Mystery Book Review | The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols by Nicholas Meyer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson are back in this recently discovered diary entry from the early 1900s. The detective that made Arthur Conan Doyle famous is now in new hands but just as logical and insightful as always. The story has all the elements we have come to know and love, political intrigue, exotic locales, and a cast of fascinating characters.

Book description: Holmes and Watson are summoned by Holmes’ brother Mycroft to undertake a clandestine investigation. An agent of the British Secret Service has been found floating in the Thames, carrying a manuscript smuggled into England at the cost of her life. The pages purport to be the minutes of a meeting of a secret group intent on nothing less than taking over the world. Based on real events, the adventure takes the famed duo—in the company of a bewitching woman—aboard the Orient Express from Paris into the heart of Tsarist Russia, where Holmes and Watson attempt to trace the origins of this explosive document. On their heels are desperate men of unknown allegiance, determined to prevent them from achieving their task. And what they uncover is a conspiracy so vast as to challenge Sherlock Holmes as never before.

Tone, pace, and content closely resemble my memory of the original stories. Fans will enjoy that the novel stays true to the original on many essential aspects. This similarity also enables the reader to suspend disbelief easily and even question at times if this is a real diary discovered by the author.

There is a bit more depth to the characters than in the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock achieves a more three-dimensional persona with his possible err in judgment concerning an extramarital affair, and Watson is not the fool that Doyle created. He provides a human element to the story, which works as a foil to Holme’s logic in many situations.

The fake news angle of the story is relatable to readers today. Using a current topic in the historical context of the novel makes it easier for today’s readers to connect to and enjoy more fully. I think this is an ingenious plot angle for the story to utilize.

I wish that the novel had a faster pace. Though Doyle’s stories are paced similarly, the modern reader needs a quicker pace to stay invested in the story. In our on-demand world, attention-spans have changed to expect it and thus, have little patience for the slow build.

If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes in any incarnation, you will enjoy this story and the approach it takes to a well-known character.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

5 Replies to “Mystery Book Review | The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols by Nicholas Meyer”

  1. This sounds so appealing to me. I love Holmes, and strangely, I can still lose myself in a novel with a slow build. There are times I absolutely adore dense prose and a plot that unfolds a little at a time. I usually have to be in the right frame of mind, but when I am, I love to sink in a book like that. This will have to go on my TBR. I have a few other new Holmes incarnations on my shelf to try too–the ones where he’s married.

    So much reading to do and so little time, LOL.

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    1. You are definitely “preaching to the choir.” I’m finally starting to emerge from ARCs and have only 2 to read each month rather than 4-6.
      This book is a great Holmes’ read!

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  2. Interesting comment on the changing tastes of readers and how we all want a faster pace. I think that’s true for the most part, though some of my favorite books are somewhat leisurely. 🙂 Thanks for the review.

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    1. I often read other’s reviews before I start my own and occasionally I include my thoughts on those reviews- this was actually one of those times 🙂 But you and Mae are right, there is nothing wrong with a slow build – though it helps, I think, if you are expecting it. 😊

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