From The Wshington Post:
When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930, he was famed as the creator of Sherlock Holmes. But he was also the author of many other books, a missionary for spiritualism and a frequent defender of the embattled British Empire. As acts of imagination, Conan Doyle’s re-inventions of himself — physician, novelist, patriot, journalist, celebrity and occasionally even sleuth asked to solve real-life crimes — rival his creation of the immortal consulting detective. A new biography and a new collection of letters display the many aspects of Conan Doyle’s character, revealing in fresh detail the human being behind the waxed mustache and tightly buttoned waistcoat of his portraits.
Andrew Lycett titles his comprehensive and surprisingly action-packed biography The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes, but he doesn’t skimp on his subject’s other accomplishments. Conan Doyle complained for decades that his fictional detective’s popularity kept the author from achieving better things, and Lycett demonstrates that Holmes was indeed only one child of a busy brain. He reminds us of the historical novels, including Micah Clarke and The White Company, as well as the science fiction masterpiece The Lost World.