Title: THE ITALIAN SECRETARY: A FURTHER ADVENTURE ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2005
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 266 pages. Published in 2005. The author's "Sherlock Holmes" novel. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the Thorndike Press Edition. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Caleb Carr's "The Italian Secretary". A triumphant achievement. Commissioned by The Estate of Sherlock Holmes, which could not have picked a better writer on the story, which is an intriguing new twist to the historical thriller, the genre that Caleb Carr is best-known for. "Fleet-footed, atmospherically Gothic, and often amusing Holmes, with an exposition scene in Watson's bed chamber that is truly priceless" (J. Kingston Pierce). Priceless indeed. An absolute "must-have" title for Caleb Carr and Sherlock Holmes collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Caleb Carr. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. Carr did a few signings in New York City, did not tour to promote the book, and signed copies have turned up on a very occasional basis only. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. One of the most brilliant American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER CALEB CARR TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0786715480. Bookseller Inventory # 13516
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are summoned to the aid of Queen Victoria in Scotland by a telegram from Holmes' brother, Mycroft, a royal advisor. Rushed northward on a royal train—and nearly murdered themselves en route—the pair are soon joined by Mycroft, and learn of the brutal killings of two of the Queen's servants, a renowned architect and his foreman, both of whom had been working on the renovation of the famous and forbidding Royal Palace of Holyrood, in Edinburgh. 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—in Holyrood—of "The Italian Secretary," David Rizzio. Only Rizzio, a music teacher and confidante of Mary, Queen of Scots, was murdered three centuries ago. Holmes proceeds to alarm Watson with the announcement that the Italian Secretary's vengeful spirit may have taken the lives of the two men as punishment for disturbing the scene of his assassination. Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Caleb Carr's brilliant new offering takes the Conan Doyle tradition to remarkable new heights with this spellbinding tale.
Review: Although Sherlock Holmes categorically dismissed, in "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire," supernatural explanations for corporeal crimes ("This Agency stands flat-footed upon the ground, and there it must remain. ... No ghosts need apply"), one of the most popular among Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes tales is The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), in which the fate of a Devonshire family supposedly hangs on the savage appetites of an apparitional beast. More than a century later, in The Italian Secretary, Caleb Carr again presents the hawk-faced consulting detective with a yarn woven of paranormal plot threads, the mystery this time rooted in the fatal 16th-century stabbing of David Rizzio, a music teacher and confidant to Mary, Queen of Scots.
For Holmes and his affable annalist, Dr. John Watson, this spirited escapade begins sometime in the late 19th century with their receipt, in London, of an encrypted telegram from Sherlock's eccentric elder brother, Mycroft, "a senior but anonymous government official." It summons them to Edinburgh, Scotland, where architect Sir Alistair Sinclair and his foreman, Dennis McKay, have been slain in the midst of rehabilitating the medieval west tower of the Royal Palace of Holyrood--the very wing where Queen Mary had lived, and where Rizzio had met his brutal, politically motivated end. Mycroft fears these murders portend new threats against Britain's present monarch--the elderly Queen Victoria, who infrequently lodges at the palace--by a known assassin, perhaps in nefarious league with the German Kaiser. En route north, Holmes and Watson are menaced aboard their train by a red-bearded bomb thrower (supposedly a rabid Scots nationalist), only to discover that still greater dangers await them, and others, at Holyroodhouse. The plaintive drone of a weeping woman, cruelly punctured and shattered corpses, a pool of blood "that never dries," and a disembodied Italian voice with unexpected musical tastes all imply the wrath of wraiths behind recent atrocities. But Holmes and Watson deduce that greed, rather than ghosts, may be to blame.
Carr, who earned renown with his historical mysteries, The Alienist (1994) and The Angel of Darkness (1997), apparently intended The Italian Secretary to be a short story; however, he couldn't stop writing. The result is a fleet-footed, atmospherically gothic, and often amusing Holmes tale (with an exposition scene in Watson's bed chamber that’s truly priceless), but one that makes scant attempt to enhance our understanding of Conan Doyle's characters--a less ambitious undertaking, in that respect, than Mitch Cullin's concurrently published A Slight Trick of the Mind. And while Carr displays a gift here for adopting another author's literary techniques, it is really his own style and series players that his fans are waiting to see more of in the future. --J. Kingston Pierce
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Store Description: Modern Rare is exclusively an online bookstore. Our physical address is 124 N. California Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60612, U.S.A. The main contact person is Salvador L. Cortes. He can be reached at 312-376-5000 during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Chicago/Midwestern Standard Time. Email is usually the best way to reach us: email@example.com We will respond to your email query within 24 hours. We are exclusively an online bookstore because we believe this is the best way to satisfy our customers' expectations. Unlike an open bookstore, where books are routinely handled and may deteriorate, we guarantee the condition of our books as described. We specialize in modern firsts, photography, the arts, and erotica. You will also find a fine selection of signed copies, Limited Editions, and memorabilia because our ultimate goal is to deepen the pleasure of collecting books. We carry titles that we ourselves like and believe in -- books that we think will excite, enchant, and endure. Please note: Payment needs to be made directly through ABEBooks. If you wish to make any other payment arrangement, please get in touch with us before placing your order. Thank you and happy collecting!