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Arthur & George tells the story of a world-famous, critically acclaimed novelist who delves into the minutiae of a criminal case in order to right a wrong, and it’s written by a world-famous, critically acclaimed novelist who delves into the minutiae of a criminal case to expose a historic wrong. “George” is George Edalji, son of an Indian immigrant, who is falsely accused of a heinous crime. “Arthur” is none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who sets out to pull a real-life Sherlock Holmes in order to clear George’s name and find the real killer. Through Julian Barnes’ empathetic pen, Sir Arthur and his hapless victim of injustice become our close friends. Doyle’s unfolding investigation—and the exorcism of the guilt he feels over loving a woman who is not his wife—keep the pages moving, but when Barnes breaks his pattern of frequently switching perspectives halfway through the book and sticks with George, he leaves us wondering if Arthur has been forgotten. The merit of this move is debatable: Though it locks us into the narrative a little more tightly, the change in form is jarring, and makes the form more noticeable than it should be. And Barnes sometimes gets bogged down in details that seem to exist only to showcase all the research he’s done. There’s no need to strut: The writing is consistently rich and original, with flashes of humor. Years of research or not, the work is a masterful achievement. Barnes speaks at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Ryan Grim)