Holmes Entangled

The Final Endeavor of Sherlock Holmes

Gordon McAlpine
  • 215 pp
  • ISBN 978-1-63388-207-2
  • Paperback
  • $13.95
  • March 2018

Also available in ebook format United States & Canada Rights

Sherlock Holmes, now in his seventies, retired from investigations and peaceably disguised as a professor at Cambridge, is shaken when a modestly successful author in his late-sixties named Arthur Conan Doyle calls upon him at the university.

This Conan Doyle, notable for historical adventure stories, science fiction, and a three-volume history of the Boer War (but no detective tales), somehow knows of the false professor’s true identity and pleads for investigative assistance. Someone is trying to kill Conan Doyle. Who? Why? Good questions, but what intrigues Holmes most is how the “middling scribbler” ascertained Holmes’s identity in the first place, despite the detective’s perfect disguise. Holmes takes the case.

There is danger every step of the way. Great powers want the investigation quashed. But with the assistance of Dr. Watson’s widow, Holmes persists, exploring séances, the esoterica of Edgar Allan Poe, the revolutionary new science of quantum mechanics, and his own long-denied sense of loss and solitude.

Ultimately, even Sherlock Holmes is unprepared for what the evidence suggests.

“Sherlock Holmes is not who you think he is. In this brilliant imagining by Gordon McAlpine, Holmes must battle for his very existence, with the world as we know it at stake. Prepare to have your mind blown!”
—Leslie S. Klinger, editor of the Edgar® Award-winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes

“Holmes Entangled is a joy to read from start to finish. Gordon McAlpine has crafted a thrilling, believable rendering of our beloved detective in his twilight years. I can’t recommend this novel enough.”
—Mitch Cullin, author of A Slight Trick of the Mind, the basis for the film Mr. Holmes


“A brilliantly structured labyrinth of a novel—something of an enigma wrapped in a mystery, postmodernist in its experimental bravado and yet satisfyingly well-grounded in the Los Angeles of its World War II era. Gordon McAlpine has imagined a totally unique work of ’mystery’ fiction—one that Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov, as well as Dashiell Hammett, would have appreciated.”

“McAlpine’s creative talent is rare and this novel is an exceptional literary treat.”
—Shelf Awareness STARRED review

“A masterpiece of metafiction….I don’t know the last time I read a book that made me think that much AND had that good of an ending.”
—MysteryPeople PICK OF THE MONTH

“A masterly critique of the mystery novel…McAlpine’s greatest accomplishment is that the book works both as a conventional mystery story and as a deconstruction of the genre’s ideology: whichever strand readers latch on to, the parallel stories pack a brutal punch.”
—Publishers Weekly STARRED review

“Not like any other murder mystery now in print…. Intricate. Unique…a definite work of art.”
—Suspense Magazine

“Hard-boiled fiction fans could use more books like [McAlpine’s]: novels that work on multiple levels, and take the genre to such strange and fascinating places.”
—Paste Magazine


“A refreshing, brisk, yet fully and brilliantly realized work…that is nearly perfect and manages to pay homage to Hammett’s celebrated work, while still being an incredibly engaging read for the uninitiated…. [An] inspired tale that delivers as expertly drawn meta-fiction and a compelling mystery.”
—Reviewing the Evidence

“This mash-up of biography and mystery novel is fascinating…. An engaging, highly imaginative book.”
—Mystery Scene

Gordon McAlpine is the author of Woman with a Blue Pencil and Hammett Unwritten and numerous other novels, as well as a middle-grade trilogy, The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe. Additionally, he is coauthor of the nonfiction book The Way of Baseball, Finding Stillness at 95 MPH. He has taught creative writing and literature at U.C. Irvine, U.C.L.A., and Chapman University. He lives with his wife Julie in Southern California.

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