Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review: The True Crime Files of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Stephen Hines, The Berkeley Publishing Group, 2001, 290 pages.

I came across an older volume I believe to be quite timely.

For those disposed not to walk about aimlessly in search of Pokémon I first salute you. It is nice to know you possess a brain. Second, there is a much maligned, and deservedly so, thing known as television. While it may be on life support it is still somewhat popular in the mulching of literature, music, the language and culture itself.

Yet there are gems; interesting concepts and storylines that can not only entertain but provoke further study and fascination. True, none of them are in the top ten but they are there. Look!

"Houdini and Doyle", the Victorian answer to 'The X-Files' has been a hit and now word comes of the series renewal for season two. The likely unlikely pairing of these icons from the turn of that other century seems to have properly shaded the aura of mystery, science and theater.

But in real life, something you Pokémon pukes seem to ignore, it was the knighted Mr. Doyle who actually did investigate crime and put his money where his mouth is as well.

These true case files document two dogged investigations where wrongly convicted men were set free and an appeals court was created in the British Judicial system solely because of Doyle's involvement.

1906: George Edalji was railroaded for penning threats and mutilating animals. It was Doyle's
investigation that proved the crimes were still being committed during Edalji's incarceration and those crimes were not copycats.
The Court of Criminal Appeals was opened in 1907 because of the Edalji reversal.

1908: Oscar Slater was convicted in the murder of an 82 year old woman. It took twenty years of persistence, his own money as well as sweat and toil, but in 1928 Slater was exonerated and released.

The book is in depth with all the warts and yawns a real life criminal investigation can have. The read is not necessarily electric. It doesn't have to be. But it is fascinating and yes, page turning. After reading Sir Arthur's presentations in these cases, I can clearly see that Sherlock didn't fall far from the tree.

If you enjoy true crime -- buy it.

If you enjoy Sherlock Holmes -- buy it.

If you enjoy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- buy it.

And if you enjoy history and justice this is your read.

Buy it.  

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