New review of Close To Holmes

19 Sep

As a London tour guide, writing a walk about Sherlock Holmes and trying to track down actual and fictional locations in the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was no easy feat. I needed to get into the head of ACD and look at his view of London in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I didn’t achieve that, however Alistair Duncan’s “Close to Holmes” gave me a good pen-picture of Victorian London that ACD would have known and where he probably placed Sherlock Holmes adventures in London. To channel a well-known United States politician, when tracking down Sherlock Holmes locations there are ‘known knowns’, i.e. actual places like Barts Hospital. There are ‘known unknowns’, fictional locations based on real ones, e.g ‘Where is Saxe-coburg Square?’. Tracking these, and better still, having your theories accepted, is a never-ending game for Sherlockians. In “Close to Holmes” Alistair Duncan informatively entertainingly describes the ‘known knowns’ and elegantly extrapolates without lurching into speculation, the possibilities of the ‘known unknowns’. A companion/gazetteer that should be in easy reach on every Sherlockian’s bookshelf.

Close to Holmes is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA,  Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK,  Waterstones UK,  Book Depository(free worldwide delivery), Amazon Kindle,  Kobo, Nook  and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.



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