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Extended Audio Sample The Italian Secretary, by Caleb Carr Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,660 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Caleb Carr Narrator: Simon Prebble Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The bestselling author of the Alienist series returns with a chilling elaboration on the Sherlock Holmes canon, as the famed detective investigates a pair of gruesome murders, which cast an otherworldly shadow as far as Queen Victoria herself.

It all begins familiarly enough: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are summoned to the aid of Queen Victoria in Scotland by an encrypted telegram from Holmes’ brother, Mycroft, a royal advisor. Rushed northward on a royal train, they soon learn of the brutal killings of two of the queen’s servants who had been working on the renovation of the famous and forbidding Royal Palace of Holyrood.

Mycroft has enlisted his brother to help solve the murders that may be key elements of a much more elaborate and pernicious plot on the queen’s life. But the circumstances of the two victims’ deaths also call to Holmes’ mind the terrible murder of “The Italian Secretary,” David Rizzio … only Rizzio was murdered three centuries ago.

Told with his unique feel for historical detail and the architecture of human evil, Caleb Carr’s brilliant new offering takes the Conan Doyle tradition to remarkable new heights.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] superb novel. Carr has caught Doyle’s style and added a few wonderful...twists of his own.”


  • “[A] fleet-footed, atmospherically gothic, and often amusing Holmes tale.” 

    Amazon.com editorial review

  • “In a precise narration, [Simon] Prebble paints all the atmospherics of the Scots settings and lends credibility to Carr’s climax...[His] crisp narration helps integrate the historical murder of the Italian secretary and the further adventures of Holmes and Watson.” 


  • “Simon Prebble, one of the best readers of mysteries, employs a variety of voices and accents to heighten the Victorian verisimilitude. Recommended.” 

    Library Journal (audio review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Du | 2/13/2014

    " I am not a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, but I do enjoy the stories and caleb carr's writing. I think the book was good, not great. It held the story and read like a coonan doyle authored entry, but over all wasnt as good as the recent movies. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jessie | 2/6/2014

    " I have no memory of ever reading an original Sherlock Holmes mystery before, but it was fun to read this right after watching the new Holmes movie. This was a quick and entertaining read. I loved the plot tie-in with Mary Queen of Scots and the historical tidbits. I found the long explanatory discussions between Holmes and Watson to be an annoying literary device - always seemed like "while you were asleep or clueless Watson, I figured out all this stuff (plus some stuff I'm not gonna tell you about yet)". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Arun Divakar | 2/4/2014

    " Best way to enjoy it : Don't think too much !!! If you do, you will see elements of stupidity & carelessness starting to poke through & if you don't it's a fair pastiche of sorts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by L.J. | 2/3/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book. Intriguing, extraordinary and suspenseful "

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