The Mysterious Tale of Sherlock's Return

by John O’Connell

  • Published: 01 Apr 2012
  • Price: £7.99
  • Format: Paperback
  • Format: Ebook
  • Extent: 172p
  • ISBN: 9781780720494
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Dartmoor, 1900. Two friends are roaming the moors: Arthur Conan Doyle – the most famous novelist of his age – who has recently killed off his most popular creation, Sherlock Holmes; and Bertram Fletcher Robinson – Holmes aficionado and editor of the Daily Express.

They are researching a detective novel, a collaboration starring a new hero, set in the eerie stillness of ancient West Country moorland, and featuring a monstrous dog. They already have a title…

London, 1902. The Hound of the Baskervilles is published, featuring Sherlock Holmes back from the dead. Conan Doyle and Fletcher Robinson have not spoken for two years and the book is credited to just one author. It will become one of the most famous stories ever written. But who really wrote it? And what really happened on those moors, to drive the two friends apart?

“A period-perfect exploration of ambition and resentment, ideal for a misty autumn night by the fireside” – Financial Times

“O’Connell infuses real events and people with fiction to make this clever, atmospheric and elegant chiller” – The Times 4/5 stars

“A thrilling novella… Doyle himself becomes not a villain but a dark character bedevilled by a complex private life and his mania for spiritualism… A rip-roaring addition to the extended library of all things Holmes” – Metro

“Engrossing… an eerie, pitch-perfect gothic tale, but it is also more than just a piece of literary archeology, probing questions of authorial ownership and fate and language in an atmospheric tour de force” – Catholic Herald

About John O’Connell

John O’Connell worked for years – far, far too long – at the London listings magazine Time Out, where he was Books Editor. Since being made redundant on the grounds that ‘no-one really reads books anymore’, he has been writing, mostly about books, for The Times, The Guardian, New Statesman and The National. He is the author of I Told You I Was Ill: Adventures in Hypochondria and The Midlife Manual (Short Books). He is 37 and lives in south London with his wife and two children.