The World Of Sherlock Holmes: The Facts And Figures Behind The World’s Greatest Detective by Martin Fido (book review).

July 12, 2018 | By | Reply More

‘The World Of Sherlock Holmes’, a production from the Sherlock Holmes Museum is written by Martin Fido and was first issued in 2015. It’s an interesting and nicely presented examination of both Arthur Conan Doyle’s immortal detective and the world he helped create. Illustrations and photographs illuminate the text which is clearly laid out in a large softback. The story is almost right up to date with every TV and film adaptation mentioned.

Opening with the chronologies of both Sherlock and Conan Doyle from which we can see how far apart they really were. The cool, appraising, asexual Holmes provides a stark contrast to the full-blooded and life-loving Doyle. Both are explored with potted biographies showing a great deal of research and thought that manages to sit lightly and is enjoyable to read. There’s enough detail but not too much. You could read it in one go or savour it as a coffee table browser.

Middle chapters concentrate on influences and inspirations of. Conan Doyle. ‘Detectives And Criminals’ looks at a real life Moriarty and how Pinkerton preceded Holmes in forensic detection.

The book isn’t long enough to cover comprehensively the swathes of fiction and non-fiction that have variously used, represented or used Holmes as an archetype. ‘Crime Fiction’ covers before and after and may lead the reader into further study.

‘The Immortal Reputation’ looks at the life of the character outside of the books including, of course, the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street which certainly looks like it would be worth a visit when in London.

What I like about this book is that Martin Fido offers his own opinions throughout so this is not a bland regurgitation of facts. Overall, it’s enjoyable, highly readable and may inspire readers to pursue further exploration into Conan Doyle and his creation.

Sue Davies

July 2018

(pub: Carlton Books. 224 page softback. Price: £13.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78739-136-9)

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Category: Books, Cri-Fi

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