Keith Staskiewicz
March 10, 2010 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Devil and Sherlock Holmes

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
David Grann
publisher
Doubleday
genre
Nonfiction, Essays

We gave it an A

This collection of David Grann’s nonfiction, much of it from The New Yorker, is by turns horrifying, hilarious, and outlandish. There’s the Holmesian case of a garroted Arthur Conan Doyle expert; a Frenchman in his 20s who cons an American family into thinking he is their missing teenage son; a 9/11 firefighter who cannot recall the attacks. In The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, these straightforward tales grip you as unrelentingly as the suckered appendages of the giant squid Grann attempts to track down in ”The Squid Hunter.” You might feel that some of the pieces skirt credibility, but remember, as Holmes himself once said, ”Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.” A

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