Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson made their first appearance in this short novel, which Arthur Conan Doyle wrote in three weeks at the age of 27. The story is famous for introducing the great detective with his genius and quirks fully formed and notorious for its long flashback, set in the American West, involving a party of Mormons led by Brigham Young himself. The Mormons are depicted as raw crackpots, their religion as primitive and vindictive. Conan Doyle defended his portrayal of the LDS as having been drawn from contemporary history books. In time he apologized, and late in life he appeared in Salt Lake City to proselytize for his own controversial belief in spiritualism.