From Publishers Weekly: "Writing a Sherlock Holmes tale is, for popular writers, equivalent to playing Hamlet for male actors: a challenge that few refuse and many regret. Bestselling author Carr acquits himself with honor, though not high honors, in this short novel that pits Holmes, Watson and Mycroft Holmes against conspirators at Queen Victoria's Royal Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh, Scotland. When the men are killed at Holyrood in a fashion similar to the slaying centuries before of David Rizzio, an Italian confidant of Mary, Queen of Scots, Mycroft, who is Victoria's head of intelligence, calls upon his brother and Watson to help solve the mystery. Are the killings the work of Scottish nationalists? Or perhaps the sign of a restless ghost? From the latter question, and the novel's primary setting of the dank castle, emanates a well-drawn atmosphere of gloom that makes this story a nice companion to The Hound of the Baskervilles..."Copyright © Reed Business Information
I just finished this book and enjoyed it! I think the Sherlock Holmes derivitives like this one are fun to read. Laurie King's books are as good or maybe better than this one (same genre.)
Caleb Carr writes well (The Alienist, etc.) and he does the Holmes canon a nice service in "The Italian Secretary". Set in the castle where Mary, Queen of Scots, and her ladies witnessed the murder of David Rizzio. Holmes and Watson are summoned by Mycroft Holmes to solve a brace of murders. Queen Victoria is in residence, and adding to the complications a clandestine tour of the Rizzio murder site and a mysterious bloodstain that never dries.
THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES...
Caleb Carr reaches back into the world of opium dens and Jack the Ripper to bring a new tale of the most intriguing of all detectives, Sherlock Holmes...very interesting and lots of historical quality.