The Maracot Deep by Arthur Conan Doyle (1927-9)

Following in the footsteps of Jules Vernes, and of his own Professor Challenger science adventure stories, in this short, late novel Conan Doyle recounts the tale of eminent marine scientist Dr Maracot, sensible leading man Cyrus Headley, and gung-ho American engineer Bill Scanlan, as they set sail for the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, […]

The short stories of Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) wrote some hundred and twenty short stories, excluding the 56 Sherlock Holmes stories and the 17 or so Brigadier Gerard stories. The excellent Société Sherlock Holmes de France website estimates the total number of all Conan Doyle’s fictions as 239, for he also wrote some 20 short novels. His first story was […]

Brigadier Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle

Killing Holmes Tired of making up clever puzzles for Sherlock Holmes to disentangle, at the end of the second dozen stories for the Strand magazine Conan Doyle introduced the completely new character of Professor  Moriarty. Hitherto unmentioned anywhere in the oeuvre, Moriarty was conjured out of thin air to provide Holmes with a worthy nemesis, with […]

Round the Red Lamp by Arthur Conan Doyle (1894)

Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Final Problem (December 1893). He continued knocking out short stories at a rate of about one a month until he had enough to collect in Round the Red Lamp, Being Facts and Fancies of Medical Life. The idea of writing a set of stories […]

Tales of Unease by Arthur Conan Doyle

Variety Conan Doyle packed an amazing variety of activities into one life (1859-1930): doctor, author, sea voyager, played cricket for the MCC, enlisted age 40 to serve in the Boer War, public campaigner against miscarriages of justice, bombarded the Ministry of Defence with technical and strategic innovations during the Boer War and Great War, and […]

Arthur Conan Doyle versus John le Carré

As I read through the Sherlock Holmes stories, I was struck by the bluff, hearty, unshakeable confidence of Conan Doyle’s narratorial voice. And, particularly when I read the espionage stories (Bruce-Partington, His Last Bow), I thought of his descendant John le Carré, whose voice, tone and milieu couldn’t be more different – a world of […]

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (1927)

This is the final collection of twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories, published in the trusty Strand Magazine between October 1921 and April 1927. Incredible that the character associated with London pea-soupers, hansom cabs, gas lamps and Jack the Ripper, should live on into the Jazz Age and see the publication of Ulysses and The Great Gatsby, the Russian […]

The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle (1915)

The Valley of Fear was serialised in the Strand Magazine between September 1914 and May 1915. Like the first two Holmes novellas it is divided into two parts: the first half is a murder mystery set in a quiet English country house; part two provides the backstory to the murder, which began 15 years earlier in […]

His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle (1917)

Unlike previous collections these aren’t twelve or 13 stories published in monthly instalments but a collection of just seven Sherlock Holmes stories published intermittently between September 1908 and December 1913, plus the one-off title story published in September 1917. Ie these were written by the successful and well-off author as and when he had an […]

The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (1905)

The return of Sherlock Holmes Having killed off Holmes in the 1893 story The Final Problem, Conan Doyle came under intense pressure from fans and publishers to revive him. Finally he did so in 1901-2 serial The Hound of the Baskervilles, though this was set before Holmes’ fictional demise and so doesn’t mention it. And […]