Mystery Man

E.O. Hoppe / Corbis

FREE SPIRIT: Conan Doyle also wrote about history, war, and communicating with the dead

Within that exclusive group of literary characters who have survived through the centuries — from Hercules to Hamlet to Huckleberry Finn — few can rival the cultural impact or staying power of that brilliant sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. Since his debut 120 years ago, the gaunt gentleman with the curved pipe and a taste for cocaine, the master of deductive reasoning and elaborate disguise, has left his mark everywhere — in crime literature, film and television, cartoons and comic books. Even his home on Baker Street has for decades been one of London's most popular tourist destinations: the Sherlock Holmes...

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