The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press

From Holmes to Sherlock

The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon

by Mattias Bostrom

A talented Sherlock Holmes expert brings to life the history of one of the most enduring characters in literature, from the Victorian era to today.

  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 608
  • Publication Date August 01, 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2660-3
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $28.00
  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Publication Date August 01, 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-8916-5
  • US List Price $28.00

About The Book

Everyone knows Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a unique literary character who has remained popular for over a century and is appreciated more than ever today. But what made this fictional character, dreamed up by a small-town English doctor in the 1880s, into such a lasting success?

In From Holmes to Sherlock, Swedish author and Sherlock Holmes expert Mattias Boström recreates the full story behind the legend for the first time. From a young Arthur Conan Doyle sitting in a Scottish lecture hall taking notes on his medical professor’s powers of observation to the pair of modern-day fans who brainstormed the idea behind the TV sensation Sherlock, from the publishing world’s first literary agent to the Georgian princess who showed up at the Conan Doyle estate and altered a legacy, the narrative follows the men and women who have created and perpetuated the myth. It includes tales of unexpected fortune, accidental romance, and inheritances gone awry and tells of the actors, writers, and readers who have transformed Sherlock Holmes from the gentleman amateur of the Victorian era to the odd genius of today. Told in fast-paced, novelistic prose, From Holmes to Sherlock is a singular celebration of the most famous detective in the world–a must-read for newcomers and experts alike.


“Boström has succeeded masterfully in doing something no one has hitherto dared try: telling the whole Sherlock Holmes “story” . . . An extraordinary tale, and Boström delivers it in a way that helps newcomers learn and established Sherlockians learn even more.” —Nicholas Utechin, editor of The Sherlock Holmes Journal, 1976–2006

“Superb! I am deeply in awe of Mr Boström’s comprehensive research, his meticulous selection and his enticing presentation . . . Mattias Boström is one of a select group of really important Holmesian/Doylean scholars.” —Roger Johnson, editor of The Sherlock Holmes Journal, co-author of The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany

“Boström’s From Holmes to Sherlock is a book based on a simple but brilliant idea. He traces the growth in popularity of Sherlock Holmes from an early idea of a physician who hoped to be a writer to a worldwide phenomenon recognized by most of the planet. In between, Boström illustrates this growth with both carefully curated pen portraits and the result of wide reading and relentless research . . . Not just for Sherlockians, rather it is intended for anyone who has wondered about Sherlock Holmes.” —Steven Rothman, editor of the Baker Street Journal

“This book is badly needed for an English-speaking audience . . . It will be one of the four or five most important books among the scores of non-fiction volumes about Sherlock Holmes, and it’s easy and entertaining reading as well.” —Christopher Redmond, editor of

“This exhaustive study of the 130-year Sherlock Holmes phenomenon spans Arthur Conan Doyle’s earliest inspirations up to today’s two successful Holmes-inspired TV shows . . . It explores the world’s continuing fascination with fiction’s leading detective hero. The informal, accessible style of Gallagher’s translation makes for an easy, if lengthy, read.” —Publishers Weekly 

“A truly remarkable book on Sherlock Holmes . . . Read it!” —Expressen (Sweden)

“A good storyteller . . . This is more exciting reading than many fiction novels. Because this is about feuds in the family, feuds between different publishing houses, the creative process, so many interesting issues . . . You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes fan to read it.” —Sveriges Television (Sweden)


Twelve Tennison Road was a veritable writing factory. A relentless tapping could be heard through the open window. His twenty-three-year-old sister Connie had moved in with the family, and was certainly earning her keep. His plan was that his sister Lottie should also move down, that he could dictate to her while Connie typed away. That way, Conan Doyle would be able to double his productivity while resting both his hands and his eyes. Many of his author friends had worn themselves out and been struck with writers’ cramp of the hands.

Conan Doyle was busy planning the final Holmes stories when he received a letter from his mother. She was furious. He was not to kill off Sherlock Holmes under any circumstances. Instead, she provided him with the bones of another Holmes story for him to write, about a woman with a rather particular hair color.

His mother’s words won the day. He was even able to use the idea, which became the twelfth, concluding story, “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches.” He finished writing it over Christmas 1891.

While the detective may have escaped with his life intact, as far as Conan Doyle was concerned, this was farewell to Sherlock Holmes.