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Elementary, my dear Watson!

Detective stories are the most popular type of stories in the world. But who is the most famous fictional detective? Without a doubt, it is Sherlock Holmes.

The author of the Sherlock Holmes stories was Arthur Conan Doyle. He was born in Scotland in 1859 and studied medicine at Edinburgh university. After leaving university he moved to the south of England and worked as a doctor, but in his spare time he started to write detective stories.

The hero of the stories is a private detective called Sherlock Holmes, who lives at 221b Baker Street in London. There is now a museum at that address. (See Holmes is tall and thin, with a long, sharp face. He usually wears a deerstalker hat, smokes a pipe or cigarettes, and carries a magnifying glass. He is an extremely intelligent man who always thinks logically about the crimes he is trying to solve. He is also a brilliant violinist. However, he has a dark side to his character: he is a lonely and rather sad man who is easily bored with everyday life. He often gets depressed and sometimes spends all day in bed. He is not married and says that he doesn’t understand women. Holmes lives with his assistant and only friend, Dr Watson. Watson describes him in one of the stories as ‘a brain without a heart’ and ‘more a machine than a man’.

In 1895, after Conan Doyle had written 25 stories about Holmes, he got bored with his detective and decided that Holmes would die in the next story. At the end of the story called ‘The Final Problem’, Holmes fights Professor Moriarty, his greatest enemy, by a huge waterfall in Switzerland. They both die when they fall into the waterfall. But the Holmes stories were already incredibly popular and his fans were very upset. Conan Doyle had to bring his character back to life. He continued to write Sherlock Holmes stories for another 25 years. In the end, he wrote four novels and 56 short stories about the great detective.