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Why you should read Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is a British icon but how much do you know about the great consulting detective?

We sit down with Anthony Horowitz to investigate the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Thus began a letter written to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle protesting at the death of Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem.The Strand Magazine subsequently lost 20,000 subscribers and Doyle gained a whole postbag of hatemail. With fans like these eh? Of course Holmes was back within a decade and he has never left us since.Guinness World Records lists Holmes as the most portrayed literary human character on screen Dracula is first but undead and then you have the stage adaptations the radio plays the computer games the comic books.From four novels and 56 short stories one writer created an entire cultural universe.As the author of two Holmes novels The House of Silk and Moriarty Anthony Horowitz is the perfect guide to the world of Conan Doyle.

Why should you read Sherlock Holmes?

First of all this is where all modern detective fiction begins. The birth of the modern detective story is with Sherlock Holmes.The stories are like the Bond novels waiting to be discovered the quality of the writing the joy of the world the uniqueness of what has been created. They may surprise you because there are very few murders in Sherlock the stories are much more peculiar than that.

Doyle is an extraordinarily clever writer. He has a sort of gothic romanticist. His descriptions of London the atmosphere of the world the sense of the streets the fog all that stuff. Its very very elevated. And its not what you think of when you watch Robert Downey Jr or even Benedict Cumber batch so they will delight you. They will just delight you and they will surprise you.To get the obvious stuff out of the way: the literary Sherlock does not wear a deerstalker and never says Elementary my dear Watson. That is absolutely correct. There are these little mistakes that have been made. Some creep into the canon. Not very often. The Sign of Four begins with Watson concerned about Holmess cocaine use. He does keep cocaine in a Turkish slipper on the mantelpiece. He takes cocaine when he has bored.

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