Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a physician and writer from Scotland, United Kingdom, best known as the creator of the character Sherlock Holmes. Doyle also wrote fantasy and science fiction, including the Professor Challenger series, and humorous stories about the Napoleonic soldier Brigadier Gerard, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. One of Doyle's early short stories, "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement", helped to popularise the mystery of the Mary Celeste.
Sherlock Holmes, Doyle's creation, is a "consulting detective" known for his proficiency with observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients, including Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard. First appearing in print in A Study in Scarlet (1887), the character's popularity became widespread with the succeeding short stories in The Strand Magazine; by 1927, Doyle's Holmes-related output totalled four novels and 56 short stories. Most are presented as memoirs of Holmes' friend and biographer Dr. John H. Watson, who usually accompanies Holmes during his investigations and often shares quarters with him at the address of 221B Baker Street, London, where many of the stories begin. Sherlock Holmes is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most portrayed movie character" in history. Widely considered a British cultural icon, the character and stories have had a profound and lasting effect on mystery writing and popular culture as a whole, with the original tales as well as thousands written by authors other than Conan Doyle being adapted into stage and radio plays, television, films, video games, and other media for over one hundred years.
Arthur Conan Doyle was a Middle English writer of fiction. Jennifer Logan loved his Sherlock Holmes detective stories, but found his attempts to write science fiction and fantasy to be dreadful. Logan concluded that Doyle was meant to stick within his best field.
In a stunning paradox, Doyle, despite being more than a thousand years dead, gave Logan the clue she needed to solve an important ecological crisis on the planet Athet. One Sherlock Holmes story, "The Adventure of Silver Blaze," contains the legendary scene where Holmes draws attention to "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time," i.e., that a guard dog did not bark in the night in response to a criminal act. Logan realized that the solution to the Atheters' woes lay in finding not a physical clue, but rather the lack of one. Specifically, the lack of inhabitable trees in a certain region of Athet was caused by the absence of omphoth, not their presence as previously supposed. When Sam Watson asked Logan how she put together the answer to the puzzle, she explained that the omphoth's role in seeding the forest was "Alimentary, my dear Watson."
Sherlock Holmes was not very well known by people who were not Middle English enthusiasts. Bernard Greenberg, for example, had never heard of him.