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The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reviews The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper

15 May

“Due on 22 May from MX Publishing is a handsome hardback novel by Diane Gilbert Madsen. The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper (MX Publishing; www.mxpublishing.co.uk) is the third DD McGil Literati Mystery, the first two being published by Midnight Ink.

Some of the characters bear canonical names, but this is set in present-day America. A apparently routine fraud case for insurance investigator DD McGil interweaves with a more curious matter, a murderous assault on a friend of hers and the theft of an old diary that hints at a momentous discovery – Arthur Conan Doyle’s own notes on the Whitechapel murders and the identity of Jack the Ripper. And DD herself is being stalked… Holmesians have long speculated on the fact that the Ripper murders aren’t mentioned in the canon, though the obvious reason is undoubtedly the correct one: even if Conan Doyle had suspected the killer’s identity he’d never have considered mentioning it in the context of a fictional entertainment. Ms Madsen’s novel equates his silence with that of the dog in the night-time, assuming that Conan Doyle did know who the Ripper was but chose not to say – which, of course, implies that good old stand-by, the government cover-up. It seems unlikely to me that the Ripper was anyone famous or distinguished, but fiction is not fact, and The Conan Doyle Notes is a gripping tale, with an intelligent, courageous and very likable protagonist in DD McGil.”

The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper hardback edition is available for pre order from all good bookstores including  Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository.

the conan doyle notes

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