The modern story concerns the death of a Sherlock scholar, Alex Cale. Alex has informed the Sherlockian world that he's found Arthur Conan Doyle's missing diary and will present it, and it's contents, at a convention. Inconveniently, he's murdered the day of his presentation and no diary is found in his possessions. Harold White, a newly inducted Baker Street Irregular, goes on a search to discover the murderer and the missing diary.
The historical story is that of the events in Doyle's missing diary. Doyle thinks he's finished writing Sherlock Holmes and is trying to write war stories and win...i was going to say a seat in Congress but i guess it was actually Parliament?..some sort of election anyway. When he gets a letter bomb he searches for the perpetrator with his friend Bram Stoker and is lead to investigate a series of murders of young suffragettes.
Here's the thing...i don't know that the whole is better than the sum of it's parts. I preferred the Doyle story over the modern one but felt the ending of that was a bit of a letdown. I liked Harold but felt his part of the story was just not enough of a story. The writing is solid and the historical parts felt very realistic. Overall, a 5. As this is Moore's first novel I will be on the lookout for more by him though.