Cover Image: The Return of the Pharaoh

The Return of the Pharaoh

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Member Reviews

In this fourth of Nicholas Meyers' Sherlock Holmes pastiches, Watson learns his second wife has tuberculosis and he arranges to take her to stay at a sanitarium in Egypt. He hasn’t seen Holmes for some time and is surprised to meet the man in a Cairo bar...in disguise.  

Holmes has been tasked with finding an English duke whose usual winter archeological season in Egypt is not unfolding as it should. The Duke, you see, has not been seen in Egypt for nearly 3 months. Not since he left England at the usual time last fall. 
 
From the initial investigation through to the first foray into the desert, the story gets more steadily adventurous, very much in the spirit of Professor Challenger or the newer adventure of Indiana Jones, although neither Holmes nor Watson breaks character to the extent of carrying a bullwhip or engaging in bar brawls.

In the audiobook version, the vocal style for Dr. Watson, by David Robb (Downton Abbey) feels correct for the era - pre-WW1 – and the great detective's few pronouncements (Nicholas Meyer, the author) seem quite in keeping with the original. It is a combination that works marvelously well in audio. Both the print and the spoken versions deliver a narrative that has a freshness and immediacy nowadays lacking in the original Holmes stories. This Holmes story delivers a Watson whose essential humanness is easy to identify with.
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Do I recommend it….only if you’re a fan of classics. So this isn’t actually a classic but the writing style gave me classic vibes. I didn’t like it. Between Sherlock’s dry genius, Egyptian history and the footnotes it was too academic for me and I was bored. Watson is recalling this case and it felt like a really long diary entry leaving me really unengaged.
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Not all the new Sherlock Holmes work hits the mark but this one hits it out of the park! And the narrator is right on point.
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My grandfather got me The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, a 1974 Sherlock Holmes adventure by Nicholas Meyer when it first came out and I loved it. It is still on my bookshelf. The audible version of The Return of the Pharaoh, the newest in Nicholas Meyer's tribute to Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is truly excellent. I loved every minute of it. (Tiny spoiler: readers will be happy to learn that Watson has been given a new wife.) I enjoyed the narration of the U.S. newspaper editor (very infrequent) and David Robb, who has a beautiful voice and played the different roles with ease. It is no exaggeration to say I adored this novel. It was full of romantic adventure and intrigue, well narrated/acted, and replete with a rich vocabulary. My only quibble was the way an alleged "Egyptian character" pronounced the duhr prayer (David Robb, I gather). Since the story takes place in Egypt, people like me who love Arabia and Sherlock Holmes will be listening to this novel. It is a trifle to quibble about, but I wish the narrator had troubled to get that pronunciation correct.
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A funny Sherlock Holmes mystery. Personally, I didn't love the tone of the book, but it certainly draws the reader in. This book reads like one of the original Holmes books and I would recommend it to a fan of the genre.
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An intriguing new tale of Sherlock Holmes.

I am an avid Sherlock Holmes fan and have read and listened to all of the stories, so it was so wonderful to have a new addition. This was my first of Meyer’s Holmes tales and I am definitely interested in reading more. As a Sherlock Holmes super fan, I mean my 3 start review as a compliment — I definitely thought I would end up disliking it, but I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I highly recommend for anyone interested in Holmes, and I think fellow fans will also find it a worthwhile read.

There were definitely moments where I found myself lost in the story as if Arthur Conan Doyle wrote it himself, but overall, it was clearly written though a modern lens. The story was quite Watson-heavy, which gave him a much more active role. Counter to that, Holmes was not his usual, perfect, all-knowing self; this made him seem like a much more real-life detective and I missed Holmes’ magic. The story itself was interesting, though it would have made for a stronger short story or novella in my opinion — and perhaps it would have been more concise  if Holmes were sharper. 

David Robb’s narration was easy to listen to and he made for a superb Watson!

Thank you to MacMillan Audio and NeGalley for the ARC!
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*received for free from netgalley for honest review* 4.5 really lied this book! i will be reading the other books in this series! one of the better sherlock spin offs, really love the way its written!
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I enjoyed this adventure mystery story with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. 

Dr. John Watson and his wife are traveling to Egypt. So that his wife can receive treatment for her tuberculosis. While his wife is having treatment he go exploring and bumps into an old friend Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is disguised and is on a case. The case that Sherlock Holmes is on is the mystery of the disappearing English Duke. 

This was a fun mystery story to read or listen to. It had quite a bit of adventure and action throughout the story that keep my attention. 

I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley. This is my honest unbiased opinion.
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The Return of the Pharaoh by Nicholas Meyer
David Robb, Narrator
Part of the Sherlock Holmes Pastiche Series.
Thanks to Netgalley for the book and the audiobook. So this is my opinion for both.
This was very enjoyable for me because I love Sherlock Holmes and also the Egyptian setting of 1910. The author is a film writer and director and the book does have a somewhat cinematic quality. 
The narration was good. The only thing I disliked about the audiobook was the addition of footnotes which were an annoying interruption to the story for me. They were mostly unneeded for anyone who is a student of the Holmes canon or has an interest in Egypt or the history of the era. In the book they can be ignored but not with the audio.
I plan to go back and read earlier books in this series but this book could certainly be read as a standalone.
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The Return of the Pharaoh: From the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D. (audio)
by Nicholas Meyer
Narrated by David Robb; Nicholas Meyer
I liked the interrupted voice of the second reader when doing side notes or the acknowledgements and other mater of fact ideas at the end of the book. The reader had a great way of making it sound like you were listening to the thoughts of the characters rather than reading the script. 

I have read many newer versions of Sherlock Holmes, I find this very well written and close to the original. The aside notes previously complemented is closer to the original Doyle manuscripts. I liked how the book used those notations to show the truth or subdivisions within the story. The adventure and idea of Holmes being involved with the life and times of Egypt in the 18th century is very intriguing. The tones of the story more like the original manuscripts. The exploit of the story lines of the raiding and treasure gathering of the English gentry is a sad staple to the history of all countries, and continents exploited by the adventurous, ingenious, and exploitive nature of the empire. I found the mystery very well stated, and the process of the detective very nearly like the original. It was like their was another story that had just been found.
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Another fine entry in the pastiche of Arthur Conan Doyle. Watson is Eygpt bound in 1910 seeking warmer, dryer air in hopes of curing his wife of tuberculosis. While Juliet is undergoing treatment Watson bumps into Holmes undercover on a case seeking a missing Egyptologist. Finding that their clients husband isn’t the first Egyptologist to go missing or be killed Holmes and Watson find themselves drawn into an intriguing case. Given ARC copies of the audio book and ebook from the publisher through Netgalley I found myself returning to the audio book more than the ebook. David Robb with occasional footnotes from author Nicholas Meyer nails Watson’s voice.
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What an enjoyable audiobook! We all know and love Sherlock Holmes, and even if the author is not Conan Doyle, he doesn’t pretend to be. Meyer gives the story his own spin, while staying true to the legendary characters. Watson is just perfectly insecure, but still has flashes of brilliance and I found Holmes to be a little more relatable than the original version. The story takes readers to an exotic setting, with the Pyramids as a background. The plot involves elements that could be supernatural but that Holmes approaches with his inescapable logic. Meyer narrates the notes in the audiobook, but the performance by David Robb is fantastic. Let’s face it, we all have a version of Holmes and Watson living in our heads and Robb fit very well with my image without imitating previous versions. The ending felt a little rush but that is often the case with the original stories so I didn’t hold it against this excellent novel. 
I chose to listen to this audiobook and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/#Macmillan Audio!
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