The Men Who Were Sherlock Holmes by Daniel Smith

From £10.99

Telling the sensational story of the real-life origins of the fictional Sherlock Holmes – and how crime fiction and crime fact collided in a case that gripped Victorian Britain.

Published 9 May 2024

About the Book…

In 1893, young army officer Cecil Hambrough was murdered at the sprawling Ardlamont estate in Scotland, unleashing one of the most gripping court cases Victorian Britain had ever known. Even more remarkably, the case brought together two pioneering forensic experts – Joseph Bell and Henry Littlejohn – two men upon whom Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes happened to be based. It is their involvement in the Ardlamont affair that reveals how the world’s most famous detective came to be: the worlds of crime fiction and crime fact were about to collide spectacularly.

In this extraordinary book, Daniel Smith outlines the key roles of the two men whose powers of deduction had so inspired Doyle and explores the real-world origins of Sherlock Holmes through the prism of a mystery as engrossing as any case the Great Detective ever tackled.

About the Author…

Daniel Smith is a non-fiction author and editor who has written across a range of subjects, including politics, economics and social history. He is the author of The Little Book of Big Ideas: 150 Concepts and Breakthroughs that Transformed History and the ‘How to Think Like …’ series for Michael O’Mara Books, which has been published in 25 languages and sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. He is also a scriptwriter for the award-winning podcast series, Real Dictators and A Short History of . . . He lives in London with his wife and two children.



Daniel Smith



Page Count



9 May 2024


Michael O'Mara

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