One day Arthur Conan Doyle will create the greatest detective of all -- Sherlock Holmes. But right now Artie Conan Doyle is a twelve-year-old Scottish schoolboy with a mystery of his own to solve.
While sneaking out to explore Greyfriars Kirkyard by night, Artie and his best friend Ham spot a ghostly lady in gray and discover the footprints of a gigantic hound. Could the two mysteries be connected?
These strange clues lead them to a series of robberies carried out by the sinister Gravediggers' Club and soon they find themselves pitted against the villainous Colonel Braxton Dash.
Will Artie survive his encounters with graveyards and ghosts in the foggy streets of the nineteenth century -- or will his first case be his last?
Robert J. Harris, author of The World's Gone Loki series and Will Shakespeare and the Pirate's Fire, brings the young Conan Doyle to life in this ingenious detective story full of twists, turns and clever reveals.
'The plot is filled with twists and turns, keeping even the most reluctant reader engaged. VERDICT An enticing mystery for fans of detective fiction who may not be ready to tackle the real Conan Doyle's works.'
– School Library Journal
'This quick read with likeable characters has just enough camaraderie, spookiness, and suspense to capture tepid readers. As an added attraction, young readers can glean some facts about the celebrated author.'
– School Library Connection
'Robert Harris has written a 19th century crime story, which weaves historical detail and interest into its plot to create a fast-moving and well-written novel... This is a highly readable book for 9–13 both as a gripping mystery novel but also as a staging post for further historical research and perhaps as a precursor to reading the real Conan Doyle books in maturity.'
– School Library Association
'An entertaining story'.
– The Sherlock Holmes Journal
'This new series is a welcome addition to those dealing with the formative years of other real and literary heroes... It is ideal for readers of 9+ looking for an adventure story, and one to hopefully lead them on to the source material later.'
'The ingenious plot is rich enough to keep you guessing until the very end. A great series to snatch the attention of reluctant readers away from screens and get them reading.'
'With several nods to the original stories this is a hugely enjoyable crime mystery which this huge Holmes fan absolutely loved.'
– Lara Mieduniecki, Blackwell's
'I LOVED IT! As a fan of the original Sherlock Holmes books I thought the characterisation of these books were spot on! ... A perfect combination of a classic mystery and a new adventure.'
– Sharleen Creasey, Seven Stories
'It was just very refreshing to be able to find something for my son that he can read which is both fun and has an educational tone to it by teaching kids to be more observant.'
– Artistic Bent blog
'As soon as you turn the page, you find yourself instantly transported back to 19th century Edinburgh... This is a very enjoyable detective story consisting of some brilliant dialogue. It has a fantastic ending which makes a good impression for the rest of the series. '
– Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books
'These were a lot of fun and very much in the vein of a couple of other series I have read recently – Robin Steven's Murder Most Unladylike and Chris Priestly's Maudlin Towers. It also reminds me of series such as Nancy Drew, The Famous Five and The Secret Seven that I read when much younger... I would highly recommend this to the target age group.'
– Kirstyes, UK book blogger
'The moment I began reading... I was hooked… [the book] draws you in, and leads you around with false clues... I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and can't wait to dive into the next book to see what the next mystery will be... a great read for middle grade. It has humour, friendship, and an easy to follow plot that will keep readers wanting to know who did it.'
– Much Loved Books, book blogger
'I loved the homages to Sherlock Holmes which pop up throughout... I think it's a good start to the series and I look forward to reading the next. 4/5'
– Golden Books Girl, book blogger
'This is a clever and creative imagining of Arthur Conan Doyle as a middle school kid detective with his sidekick, Hamilton. It is a fun read and... I am reminded a bit of old school Enid Blyton and Franklin Dixon series novels.'
– GoodReads reviewer
'I would recommend this read to children who have not been introduced to Sherlock Holmes. It is a really creative spin to focus on the author as a child.'
– NetGalley reviewer
'This is a fun, exciting adventure with the main character being the young Sir Arthur Conan Doyle... This is a perfect book for 6th grade and up, especially those who like Sherlock or Elementary.'
– NetGalley reviewer
'For fans of Sherlock Holmes and for those who have yet to meet the genius sleuth, Harris provides a clever story centering around the author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as a child. Enjoyable read.'
– NetGalley Librarian
'I found this book intriguing, exciting and unexpected.'
– Zoe Basson, age 10
'I loved this book and couldn't put it down. It has mystery and suspense, which is my favourite type of book!'
– Ellen Hall, age 8
'It is a gripping read that makes you don’t want to put down.'
– Isaac East, age 11
'A great adventure full of excitement, thrills and chills... but will the mystery be solved?'
– Lewis Briggs, age 11
'AMAZING! A great balance of description, action, adventure and mystery while still being jam packed full of awesomeness. Harris is an amazing author and I will definitely read more of his books.'
– Llew Harrison, age 11
'It was funny exciting and every page was thrilling. It had the right amount of humour and thriller. I would recommend this book to every one!'
– Hector Davey, age 12
'This great book is an interesting mystery story which has many twists and turning points including some scary parts! You'll want to finish the book straightaway!'
– Nico Spahia, age 11
'In this thrilling mystery, we meet the author of Sherlock Holmes, as a young boy. Artie and his friend Ham are soon caught up in an adventure that involves villains, eerie graveyards and treasure... I will definitely read Artie's next adventure.'
– Ross O'Gorman, age 11
'The first in a series of stories about the young Artie, The Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries are sure to be very popular with those looking for a fun and exciting read.'
– Sue Wilsher
'Captivating and a great adventure.'
– Harsh Budhdeo, age 10
'It's a great mystery that only unravels at the end. Each chapter ended with me wanting to read on. I would give it a 9/10.'
– Bea Whithear, age 10
'What really kept me reading was the setting/mood of it. I would give this book a rating of 5/5 and it is a fairly long read so there are plenty of pages to read and enjoy!'
– James, Year 7, Thorp Academy