Allan Massie

Odd Cove

Conan Doyle: The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 433pp £20 order from our bookshop

Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters


HarperPress 720pp £25 order from our bookshop

Conan Doyle has not lacked for biographers. His life has been written by, among others, Hesketh Pearson, John Dickson Carr, Julian Symons, Owen Dudley Edwards and Michael Coren – evidence of the fascination he exerts. Now Andrew Lycett (author of lives of Ian Fleming, Rudyard Kipling and Dylan Thomas) comes up with a new one, and Jon Lellenberg, one of the compilers of A Life in Letters, himself published The Quest for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle twenty years ago. It may seem unlikely that there is anything new to be discovered about him, and indeed there is little that is novel in either of these books.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Stuck for a gift idea for Father's Day? Subscribe to Literary Review and get a FREE copy of 'An Impeccable Spy' –… ,
    • 'Gone. All gone. The ease, the pleasure, the effortless eloquence' From May 1995, Margaret Forster's withering rev… ,
    • RT : SO excited to tell you about this event! 😆 The amazing digital colourist, will be joining w… ,
    • 'Peters was unashamed and evidently unshamable, an impostor who wholly inhabited his fabrications and who indignant… ,
    • ‘At every waking moment Barbara Hepworth was aware of herself as a woman paving the way in a man’s world’ From the… ,
    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,