Arthur Conan Doyle grew so to hate his greatest creation, Sherlock Holmes, that in 1893 he tried to kill him off, plunging him over the Reichenbach Falls. He called it ‘justifiable homicide,’ saying, ‘If I had not killed him, he would certainly have killed me.’ . . . As it was, Conan Doyle bowed to popular demand and the emptiness of his bank account, and in 1903, after the success of “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” reluctantly resurrected Holmes for 24 more years.
Charles McGrath discusses one of fiction’s most enduring characters in light of the latest movie version.