Sherlock Book Review - No Better Place

Posted by Steve Emecz on

Sherlock Holmes Society of London

This excellent book is the eagerly awaited third and final volume in Alistair Duncan’s study of the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It deals with the last twenty three years of the great author’s life from the year of his second marriage to Jean Leckie until his death in 1930. These years saw his move to Windlesham, the birth of three children, more literary success, the discovery of a new faith, the final stories of Sherlock Holmes and, of course, the First World War. This meticulously researched book gives us an impartial account of Conan Doyle’s life in a chronological format. 


Mr Duncan has succeeded, as David Stuart Davies notes in his Foreword, in opening “that secret door to Conan Doyle’s personal life through his admirable and exhaustive research into both the author’s private and public activities. We are given a detailed blow by blow, virtually day by day, account of the doings of Arthur.” Conan Doyle, in his later years, was preoccupied with his belief in Spiritualism, an interest which prompted ridicule from scientific and religious communities. Mr Duncan deals sensitively with this issue; he presents the facts and allows the reader to form their own opinions. The book is enhanced by the inclusion of extracts from the papers of Conan Doyle’s daughter Mary, by kind permission of Mrs Georgina Doyle, and photographs from the latter’s private collection. Also included are photographs from the private collection of Brian Pugh, Curator of The Conan Doyle (Crowborough) Establishment. No Better Place is a relaxed and absorbing read which, as Georgina Doyle notes “is a triumph of research and is a worthy contribution to the biographical material on Conan Doyle’s complex character.” High praise indeed — and well deserved!”


Also available from:

Amazon USA       The Strand Magazine  (special offer)

Book Depository (free delivery worldwide)

Following his second marriage in 1907 Arthur Conan Doyle was looking to the future. The years ahead would see the birth of three children, fresh literary success and the discovery of his new faith. Those same years would also see the First World War, the final adventures of Sherlock Holmes and ridicule from the religious and scientific communities for his beliefs.

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