The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession is released today. And I thought I'd try to talk about one of the stories in the collection each day this week to give readers a better sense of what they might find.
The first story — and the one from which part of the title of the book is drawn — is about the world's greatest Sherlock Holmes scholar who was found dead in mysterious circumstances. He had spent years obsessively trying to track down a missing trove of letters, diary entries, and manuscripts written by Conan Doyle, the creator of Holmes. The archive was estimated to be worth nearly four million dollars, and was essential to Green and other scholars who wanted to write a definitive biography of Conan Doyle. Green believed the archive had been stolen, and as he investigated the case he warned friends that he was being followed and in danger. Soon after, he was found garroted in his apartment.
The mysterious death led members of Sherlock Holmes clubs and amateur sleuths around the world to try to solve a real case that they believed surpassed any Conan Doyle had invented. Their investigation illuminated not only on what happened to Green; it also shed light on the enduring fascination with the literary detective and the slippery line between reason and madness.
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Books mentioned in this post
David Grann is the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession