9780312352042

The Italian Secretary A Further Adventure of Sherlock Holmes

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780312352042

  • ISBN10:

    0312352042

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-10-27
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
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Summary

The bestselling author of "The Alienist" reaches further back into history to the age of opium dens and Jack the Ripper, when fictional detective Sherlock Holmes is summoned to the aid of Queen Victoria in Scotland by Holmes' brother, Mycroft, a royal advisor.

Author Biography

CALEB CARR is the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The Alienist series, The Lessons of Terror, Killing Time, and The Devil Soldier. His books have been translated into over twenty languages worldwide. He is also a contributing editor to MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, and the other series editor of the Modern Library War Series. He was educated at Kenyon College and New York University, and currently lives in upstate New York, where he teaches military and diplomatic studies at Bard College.

JON LELLENBERG, author of the afterword, is the U.S. agent for the Conan Doyle Estate, co-editor of a number of anthologies of new Sherlock Holmes stories written by mystery writers, and the historian of the Baker Street Irregulars.

Table of Contents

Chapter I
on deposit at cox’s bank
The published compendium of the many adven­tures that I undertook in the company of Mr. Sherlock Holmes contains only a few examples of those occasions on which we entered a variety of service that no loyal subject of this realm may refuse. I refer to cases in which the calls to action were delivered by various government minis­tries or agents, but in which our true employer was none other than that Great Personage whose name has come to define an age; herself, or her son, who has already displayed some of his mother’s capacity for imprinting his name and character upon his era. To be plain, I refer to the Crown, and when I do, it must surely become more ap­parent why the greater portion of my accounts of such cases has come to rest—perhaps never to be removed or revealed— in the tin dispatch-box that I long ago entrusted to the vaults of Cox’s Bank in Charing Cross.
Among this momentous yet largely secret sub-collection, perhaps no one adventure touches on more delicate particulars than that which I have identified as the matter of the Italian Secretary. Whenever I joined Holmes in attempting to solve one of his “problems with a few points of inter­est,” it was an odds-on wager that lives would ultimately hang upon the outcome of our efforts; and during several such endeavours, no less than the continuation in power of one political party or another—or even the physical safety of the realm itself—was also exposed as having been at risk. But at no other time did the actual prestige of the monarchy (to say nothing of the mental peace of the Queen Empress herself) rest so per­ilously upon the successful conclusion of our ex­ertions as it did during this case. The reasons underlying such a bold claim, I can relate; that those particulars will strike any reader as entirely credible, I can no more than hope. Indeed, they might have seemed, even to me, no more than fevered imaginings, a series of dreams inade­quately separated from the waking world, had not Sherlock Holmes been ready with explana­tions for nearly all of the many twists and devel­opments of the case. Nearly all . . . 
And because of those few unresolved ques­tions, the matter of the Italian Secretary has al­ways been, for me, a source of recurring doubts, rather than (as has more generally been the case regarding my experiences with Holmes) reassur­ing conclusions. These doubts, to be sure, have remained largely unspoken, despite their power. For there are recesses of the mind to which no man allows even his closest fellows access; not, that is, unless he wishes to hazard an involun­tary sojourn in Bedlam. . . . 
 
Excerpted from The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr.
Copyright © 2005 by Caleb Carr.
Published in November 2009 by St. Martin’s Griffin.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction
is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or
medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Excerpts

Chapter I
on deposit at cox’s bank
The published compendium of the many adven­tures that I undertook in the company of Mr. Sherlock Holmes contains only a few examples of those occasions on which we entered a variety of service that no loyal subject of this realm may refuse. I refer to cases in which the calls to action were delivered by various government minis­tries or agents, but in which our true employer was none other than that Great Personage whose name has come to define an age; herself, or her son, who has already displayed some of his mother’s capacity for imprinting his name and character upon his era. To be plain, I refer to the Crown, and when I do, it must surely become more ap­parent why the greater portion of my accounts of such cases has come to rest—perhaps never to be removed or revealed— in the tin dispatch-box that I long ago entrusted to the vaults of Cox’s Bank in Charing Cross.
Among this momentous yet largely secret sub-collection, perhaps no one adventure touches on more delicate particulars than that which I have identified as the matter of the Italian Secretary. Whenever I joined Holmes in attempting to solve one of his “problems with a few points of inter­est,” it was an odds-on wager that lives would ultimately hang upon the outcome of our efforts; and during several such endeavours, no less than the continuation in power of one political party or another—or even the physical safety of the realm itself—was also exposed as having been at risk. But at no other time did the actual prestige of the monarchy (to say nothing of the mental peace of the Queen Empress herself) rest so per­ilously upon the successful conclusion of our ex­ertions as it did during this case. The reasons underlying such a bold claim, I can relate; that those particulars will strike any reader as entirely credible, I can no more than hope. Indeed, they might have seemed, even to me, no more than fevered imaginings, a series of dreams inade­quately separated from the waking world, had not Sherlock Holmes been ready with explana­tions for nearly all of the many twists and devel­opments of the case. Nearly all . . . 
And because of those few unresolved ques­tions, the matter of the Italian Secretary has al­ways been, for me, a source of recurring doubts, rather than (as has more generally been the case regarding my experiences with Holmes) reassur­ing conclusions. These doubts, to be sure, have remained largely unspoken, despite their power. For there are recesses of the mind to which no man allows even his closest fellows access; not, that is, unless he wishes to hazard an involun­tary sojourn in Bedlam. . . . 
 
Excerpted from The Italian Secretary by Caleb Carr.
Copyright © 2005 by Caleb Carr.
Published in November 2009 by St. Martin’s Griffin.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction
is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or
medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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