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Conan Doyle, Detective: The True Crimes Investigated by the Creator of Sherlock Holmes Paperback – Bargain Price, November 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786718552
  • ASIN: B005Q821T4
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,232,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Costello (James Joyce), an Irish writer, presents a welcome study of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's active work as an amateur sleuth. Costello makes the intriguing (if not entirely convincing) claim that Doyle's brief status as the subject of a police inquiry into the death of a young man under his care (and under his roof) led to his interest in crime and eventually to the creation of the world's most famous fictional sleuth. The book's strengths lie in its wide scope, encompassing not only celebrated cases where Doyle undertook heroic efforts to clear innocents such as Oscar Slater and George Edalji but more obscure matters where local authorities around the world appealed to Sir Arthur for insight. However, in some instances, the treatment is superficial, as in the section on Jack the Ripper, where Costello lends credence to some widely discredited theories, and where Doyle's role was merely that of an armchair speculator. Still, this is likely to be the standard reference on the subject for now. (Dec. 1)
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About the Author

Peter Costello, author of the highly acclaimed Life of Joyce among other works, also contributed to a wide range of journals, among them the Dublin Sunday Independent and the Irish Literary Supplement.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charles J. Rector on January 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Peter Costello's Conan Doyle: Detective is one of the most fascinating true crime books published in the 21st Century. Like his fictional creation, Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a detective.

However, Doyle was strictly an amateur and many of his cases, such as that of Jack the Ripper, were approached as an armchair detective who based his theories more from newspaper accounts and gossip rather than from first hand investigation.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may have been a disappointment as a would be detective, but this absorbing, well written book is anything but a disappointment.

Most recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Brockert on January 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book. To think of the creator of Sherlock Holmes as a detective is not hard, but to find that he really was, and a bit successful at it, is shocking. Like in some detective stories, you find yourself wondering why you did not think of it before.
Mr. Costello does a very good job of investigating this aspect of Mr. Doyle. There are enough books about Sherlock Holmes and biographies of Mr. Doyle, so Mr. Costello does not rewrite the old stuff, though there is some, naturally, he does develop this part of Mr. Doyle's life very nicely. There is some original research and new, never published, information here. He mentions that he is surprised that others before him did not write of some of the things he has come across. It was there to be read. I liked the way Mr. Costello did not force issues that had little or no substance and did not try to invade the private lives of his children, where the facts are public he published them, where they were not he did without.
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