Paris, 1893: On a bridge above the Seine, two figures, each bent on suicide, unexpectedly encounter one another. One is the great American novelist Henry James, whose personal and professional fortunes have dramatically declined. The other is Sherlock Holmes, who has an unusual reason for wanting to die. He has come to believe that he may not be real, that he may just be some “scribbler’s” fictional creation. This chance encounter at a vulnerable moment will have enormous ramifications for both men.
Abandoning thoughts of suicide, the two make their way to America, where the fastidious James finds himself caught up in a violent, frequently lethal world he could never have imagined. A pair of interconnected investigations dominates that world. The first concerns the supposed suicide of Clover Adams, wife of historian Henry Adams and member of an elite social circle called The Five Hearts. The second involves a vast, overarching conspiracy which, if successful, will affect the fates of entire nations. For both Holmes and his unlikely partner, the path to personal redemption leads through these two very different mysteries.
Seamlessly combining melodrama and metaphysical speculation with a brilliantly detailed portrait of Gilded Age America, The Fifth Heart is something truly special: a novel of depth and character that is also a world-class entertainment. Colorful, gripping, and ultimately quite moving, it is a formidable addition to a unique—and irreplaceable—body of work.
Limited: 500 signed numbered oversize copies, housed in a custom slipcase
Lettered: 26 signed deluxe bound copies, housed in a custom traycase
From Publishers Weekly (Starred Review):
“In Paris in 1893, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James join forces in this outstanding novel from Simmons, who has concocted something far from the usual pastiche, with a historical figure standing in for Dr. Watson… Simmons (Drood) knows the Holmes canon and uses that expertise in the service of a highly original reimagining of the beloved sleuth.”
From Booklist (Starred Review):
“Like several of Simmons' earlier novels, including The Abominable (2013) and Drood (2009), his latest is a riveting mixture of historical fact and fiction. The year is 1893. Henry James and Sherlock Holmes travel together to America to solve the mystery surrounding the death of socialite Clover Adams (whom, some say, James would later use as his inspiration for his novels Daisy Miller and The Portrait of a Lady). But the book isn't just for Holmes' fans—it's a solidly constructed, beautifully told mystery; a portrait of one of the nineteenth century's most important writers; and an intriguing blend of fact and fantasy.”
- Dan Simmons
- 507 pages
- United States