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Arthur Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh into a prosperous Irish family. He trained as a doctor, gaining his degree from Edinburgh University in 1881. He worked as a surgeon on a whaling boat and also as a medical officer on a steamer travelling between Liverpool and West Africa. He then settled in Portsmouth on the English south coast and divided his time between medicine and writing. Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in A Study of Scarlet, published in 'Beeton's Christmas Annual' in 1887. Its success encouraged Conan Doyle to write more stories involving Holmes but, in 1893, Conan Doyle killed off Holmes, hoping to concentrate on more serious writing. A public outcry later made him resurrect Holmes. In addition, Conan Doyle wrote a number of other novels, including The Lost World and various non-fictional works. These included a pamphlet justifying Britain's involvement in the Boer War, for which he was knighted and histories of the Boer War and World War One, in which his son, brother and two of his nephews were killed. Conan Doyle also twice ran unsuccessfully for parliament. In later life he became very interested in spiritualism. Conan Doyle died of a heart attack on 7 July 1930.
This is the first story Conan Doyle wrote about his famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. In this short novel, Dr. Watson is presented to Holmes as a potential Baker Street roommate. Holmes utters the immortal line, "You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive," and the adventures begin. A Study in Scarlet introduces and fleshes out the characters of Holmes and Watson, while initiating readers to the world's first consulting detective. Valuable to Sherlockians as the beginning of an ageless saga, this novel is also an interesting mystery. It allows Holmes a chance to outwit Scotland Yard, and readers get to see how he resolves the mysterious murder at Lauriston Gardens. Frederick Davidson gives a correctly British narration to this Baker Street adventure. Sure to be a hit with mystery readers; recommended for all public libraries.--Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"[Holmes] is probably the only literary creation since the creations of Dickens which has really passed into the life and language of the people."--G. K. Chesterton