Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Scottish author, physician, and Spiritualism expert, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best remembered as the creator of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Although one might quibble over the true literary "genius" of these stories (and Conan Doyle certainly did his best to distance himself from his most famous creation in later life), the Sherlock Holmes books are yet another entry on the (I know--it's seemingly endless) "Wordcandy required reading for cultural literacy list".

Note: The character of Sherlock Holmes was partially inspired by Joseph Bell, Doyle's teacher at the University of Edinburgh (a man who was said to be able to diagnose patients simply through close observation) and partially by Eugène Francois Vidoq, a former criminal who became the first chief of the Sûreté.

Note 2: Conan Doyle twice interfered in criminal cases, successfully freeing two men from unjust imprisonment.

Note 3: In addition to his Spiritualist beliefs, Conan Doyle was interested in fairies and the occult, and published an article in support of the fairy "photographs" taken by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths.


Libraries or bookstores. You should be able to find plenty of inexpensive used copies, as well.

(Availability Note: While we here at Wordcandy always encourage you to buy books (in fact, buy them through us! We're a very worthy cause!) we understand that sometimes, alas, one is flat broke. If that's the case, you can read copies of some or all of this author's books at this fine site for FREE.)

Other Recommendations:
For a more character-driven look at the Sherlock Holmes stories, try the Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King

For straight-up mystery fans, try The Final Solution, by Michael Chabon

For those of us who like our mysteries with a twist of Victorian occultism, try The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins

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Posted by: Julia


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