, el hermano de Sherlock. Aquí parece un comparsa más de su hermano, cuando en realidad se supone más inteligente.
En general no está mal, pero yo esperaba más de un autor que se inspiró en Holmes para crear a su personaje más popular.

jennereads's review against another edition

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3.0

This is really more of a 3 1/2 stars. It started off slowly, but I grew to really like it. It's not even close to as good as The Alienist. And I guess that's okay. The plot is interesting and, even if Carr's Holmes and Watson did not come off as completely true to the originals, they are close enough not to feel distracting.