The Italian Secretary

The Italian Secretary

A Novel

Book - 2005
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In The Alienist, his acclaimed bestselling debut novel,Caleb Carr created a darkly evocative mystery set in 19th century New York. Nowhe turns his considerable imagination to the greatest fictional detective of alltime, Sherlock Holmes. Summoned from London to Edinburgh, Holmes and Dr. Watsoninvestigate two brutal killings at Holyrood Palace, and their possible link to aplot against Queen Victoria's life. To Watson's bafflement, Holmes finds inthe deaths a ghostly and bloody echo of the 300-year-old murder of David Rizzio,secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots.

With its marriage of taut literary suspense and rich historicaldetail, The Italian Secretary takes the Conan Doyle tradition toremarkable new heights.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, 2005
Edition: 1st Canadian ed
ISBN: 9780002007191
Branch Call Number: M CAR
Characteristics: 266 p. ;,22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Aug 10, 2017

Although I love the original Holmes stories that I read growing up, invariably I am disappointed when I try one of the Holmes stories written by others. This one has cured me of the desitre to read any more Holmes pastiches.

Being a fan of mysteries with supernatural overtones, I thought I would try this. But I gave up long before the ghost (or whatever) was introduced -- before they even arrived in Scotland, in fact. Talk, talk, talk, even when there was some action. This has convinced me to reread Doyle's books if I am in the mood for a Sherlock Holmes story, and not try any of the imitators.

KateHillier Sep 03, 2013

***Warning! Slight spoilers ahead!!***

Not a bad crack at Holmes from the author of one of my all time favourite books (The Alienist). Holmes and Watson are really a team here and I really like the way they play off each other off the cuff. I mean its something that you expect that they have between them but I love me a competent Watson and I love that Carr has a Watson who is capable of working on his own line with Holmes following suit as much as vice versa.

I love the use of Mycroft in any Holmes story but it seems here that he's absent far more than he ought to be. The story also sort of tilts from supernatural to not rather suddenly considering that we're meant to make Watson's mistake of assuming that Holmes actually believes, literally, in the power of ghosts. That's really my only point of contention. Otherwise it's good fun and a lovely ride with Holmes and Watson.

Jan 13, 2013

Listen to the audio version. Interesting but only an average story.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PMPL

To Top