The Italian Secretary

  • by Caleb Carr
  • Narrated by Simon Prebble
  • 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The best-selling 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.


What the Critics Say

"The gloomy aura of Edinburgh, particularly the Gothic pile of Holyrood, is a perfect foil for a Victorian mystery." (Booklist)
"The novel captivates" (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A True Delight for the Holmes Enthusiast

Confession: I am a Holmes buff. I love reading and re-reading stories from the canon, and have many audiobooks of ACD's stories read aloud by the likes of Robert Hardy and Ben Kingsley. Caleb Carr has avoided all the pitfalls of those who would attempt to add to the Holmes lexicon. His characterizations ring true, the relationship of Holmes and Watson is authentic, and (dare I say it) he even elevates the genre with this addition. No review would be complete without mentioning the outstanding performance of the narrator. He moves between Holmes, Watson, Scottish lasses, and Punjabi grocers effortlessly. Outstanding production overall, and one that I intend to enjoy again several times.
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- Sagar


Simon Prebble is a fantastic narrator and Caleb Carr really does justice to Conan Doyle's characters. An excellent listen!
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- awgoodkitty

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-10-2005
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio