Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. After a rigorous Jesuit education, at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, he trained to be a doctor at Edinburgh University. Eventually he set up in medical practice in Southsea and, during the quiet periods between patients, he turned his hand to writing. Although Sherlock Holmes was Doyle's greatest creation, he believed his historical novels such as Micah Clarke and The White Company were of greater literary quality. He also created the irascible Professor Challenger in The Lost World and the comic French soldier Brigadier Gerard who appeared in a series of short stories. Doyle was knighted in 1902. Towards the end of his life he devoted much of his time to his belief in Spiritualism, using his writings as a means of providing funds to support his activities in this field. He died in 1930.
In 1989 the BBC began an unprecedented project to dramatize all 60 of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories (e.g., The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Audio Reviews, LJ 2/15/98). From the first, which was performed in 1989, to the final one, presented last summer, Clive Merrison has been the voice of Holmes and Michael Williams has been his trusty Watson. The four stories in this audiobook reflect a different atmosphere from the 1895 vintage Holmes Sherlockians cherish, but they still record the cases of that brilliant and eccentric detective. These BBC programs will show listeners just how well mystery can be performed as Holmes and Watson undertake the case of "The Three Garridebs," "The Problem of Thor Bridge," and "The Creeping Man." The true gem of this collection, however, is the case in which Holmes must confront "The Sussex Vampire." Superb!ÄTheresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville