With my usual way of backing into things, I've been reading some of Caleb Carr's work. I started with his recent Sherlock Holmes pastische, THE ITALIAN SECRETARY, which I confess I found disappointing. He does keep true to the characters of Holmes and Watson--which is far more than most Doyle imitators do--but Carr doesn't quite capture Doyle's style. But the story was a page turner, and many people had recommended Carr's novels to me, so I decided to give his mysteries featuring Laszlo Kreisler a try.
And I'm about through with THE ALIENIST, and I'm very impressed. I think the problem with THE ITALIAN SECRETARY is that Carr was attempting to subjugate his own style--which is pretty impressive--to Doyle's. Kreisler is an intriguing character, Carr's research into and descriptions of late Nineteenth Century New York City is extremely impressive, and the plot is enthralling. The story does involve graphic sexual violence against children, and an intense depiction of the New York underworld, but for those who find Goren a fascinating character, and detectives like Goren, Kreisler might be an intriguing character.