Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle

B+
April 23, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

The greatest mystery of Doyle’s life is how the creator of Sherlock Holmes — that “perfect reasoning and observing machine” — would eventually champion fey phenomena like seances and fairies, so that by his 1930 death at age 71 he was considered “hopelessly crazy.” Doyle transcended his artistic Irish-Catholic family to become an archetypally “British” doctor, adventurer in Africa and the Arctic, two-time parliamentary candidate, and knighted novelist. Only after his son’s death during World War I did Doyle’s unconventional, inquisitive imagination come unhinged. In Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle mystery writer Stashower pieces together clues from his subject’s iconoclastic life to create a gripping, sympathetic bio that proves that Doyle was anything but elementary. B+

Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle

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Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle

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