Beyond the Book: Background information when reading A Slight Trick of The Mind

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Slight Trick of The Mind

by Mitch Cullin

A Slight Trick of The Mind by Mitch Cullin X
A Slight Trick of The Mind by Mitch Cullin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 272 pages
    May 2006, 272 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 60 stories about Sherlock Holmes between 1887 and 1927. Since Doyle's time, many authors have been inspired to write further stories about Holmes. In recent years these have included Laurie R King (the Mary Russell novels), Michael Chabon (The Final Solution - which I found to be disappointing) and now Mitch Cullin.

The armonica - a musical instrument constructed of graduated glass bowls with holes and corks in the center - forms a central role in the case that Holmes relates. The armonica was invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761. He was inspired to create it having heard a concert played on wine glasses! For a time armonicas were all the rage, Marie Antoinette (who, incidentally, historians say never did utter the famous words, "let them eat cake") took lessons, and famous composers of the day, such as Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss, wrote music for it. In the mid 1800s it lost popularity and gradually vanished because people came to believe that armonicas drove performers mad and evoked the spirits of the dead. In 1982, the late master glass blower, Gerhard Finkenbeiner, of Massachusetts, revived the instrument.

Interesting Links
Play a virtual armonica at the Franklin institute and see a video clip of 'Franklin playing his glass armonica' (considering Franklin died 100 years before the invention of moving pictures I think it's safe to assume that this is not actually Franklin in person!)

Everything you could possibly want to know about Holmes at

The Sherlock Holmes museum at 221b Baker Street, London.

This article is from the May 22, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Anatomy of a Miracle
    by Jonathan Miles

    A stunning novel that offers an exploration of faith, science and the meaning of life.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.