The Dark Water: The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes

The Dark Water: The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes The third novel in an imaginative Victorian series narrated by the young Arthur Conan Doyle As the inspirational model for Sherlock Holmes, the brilliant and eccentric Dr Bell properly takes charge of the cryptic codes that figure in this ingenious mystery Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book ReviewPirie s knowledge of Doyle s biography, as well as of the Holmes canon, makes him an intellectual treat and a downright guilty pleasure The Washington PostI was utterly hooked It s not just Thomas Harris it s also Raymond Chandler and Arthur Conan Doyle himself All of these great writers are echoed in a way that is not merely wonderful and absolutely gripping, but completely original The series has huge commercial potential Sarah Dunant,New York Times best selling author of In the Company of the Courtesan In a literary tour de force worthy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself, author David Pirie brings his rich familiarity with both the Doyle biography and the Sherlock Holmes canon to a mystifying Victorian tale of vengeance and villainy The howling man on the heath, a gothic asylum, the walking dead, the legendary witch of Dunwich perils lurk in every turn of the page throughout this ingenious novel, as increasingly bizarre encounters challenge the deductive powers of young Doyle and his mentor, the pioneering criminal investigator Dr Joseph BellDavid Pirie is the author of two other critically praised novels featuring Arthur Conan Doyle, The Patient s Eyes and The Night Calls He lives in Bath This is the last of Pirie s trilogy featuring Dr Joseph Bell, the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, and Arthur Conan Doyle It starts off where the second ends, and it is so much like the second, that at first one wonders if they may have read this one, but no, just a page or twoand one knows it is a different book entirely Bell and Doyle continue on their quest to track down Cream, a former fellow med student of Doyle s They take off to Dunwich, a small seaside town, much of which has b This is the last of Pirie s trilogy featuring Dr Joseph Bell, the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, and Arthur Conan Doyle It starts off where the second ends, and it is so much like the second, that at first one wonders if they may have read this one, but no, just a page or twoand one knows it is a different book entirely Bell and Doyle continue on their quest to track down Cream, a former fellow med student of Doyle s They take off to Dunwich, a small seaside town, much of which has been eroded by the waves of the North Sea Here, setting out to solve a disappearance, followed by other murders, they are convinced they are on the right trail Many twists and turns are included, as was as, of course, impossible escapes All of which make for a good read And yes, although published in 2006, it s a surprise that Pirie has not followed up with a fourth along the same lines Guess his time as a screenwriter, film producer, and film critic has left no time for mystery writing The Dark Water is volume three in the series following Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Bell This series doesn t lend itself well to just dipping in, so if you want to try it I recommend starting with The Patient s Eyes.A good mystery with satisfying twists and turns But the relationship between Doyle and Bell just didn t work for me It hasn t changed and grown since the first book There doesn t seem to much affection between them They don t feel like friends or mentor mente or even comrades The Dark Water is volume three in the series following Arthur Conan Doyle and Joseph Bell This series doesn t lend itself well to just dipping in, so if you want to try it I recommend starting with The Patient s Eyes.A good mystery with satisfying twists and turns But the relationship between Doyle and Bell just didn t work for me It hasn t changed and grown since the first book There doesn t seem to much affection between them They don t feel like friends or mentor mente or even comrades They sort of grudgingly work next to each other and very rarely with each other which dulled my enjoyment The Dark Water and the whole series are pretty dark and really could have used that as a counterpoint This book is not what I imagined, but I have no complaints The title came up when I was trolling through a library catalog for books on Sherlock Holmes It s not about him, nor is there any specific mention of him in the entire book On the other hand, this is an action filled adventure staring Professor Dr Joseph Bell MD and Arthur Conan Doyle, MD Who do you ask Bell is the real world archetype used to create Sherlock Holmes and ACD is the man who created him and his Boswell , John This book is not what I imagined, but I have no complaints The title came up when I was trolling through a library catalog for books on Sherlock Holmes It s not about him, nor is there any specific mention of him in the entire book On the other hand, this is an action filled adventure staring Professor Dr Joseph Bell MD and Arthur Conan Doyle, MD Who do you ask Bell is the real world archetype used to create Sherlock Holmes and ACD is the man who created him and his Boswell , John H Watson, MD.ACD was a student of Dr Bell in Medical School They had certain true life adventures with a murderous individual This book is the third in a series I have not read the previous two that takes those real life events and draws them out into a fast paced series of accounts While the pattern is not exactly that of Holmes and Watson Doyle has several specific episodes apart from Bell , it is a Mystery in which they attempt to solve crimes A whole series of crimes perpetrated by this arch enemy who appears to drag ordinary men and women into his plots with exasperating ease Unlike Moriarty who had legions of followers organized into a criminal organization, the antagonist of this book ensnares and recruits on an individual basis He does not sit like a spider at the center of a web, but acts in the first person Without having read the previous two entries, I cannot say how fast and loose the author may have played with the true tragic facts that occurred before this volume However, on its own merits this is a very engaging tale If the three primaries were Messrs Foo , Goo , and Moo it would be just as engaging Only a few minor references in the epilogue would need to be deleted One assumes that the author has done some research into the core tale of the witch of Dunwich England it has nothing to do with H P Lovecraft s The Dunwich Horror rather than just making it up Although a large part of the book is concerned with it, I haven t done any fact checking and ultimately it does not matter This is a well written, emotional roller coaster that rings true.If you were expecting a story just like a Holmes story, then you might feel a bit disappointed Certainly there is evil afoot and detection, but the relationship of the two and the way the story is told marks it as something apart The author makes an effort to bring in the Holmes like skills such as, personal history at a glance, chemistry, a willingness to be a judge, a man of action, and a brilliant cryptographer But read it for its own sake and consider the familiarity of the future writer to be an added benefit.My conjectures on what the story contained hadto do with how ACD decided and did create his original Holmes tale obviously something that has nothing to do with this book I was basing that merely on the sub title, The Strange Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes , which is why the catalog search turned it up, also Once I knew what I had I was happy to read along and I hope you will be, too I m going to be looking for its predecessors Not that I wouldn t mind reading a book that covered the imagined topic The third Arthur Conan Doyle book and last I m inclined to say it s not a trilogy now, but I can t find any information about future books online isn t as focused as the second one was Although the case that Bell and Doyle take on in a superstitious village is directly related to their search for the villain Cream, it seems tangential until the end I ve really enjoyed reading all three books, but the strength in plotting and pacing does seem to go up and down.

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