Thursday, September 8, 2011

"The Sherlockian" by Graham Moore Nominated for 2011 Best First Novel Anthony Award

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore has been nominated for the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. The Anthony Awards are given at each annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention with the winners selected by attendees. The award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White), well-known writer and critic from the New York Times, who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. This year's Bouchercon will be held this September 15-18 right here in St. Louis.

From Graham Moore's web site:
True story: A hundred years ago, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries -- became a consultant to Scotland Yard, and chased a killer through the streets of Victorian London.

Another true story: In 2004, the world’s leading Sherlock Holmes scholar announced that he’d found the lost diary of Conan Doyle, which had gone mysteriously missing after the author’s death. Before the scholar was to publicly unveil these diaries, he was found murdered, strangled with his own shoelaces. The room had been ransacked. The diary was nowhere to be found. Sherlock Holmes devotees around the world began a search for the missing diary -- and for the murderer of their friend.

The Sherlockian is a fictionalized account of these two stories, one taking place in 1900, one taking place today. It is a mystery novel not about Sherlock Holmes, but about Sherlockians.

The novel tells the story of Harold White, a young Sherlockian obsessive who’s read every great mystery novel cover to cover, and twice over. But despite being well-versed in a million blood-soaked stories, Harold has never seen a real dead body before in his life. That is, until he comes face to face with the murdered corpse of Alex Cale, the world’s most renowned Doylean historian, who had been set to make public his discovery of Doyle’s missing diaries. Now, Harold must put all of his expertise on fictionalized crimes in the service of solving a real one.

Meanwhile, the novel tells a second story, the one contained within the diary of Arthur Conan Doyle itself. After an attempt on his life, Conan Doyle searches for a killer who seems to be taunting him with messages. Having killed off the character of Sherlock Holmes eight years previous, but finding the public cold to his newer creations, Conan Doyle sets out to prove himself the better of his own fictional detective, and solve a real-life mystery himself. But Arthur begins to find that in the face of real evil, the world does not need Arthur Conan Doyle -- the world needs Sherlock Holmes.
The Sherlockian will be published in paperback on November 22.

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