If ever any life has begged biography it is perhaps that of Sherlock Holmes. The world’s first and greatest consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes bears a name that is one of abiding myth. Yet Holmes himself had a mordant dislike of publicity. He permitted only one individual, his friend Dr. John H. Watson, to publish anything of his methods and his manner – and even then there was much that fell under an iron embargo.
Mr. Keating’s method reveals, first, some aspects of the great detective’s career that have escaped hitherto even the most minute exegesis. (What, for instance, was the significance of the idle visit to the Bond Street art galleries in the heat of the affair of the Hound of the Baskervilles?) It also presents Holmes as very much a man of his times – a true creation of late Victorian and Edwardian England.