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Located by a computer in the bowels of a major university, this missing manuscript by Dr. John Watson, the biographer of Sherlock Holmes, reveals for the first time a hitherto unknown episode in the life of the Great Detective. The year is 1891, Paris is the capital of the western world, and its opera house is full of surprises. First and by no means the least is the sudden Located by a computer in the bowels of a major university, this missing manuscript by Dr. John Watson, the biographer of Sherlock Holmes, reveals for the first time a hitherto unknown episode in the life of the Great Detective. The year is 1891, Paris is the capital of the western world, and its opera house is full of surprises. First and by no means the least is the sudden reappearance of the great love of Holmes's life, an accomplished singer from Hoboken, New Jersey. Second is the series of seemingly bizarre accidents -- each more sinister than the last -- allegedly arranged by the "Opera Ghost", an opponent who goes by many names and is more than equal to Holmes. Alone in a strange and spectacular city, with none of his resources, Holmes is commissioned to protect a vulnerable young soprano, whose beautiful voice obsesses a creature no one believes is real, but whose jealousy is lethal. In this dazzling, long-awaited sequel to The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, the detective pits wits against a musical maniac, and we are treated to an adventure unlike any other in the archives of Sherlock Holmes.


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Located by a computer in the bowels of a major university, this missing manuscript by Dr. John Watson, the biographer of Sherlock Holmes, reveals for the first time a hitherto unknown episode in the life of the Great Detective. The year is 1891, Paris is the capital of the western world, and its opera house is full of surprises. First and by no means the least is the sudden Located by a computer in the bowels of a major university, this missing manuscript by Dr. John Watson, the biographer of Sherlock Holmes, reveals for the first time a hitherto unknown episode in the life of the Great Detective. The year is 1891, Paris is the capital of the western world, and its opera house is full of surprises. First and by no means the least is the sudden reappearance of the great love of Holmes's life, an accomplished singer from Hoboken, New Jersey. Second is the series of seemingly bizarre accidents -- each more sinister than the last -- allegedly arranged by the "Opera Ghost", an opponent who goes by many names and is more than equal to Holmes. Alone in a strange and spectacular city, with none of his resources, Holmes is commissioned to protect a vulnerable young soprano, whose beautiful voice obsesses a creature no one believes is real, but whose jealousy is lethal. In this dazzling, long-awaited sequel to The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, the detective pits wits against a musical maniac, and we are treated to an adventure unlike any other in the archives of Sherlock Holmes.

30 review for The Canary Trainer: From the Memoirs of John H. Watson, M.D.

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amy Sturgis

    There is much to commend this Sherlock Holmes-meets-the-Phantom-of-the-Opera tale: the descriptions of Paris and especially the Opera Populaire and its many subterranean levels are fascinating and atmospheric; the unexpected appearance of Irene Adler (not particularly a favorite of mine) and her relationship with Sherlock Holmes make sense and provide interesting insights; and the Gothic flavor of the work is wonderful. Nicholas Meyer knows The Phantom of the Opera as well as he knows the canon There is much to commend this Sherlock Holmes-meets-the-Phantom-of-the-Opera tale: the descriptions of Paris and especially the Opera Populaire and its many subterranean levels are fascinating and atmospheric; the unexpected appearance of Irene Adler (not particularly a favorite of mine) and her relationship with Sherlock Holmes make sense and provide interesting insights; and the Gothic flavor of the work is wonderful. Nicholas Meyer knows The Phantom of the Opera as well as he knows the canon of Sherlock Holmes (which is impressive), and his love for the story shines through the text -- as do his loyalties (Raoul, Viscount of Chagny, is even more of a wimp than his detractors would make him). Unfortunately, the novel's strength, its use of The Phantom of the Opera, is also its weakness. If you know Gaston Leroux's work, you know most of what happens in this novel; Sherlock Holmes's point of view does not provide sufficient contrast to create a different "spin" on the original. Also, the lack of John Watson is keenly felt. As with Arthur Conan Doyle's work, a tale told by Holmes does not compare with a tale told by Watson. (At places, Holmes seems almost to bend out of character to fill the void of emotion and empathy usually supplied by Watson's narration.) It provides an intriguing fill for the "hiatus" years in Doyle's canon, and it's worth reading, but it's my least favorite of Meyer's three Holmes pastiches.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    Sherlock Holmes meets the Phantom of the Opera! Nicholas Meyer does another convincing job of interweaving Holmes' world with either real-life, or in this case, other well known fictional characters, into one seamless story. I have never particularly been interested in fanfic, but this series is successful because it doesn't attempt to re-write what people love about his character. Sherlock Holmes meets the Phantom of the Opera! Nicholas Meyer does another convincing job of interweaving Holmes' world with either real-life, or in this case, other well known fictional characters, into one seamless story. I have never particularly been interested in fanfic, but this series is successful because it doesn't attempt to re-write what people love about his character.

  3. 5 out of 5

    We Are All Mad Here

    Holmes without Watson deduces very little. This is how I would sum up The Canary Trainer. Another 'lost' Dr Watson manuscript, this one apparently dictated to the doctor by his friend Holmes. A ghost in an opera house who is also a music teacher and demands a monthly stipend. A number of characters who existed for no reason whatsoever and only served to confuse me. The most unlikely resolution imaginable, and most questions left unanswered. A quick but frustrating read. Holmes without Watson deduces very little. This is how I would sum up The Canary Trainer. Another 'lost' Dr Watson manuscript, this one apparently dictated to the doctor by his friend Holmes. A ghost in an opera house who is also a music teacher and demands a monthly stipend. A number of characters who existed for no reason whatsoever and only served to confuse me. The most unlikely resolution imaginable, and most questions left unanswered. A quick but frustrating read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Nicholas Meyer did it again. After the very good “Seven per cent solution”, Meyer gives us another worthy pastiche (I know, it was published almost 20 years ago, but this is a real findfor me). This time, it is Holmes who narrates a much curious case: that of the Phantom of the Opera. How Holmes became involved on this is handled very ingeniously and the best part is that you do not need to read “Seven per cent solution” to catch up. After he is presumed dead, Holmes finds a job doing the second Nicholas Meyer did it again. After the very good “Seven per cent solution”, Meyer gives us another worthy pastiche (I know, it was published almost 20 years ago, but this is a real findfor me). This time, it is Holmes who narrates a much curious case: that of the Phantom of the Opera. How Holmes became involved on this is handled very ingeniously and the best part is that you do not need to read “Seven per cent solution” to catch up. After he is presumed dead, Holmes finds a job doing the second best thing he does: playing the violin -at the Garnier Opera, no less-. Everything runs smoothly until Irene Adler, “the woman” suddenly gets to replace an ailing diva. Being the smart woman she is, Irene spots Holmes right away. In a move that can be described more or less as blackmailing, the woman gets a reluctant Holmes to follow the Phantom’s track in order to protect Irene’s colleague and friend, Christine Daee. I’m not much of a “Phantom of the Opera” buff though I’m familiar with the basic outline therefore I’m judging this book only as Holmes fan. As an opera conscious fan, I also have to note that Meyers is well informed and throws his opera references very cleverly (I only caught a small mistake). It is remarkable how Meyers gets a veritable version of Holmes “voice”. We can suspend disbelief and take it as penned by ACD. Yes, Holmes narration is problematic; it is not as interesting as Watson. It is not Meyer’s blunder; it is intentional and capital for the story because there is no way Watson could have witnessed these events and another narrator does not necessarily work (I am talking to you, Sam Siciliano). Holmes narration works because it is very much what we can expect from Holmes: cold, undetached and lacking the surprise factor(we already know the outcome anyway) his work produces in less brighter people –Watson and thus ourselves-. Some reviewers have mentioned their disappointment on Holmes’s behavior. He seems erratic, less confident and at times, plainly foolish. But it does make complete sense. Whether you choose to follow the “Seven percent solution” trail of a recovering drug addicted or simply take Holmes’s word that he felt like he was “on vacation”, our detective is below his usual level. Then remember this is Holmes telling us the events; maybe an observer like Watson would think some actions are a clear product of his intelligence but not Holmes; he is way too critical of himself. My only complain? I was dying to get more of the Holmes/Irene Adler thread! Meyers is subtle but very effective on his characterization of “the woman” and his influence on Holmes. Get to the final page and tell me if you wouldn’t like more Holmesiana from Meyers!

  5. 4 out of 5

    LGandT

    Didn't like the way Erik was portrayed. I understand this was more a Sherlock story, but with that portrayal and the changing of a few other characters from POTO, I just can't get into it. Also with a small jab at the end of Leroux's work.............its on my "Trade Only" list as opposed to the "Buy" list. It was an OK read, much more Sherlock and Watson, their portrayal was spot on. Plenty of great atmosphere and gothic/Victorian/Paris feel. Great for Sherlock fans not so much for Phantom fans. Didn't like the way Erik was portrayed. I understand this was more a Sherlock story, but with that portrayal and the changing of a few other characters from POTO, I just can't get into it. Also with a small jab at the end of Leroux's work.............its on my "Trade Only" list as opposed to the "Buy" list. It was an OK read, much more Sherlock and Watson, their portrayal was spot on. Plenty of great atmosphere and gothic/Victorian/Paris feel. Great for Sherlock fans not so much for Phantom fans. For both like me, not so good. Much prefer Angel Of The Opera.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Didn’t enjoy this nearly as much as Meyer’s previous Holmes adventure, The Seven Per-Cent Solution, but this novel had its moments.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alice Olivia Scarlett

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was hoping that this would be just as good as Meyer's The Seven Per-Cent Solution, but sadly it's not of the same quality. I like the idea of a Phantom/Holmes story, and I enjoyed the little editorial notes, similar to those in The Princess Bride, as well as the crossover with other literary and historical figures, similar to that in Kim Newman's Anno Dracula. One of the difficulties comes from the novel being narrated by Holmes himself, whose voice is more difficult to replicate that Watson's I was hoping that this would be just as good as Meyer's The Seven Per-Cent Solution, but sadly it's not of the same quality. I like the idea of a Phantom/Holmes story, and I enjoyed the little editorial notes, similar to those in The Princess Bride, as well as the crossover with other literary and historical figures, similar to that in Kim Newman's Anno Dracula. One of the difficulties comes from the novel being narrated by Holmes himself, whose voice is more difficult to replicate that Watson's. Holmes' deductions and genius are shown off to better effect when they are seen by an outsider, and Holmes works better from a distance than up close. Consequently, this version of Holmes was not very convincing. There was maybe one instance of Holmes' lightning observation-deduction, and for the rest of the time, he bumbled along in a very amateurish fashion, allowing his emotions to take control, letting himself be manipulated, seemingly not caring about staying incognito, providing very thin cover stories, and only realising afterwards that he went about a particular part of the investigation all wrong. The plot itself didn't amount to much, just the basic Phantom story, and the ending felt rather rushed, and the finale very contrived. I also didn't see any particular reason for Irene Adler's brief appearance, or for Holmes' inclusion in the story at all--he didn't bring anything particularly new to the Phantom story, and the happy ending would probably have happened without him. I fail to see why Meyer chose such a deliberately misleading title; surely referencing the Phantom in the title would give people a better idea of what the book is actually about, not give hopeful readers ideas about Wilson, the canary trainer mentioned in Black Peter. I suppose it wasn't a terrible book, because it was quite enjoyable, but I was expecting something as good as The Seven Per-Cent Solution, and it really wasn't.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Burrows

    I loved Nicholas Meyer’s ‘The West End Horror’, so after finishing that book, I was pretty excited to read this one. I’m also a fan of The Phantom of the Opera, so I went into this with much enthusiasm, which to my disappointment, was a mistake. The story is narrated by Holmes, which I wasn’t a fan of, it really makes the story feel a bit strange and not very Doyle-esque. Moving on, the story is pretty slow in the beginning, it starts to really pick up near the middle (which was the best part of I loved Nicholas Meyer’s ‘The West End Horror’, so after finishing that book, I was pretty excited to read this one. I’m also a fan of The Phantom of the Opera, so I went into this with much enthusiasm, which to my disappointment, was a mistake. The story is narrated by Holmes, which I wasn’t a fan of, it really makes the story feel a bit strange and not very Doyle-esque. Moving on, the story is pretty slow in the beginning, it starts to really pick up near the middle (which was the best part of the book), but unfortunately the story comes to a very quick and melodramatic end. There was no true motive for the Angel, it really didn’t explain much about him and any questions you’ll end up having are left completely unanswered. Other characters Sherlock meets throughout the adventure are forgettable, including one of the main characters Christine Daae. Her character is written like she is in a perpetual daze. On to more positive aspects, the author did much research into French society of the 19th century and there are some rather intriguing and dark parts in the story. He captures an unsettling atmosphere pretty solidly (as he also did in the previous book). In addition, the story does a splendid job going into much detail into the surroundings and depicts the passageways of the theatre quite well. Overall, I can really only recommend this to those who are big fans of Holmes. Just keep in mind the ending is quite a letdown and the story lacks a fully fleshed out villain. If you can get past this, you’re in for a fairly interesting story that does have its moments of enjoyment.

  9. 4 out of 5

    DoS

    I have to admit, everything that is about the beloved Phantom of the Opera catches my eye, my mind. I bought this book at the end of August, on a whim, right before leaving for my vacation. I just thought Sherlock and the Opera Ghost? That should be interesting. I am familiar with Sherlock Holmes stories but I had never read any of the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle before. What I found a bit awkward at first was to get into the skin of Sherlock, get used to his personality, how he spe I have to admit, everything that is about the beloved Phantom of the Opera catches my eye, my mind. I bought this book at the end of August, on a whim, right before leaving for my vacation. I just thought Sherlock and the Opera Ghost? That should be interesting. I am familiar with Sherlock Holmes stories but I had never read any of the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle before. What I found a bit awkward at first was to get into the skin of Sherlock, get used to his personality, how he speaks and moves, etc. Once this was done, the rest was a piece of cake. This story is a retelling of Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera. Rather than be focused on the love triangle that constitutes the original novel, we experience the story through Holmes eyes. One thing that bothered me was the past of the Opera Ghost. He doesn't have the same name, gets himself called Nobody. I find it hard to find sympathy for him as we see so little of him. Christine is still a little girl. Raoul, we do not get to know him this much. Nevetheless, it was an easy read, interesting, captivating. Would definitely read it again and read more of Meyer and also Doyle's stories.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Canary Trainer is my least favorite of the Nicholas Myer Holmes pastiches. I didn't find it all that interesting, perhaps because I've already read The Phantom of the Opera, which this book borrows from liberally, a bazillion times and it's a much better book than this one to begin with. Holmes and the POTO just aren't a great mix. I also prefer stories where Holmes and Watson are working together, and in this one Watson was left out of the main story entirely. The book as a whole was someth The Canary Trainer is my least favorite of the Nicholas Myer Holmes pastiches. I didn't find it all that interesting, perhaps because I've already read The Phantom of the Opera, which this book borrows from liberally, a bazillion times and it's a much better book than this one to begin with. Holmes and the POTO just aren't a great mix. I also prefer stories where Holmes and Watson are working together, and in this one Watson was left out of the main story entirely. The book as a whole was something of a let down. I mean, Holmes didn't even really solve the mystery, did he? He admits at the end that it seems that he was wrong as to the culprit's identity, and there are several questions Watson raises that are left unanswered. Seemed a bit lazy. It was fun reading through all of Meyer's pastiches, but if I ever do a reread of them, I'll leave this one out.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Erth

    now i am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. i was hooked after the first page. The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real. i would highly recommend this author and this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amy Craddock

    Totally amazing nd Holmes is so well-written that he's beliveable. Everything by Mayer is, in my opinion, amazing... Totally amazing nd Holmes is so well-written that he's beliveable. Everything by Mayer is, in my opinion, amazing...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This book was on my to-read list as soon as I heard of it—several years before I knew Meyer had in fact written a whole series of Sherlock Holmes books—because it combines two of my favorite pieces of fiction, Sherlock Holmes and the Phantom of the Opera. After reading Meyer’s two earlier books a few years ago and rereading THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA for the third or fourth time earlier this month, I was even more excited. However, I think my opinion of this book suffered a lot from my being too fa This book was on my to-read list as soon as I heard of it—several years before I knew Meyer had in fact written a whole series of Sherlock Holmes books—because it combines two of my favorite pieces of fiction, Sherlock Holmes and the Phantom of the Opera. After reading Meyer’s two earlier books a few years ago and rereading THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA for the third or fourth time earlier this month, I was even more excited. However, I think my opinion of this book suffered a lot from my being too familiar with and too attached to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. I already had a sense of how faithful to the Sherlock Holmes stories Meyer had been in his previous books, and already appreciated his style of approaching them. But I didn’t know what to expect from him in his treatment of PHANTOM, and especially since I had just read it, I really noticed every departure Some make sense from a story perspective (combining some characters or omitting plot points), but others just felt capricious or lazy, especially because of how closely he stuck to the original novel (as opposed to other adaptations) in most other respects. This was most obvious in the characterization of Raoul & Christina’s relationship, but I had some pretty major issues also with the depiction of the Phantom, who comes off as flat and not nearly scary or mysterious enough. This partly comes, I think, from Meyer’s choice to have Holmes rather than Watson narrate the story (Watson narrated the previous two books). Holmes witnesses too little o what the Phantom (instead of calling him Erik, Meyer has him go by the English word “Nobody,” which adds needless passages about confusion, as of all the characters only Holmes speaks English, and this all for the questionable payoff of Holmes being able to make a lot of Odyssey references that feel out of place) does, and his hyper-rational mind is too quick to try to explain away what he does witness or learn, even when his explanations turn out to be wrong. I think having Watson’s credulity and excitability along on the case would have helped the Phantom keep more of his mystique. I also think Watson would have been more sympathetic to Christine and Raoul; Holmes is fairly patronizing and condescending towards both of them (Doyle’s Holmes might have been less than polite about clients to Watson, but he wasn’t as borderline-rude to them directly as Meyer’s version is to the two young lovers, which made it hard to feel invested in what happened to them. Making Holmes the narrator also results in a too-lengthy frame piece of Watson convincing Holmes to tell the story, which messes with the pace. There were elements of the book I did like, though. I really enjoyed the use Meyer makes of other characters and incidents from the Holmes stories, his incorporation of music (Holmes’ violin-playing is a pretty central plot point) and his incorporation of French history. He uses a lot of the same history Leroux did in crafting the original novel, but adds to and develops it in really interesting ways. The few original characters were also great, particularly the Watson surrogate (whose name I don’t know how to spell because I listened to an audiobook and French pronunciation is weird). So this was a good book, but unfortunately less than the sum of its parts. Format notes: listened to the Audible audiobook read by David Case. He did a pretty good job, but I really didn’t like the voices he picked for a few characters, particularly Christine and the Phantom (he made the Phantom sound mostly whiny instead of scary).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I'll always be grateful to Sherlock Holmes for helping me to keep my sanity. I used to read the Holmes cases by Conan Doyle on break while I was working in a ( now long-gone ) factory, as well as after work, as a great way to relax my mind. I was very much caught up in the crime mysteries and how Holmes always solved the crime, with the assistance of the faithful Dr. Watson. The setting of fog-shrouded late Victorian London certainly became a magical place to escape to in the company of Holmes I'll always be grateful to Sherlock Holmes for helping me to keep my sanity. I used to read the Holmes cases by Conan Doyle on break while I was working in a ( now long-gone ) factory, as well as after work, as a great way to relax my mind. I was very much caught up in the crime mysteries and how Holmes always solved the crime, with the assistance of the faithful Dr. Watson. The setting of fog-shrouded late Victorian London certainly became a magical place to escape to in the company of Holmes & Watson. Since then and after reading the Holmes canon, I've read a number of pastiches of the Holmes stories. Nicholas Meyer was perhaps the best at carrying on the history of the Great Detective, especially in "The Seven-Per-Solution" (1974) which also became an excellent film in 1976. There was also his "The West End Horror," published in 1976. Now, I have finally gotten around to reading this one by Meyer, published in 1993. This story is supposed to be from the memoirs of John Watson, MD, recently discovered, and about a secret episode in the life of Holmes. In 1891, the sleuth is in Paris. He gains a job as a violinist in the orchestra at the Paris Opera, which is a dream job for him, as he can concentrate on his violin playing. But I could see what's coming--the great Holmes having a run-in with the Phantom of the Opera. Holmes is at a disadvantage in this case as he is off his home turf of London and in unfamiliar surroundings. Fortunately, Holmes speaks fluent French...A good story, not up to the level of Meyer's earlier "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution" but I enjoyed it. More like ***1/2.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    When an author tells you from the start that the voice of a novel is going to be different, I find it unfair to criticize him when he's told you the truth. In this case, Meyer said that the voice of this novel would be different because it's basically a narration by Holmes of what was, at the time, a very old case that happened when Watson wasn't around. I can also see why Holmes wouldn't have related the story sooner, because a few of the events in it would have been embarrassing to him at the When an author tells you from the start that the voice of a novel is going to be different, I find it unfair to criticize him when he's told you the truth. In this case, Meyer said that the voice of this novel would be different because it's basically a narration by Holmes of what was, at the time, a very old case that happened when Watson wasn't around. I can also see why Holmes wouldn't have related the story sooner, because a few of the events in it would have been embarrassing to him at the time. That said, the mash-up with Phantom of the Opera was handled very well, especially the weird extra basements in the theater that could only exist in the Phantom of the Opera story. Making the author of that book into the orchestra leader was a clever little extra. I had failed to pick this book up when it came out, and only noticed it because of publicity about the new one. I could not give this novel a fifth star because there were, in fact, some plot flaws, including some things about the disguised identities that Holmes was using, and how his ill-thought-out cover story took so long to get caught. Still, the book was a fun one, enjoyable for fans of Holmes and Watson, but not as good as The Seven Percent Solution in terms of serious literature.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karyl

    Another great novel by Nicholas Meyer! Again, I have not read any of the original Sherlock Holmes novels, so I can’t speak as to how believable this novel is, but it’s a rollicking fun ride. I didn’t realize until I got quite a bit into it that it’s also a mash-up with the Phantom of the Opera, which I also haven’t read (though I saw a production of it at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, in 1997). This book picks up from the earlier The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, in which Watson and Dr Sigmun Another great novel by Nicholas Meyer! Again, I have not read any of the original Sherlock Holmes novels, so I can’t speak as to how believable this novel is, but it’s a rollicking fun ride. I didn’t realize until I got quite a bit into it that it’s also a mash-up with the Phantom of the Opera, which I also haven’t read (though I saw a production of it at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, in 1997). This book picks up from the earlier The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, in which Watson and Dr Sigmund Freud manage to help Holmes in kicking his addiction to cocaine. Now Holmes is in Paris, and while reports of his death are untrue, he decides to live as though they are, and he makes his living as a violinist at the Paris Opera House. And this is where the plot line of the Phantom of the Opera comes in. This is quite a fast read, which makes it a perfect palate cleanser between heavier novels. Plus this novel was published 20 years after the first, which meant the font was so much easier to read than in the previous book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    3.5 because it was entertaining enough. In The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist, Dr. Watson says (i.e. Conan Doyle writes) regarding which cases to share with his readers, "I shall, however, preserve my former rule, and give the preference to those cases which derive their interest not so much from the brutality of the crime as from the ingenuity and dramatic quality of the solution." What I have found all too often in these Holmes pastiches is far too little ingenuity and far too much brutalit 3.5 because it was entertaining enough. In The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist, Dr. Watson says (i.e. Conan Doyle writes) regarding which cases to share with his readers, "I shall, however, preserve my former rule, and give the preference to those cases which derive their interest not so much from the brutality of the crime as from the ingenuity and dramatic quality of the solution." What I have found all too often in these Holmes pastiches is far too little ingenuity and far too much brutality. This story is not as brutal as some, but it definitely doesn't showcase Holmes' ingenuity which I must attribute to the author lacking the ability to think up many ingenious observations or deductions for Holmes to make. Additionally, it was more a retelling of the Phantom of the Opera than a Holmes case. Fortunately, I have interest in that subject which is why it held my interest even as I cringed when this Holmes made errors that Conan Doyle's Holmes would never make, and especially when he seemed to show romantic feelings. This author also felt he needed to pad the story with a lot of info on 1890s Paris. Again, fortunately, I found that interesting enough although it took away from the flow of the story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    KaroLin (Fiktion fetzt)

    Nicholas Meyer's pastiches always sound like weird fan fiction - Sherlock Holmes meets Sigmund Freud, Sherlock Holmes meets Bram Stoker (or rather breaks in his flat) and in this case: Sherlock Holmes meets the Phantom of the Opera - but they always manage to make a great and authentic Sherlock Holmes adventure. The Canary Trainer is no exception to that. Meyer captures the spirit and essence of Doyles iconic stories perfectly while simultaneously peeking behind the facade of Sherlock Holmes and Nicholas Meyer's pastiches always sound like weird fan fiction - Sherlock Holmes meets Sigmund Freud, Sherlock Holmes meets Bram Stoker (or rather breaks in his flat) and in this case: Sherlock Holmes meets the Phantom of the Opera - but they always manage to make a great and authentic Sherlock Holmes adventure. The Canary Trainer is no exception to that. Meyer captures the spirit and essence of Doyles iconic stories perfectly while simultaneously peeking behind the facade of Sherlock Holmes and making him seem more human, giving the character more depth. In this case we see a Sherlock Holmes who does make mistakes - he errs repeatedly in this story. Which, if you ask me, is quite refreshing, because the Sherlock-Holmes-is-always-right-and-can-foresee-everything-theme does get a bit old sometimes. The end of the book is a little disappointing though, because there are some loose ends. The conclusion is not very satisfying. But I guess in this case 'the journey is the destination'.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Knowles

    Another Meyer mixed bag. I like the idea of Sherlock Holmes (view spoiler)[vs. the Phantom of the Opera (hide spoiler)] , but if you've read the original novel or seen any adaptations, this novel holds few surprises. So, much like The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, MD, there's no real mystery per se. However, much like Meyer himself, I enjoy the character, and I like Meyer's Holmesian voice. There are some great character moments(view spoiler)[, especially with Irene Adle Another Meyer mixed bag. I like the idea of Sherlock Holmes (view spoiler)[vs. the Phantom of the Opera (hide spoiler)] , but if you've read the original novel or seen any adaptations, this novel holds few surprises. So, much like The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, MD, there's no real mystery per se. However, much like Meyer himself, I enjoy the character, and I like Meyer's Holmesian voice. There are some great character moments(view spoiler)[, especially with Irene Adler who should have had a bigger role (hide spoiler)] . (view spoiler)[I also loved the Gaston Leroux stuff; it's just my sense of humor. (hide spoiler)] So, it won't do for mystery, but Meyer's Sherlock still provides fun.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Pitingolo

    Really wish I could do half stars here, would say 3.5. I enjoyed it, it was better than average but not stupendous. Perhaps part of it is due to my own preconceived notions of the fandoms involved and my inability to look at different interpretations. Then again, I prefer when stories stick to the source, meaning using Leroux's origins for Erik as opposed to an accident in midlife. However, the juxtaposition of the story with modern technology (the metro) was interesting as was the psychological Really wish I could do half stars here, would say 3.5. I enjoyed it, it was better than average but not stupendous. Perhaps part of it is due to my own preconceived notions of the fandoms involved and my inability to look at different interpretations. Then again, I prefer when stories stick to the source, meaning using Leroux's origins for Erik as opposed to an accident in midlife. However, the juxtaposition of the story with modern technology (the metro) was interesting as was the psychological aspects of the character and his breakdown in discerning his own humanity when the mask was removed. Interesting, though I preferred Angel of the Opera more, even though it was probably more flawed I'm a sucker for the Mary Sue happy ever after motif and since it was a pleasure read... more on that later.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    This was great fun, taking two of my favorite characters and putting them together. Meyer's eye for detail is tremendous in its impact here, lending the tale a good deal of verisimilitude. He also clearly knows Leroux's novel as well as he knows Holmes. Despite his several departures from the original story, Meyer includes a good amount of detail from the Phantom novel, some of which never appeared in other adaptations (the true target of the chandelier, for example.) All in all, this was a very This was great fun, taking two of my favorite characters and putting them together. Meyer's eye for detail is tremendous in its impact here, lending the tale a good deal of verisimilitude. He also clearly knows Leroux's novel as well as he knows Holmes. Despite his several departures from the original story, Meyer includes a good amount of detail from the Phantom novel, some of which never appeared in other adaptations (the true target of the chandelier, for example.) All in all, this was a very good read. It's ever so slightly marred by the relative lack of surprises and Holmes not being quite as good a narrator as Watson, but the overall book suffers little for them.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I was excited to learn that Nicholas Meyer had written a book that mashed Sherlock Holmes and The Phantom of the Opera together. I've long been a fan of Meyer's book The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and hoped he would do the story justice. And, for the most part, he did. Holmes was very Holmes-esque, I like that Irene Adler got to play a part that didn't involve her trying to seduce Holmes (because I'm tired of pastiches that use her that way), and I liked seeing the events of TPOTO from a different I was excited to learn that Nicholas Meyer had written a book that mashed Sherlock Holmes and The Phantom of the Opera together. I've long been a fan of Meyer's book The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and hoped he would do the story justice. And, for the most part, he did. Holmes was very Holmes-esque, I like that Irene Adler got to play a part that didn't involve her trying to seduce Holmes (because I'm tired of pastiches that use her that way), and I liked seeing the events of TPOTO from a different perspective.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ella Schilling

    A nice gothic-flavoured adventure. Not an epic, it was missing key character dynamics. But I enjoyed the suspense and the operatic imagery. The whole aesthetic is to die for. It ended too soon. (221 pages!) It was only a bit less triumphant than its prequel, "The Seven Per-Cent Solution". I sincerely look forward to reading Meyer's third instalment in the series, "The West End Horror." A nice gothic-flavoured adventure. Not an epic, it was missing key character dynamics. But I enjoyed the suspense and the operatic imagery. The whole aesthetic is to die for. It ended too soon. (221 pages!) It was only a bit less triumphant than its prequel, "The Seven Per-Cent Solution". I sincerely look forward to reading Meyer's third instalment in the series, "The West End Horror."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    The concept is intriguing, set in" Paris and using a "Phantum of the Opera" type plot. It moves a little slower than his other books. Still, it is a reasonably good story. I think if the author had enriched the language with more detail and more suspense, the story would have moved a little more smoothly. The concept is intriguing, set in" Paris and using a "Phantum of the Opera" type plot. It moves a little slower than his other books. Still, it is a reasonably good story. I think if the author had enriched the language with more detail and more suspense, the story would have moved a little more smoothly.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    This book got off to a slow start and I nearly gave up on it. If you stick with it until reaching the portion where Sherlock begins to describe his activities after The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, it becomes more interesting.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Probably closer to a 3 2/3 stars. It was fun but nothing exceptional and not as good as 7% Solution.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Richard-morrow

    Entertaining but hardly Meyer's best. A distant third behind THE SEVEN PERCENT SOLUTION and THE WEST END HORROR. Didn't give the "Ghost" (Phantom) much of a back story. Very two dimensional and predicable throughout. Entertaining but hardly Meyer's best. A distant third behind THE SEVEN PERCENT SOLUTION and THE WEST END HORROR. Didn't give the "Ghost" (Phantom) much of a back story. Very two dimensional and predicable throughout.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Hb, LIKE NEW CONDITION.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Smart. Clever, Well written. Intelligent. Love the perspective from Sherlock versus Watson. Worth the read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bob Box

    Read in 1994. Meyer explores Sherlock Holmes territory again.

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