The best Arthur Conan Doyle books

3 authors have picked their favorite books about Arthur Conan Doyle and why they recommend each book. Soon, you will be able to filter this list by genre, age group, and more. Sign up here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books.

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Book cover of The Maracot Deep

The Maracot Deep

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why this book?

Master storyteller Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had a few things to say about Atlantis. In The Maracot Deep, young zoologist Cyrus Headley travels to the edge of a deep ocean trench with a team of explorers. Suddenly, a giant sea monster attacks them and hurls them down into the trench. The explorers are rescued by the survivors of the destroyed Atlantis, who have dwelled on the seafloor for the past 8,000 years. Will Headley and his companions ever return to the surface again, or will they remain trapped for the rest of their lives like the Atlanteans? Readers expecting…

From the list:

The best books on Atlantis if you love adventure

Book cover of A Connecticut Yankee in Criminal Court: The Mark Twain Mysteries #2

A Connecticut Yankee in Criminal Court: The Mark Twain Mysteries #2

By Peter J. Heck,

Why this book?

I admire chutzpah. Of all the authors who channel Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen, and countless others, I admire Peter Heck the most. He takes on the Herculean task of matching historical humor with our national treasure Mark Twain. Oddly enough, his example gave me courage, or at least permission, to try something other than historical whodunits. I wrote book-length magic realism and am seeking a publisher.
From the list:

The best books that bring a touch of humor to the Old West

Book cover of The List of Seven

The List of Seven

By Mark Frost,

Why this book?

A true original. Arthur Conan Doyle working -to solve a series of grisly murders. Released in 1993, it sucked me in with the first paragraph.

It mixes genres and the historical with the fictional. There are Sherlock Holmes easter eggs everywhere, the idea being this thriller informed his writing. The characters, both good and evil, flesh out the great detective in a thriller-paced adventure.

You may not have heard of the author, but you definitely heard of one of his TV shows: Twin Peaks, which he created and wrote with David Lynch. While the TV show’s known for its…

From the list:

The best thriller novels that break the mold, surprising you with their unexpected approach, characters and story

Book cover of The Coming of the Fairies

The Coming of the Fairies

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why this book?

This is a surprise pick. It’s the first book about “real” fairies that I read. I was 15 years old when my local librarian showed me the book. The author was best known for creating the Sherlock Holmes series, and he wrote a book about fairies? 

The Cottingley fairies appear in a series of photographs taken by two young girls living in England in 1917. When the pictures came to the attention of writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, he interpreted them as clear and visible evidence of the existence of fairies. Many people accepted the images as genuine; others believed…

From the list:

The best children’s books about fairies

Book cover of The Murders in the Rue Morgue

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

By Edgar Allan Poe,

Why this book?

I know, this is a short story and hence cheating, but how can you make lists of detective stories without including the granddaddy of them all? Poe’s short story preceded Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes by four decades and has all the main ingredients. You have an ice-cold supremely rational detective, C. Auguste Dupin. You have a loyal sidekick. You have a bumbling cop. You have two extremely gory murders. You have a locked room. You have conflicting witnesses. You have a bizarre conclusion. You know what? Don’t read my No. 1. Read the Master first.

From the list:

The best books on hard-boiled PIs

Book cover of The Lost World

The Lost World

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why this book?

What could be dreamier than being told exactly how to win the heart of your first true love? This is how Doyle’s classic novel begins, and where he takes the reader is nothing shy of a boisterous affair; an adventure starring dinosaurs, cannibals, and excitement at every turn of page.

It’s on point and at pace, being a shorter book. But it was one of the first books which I found to spark the dreamer lurking in me. I’ve even done a modern translation of this book.

From the list:

The best books which spark the dreamer

Book cover of The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four

By Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why this book?

A one-legged man and a tiny creature. Only Sherlock Holmes could discern from the smallest and strangest of clues what happened to the stolen treasure of Agra brought back to England by four men united by greed. Arthur Conan Doyle was a master at providing all the clues you need to solve the mystery, while making the solution so incredible that you refuse to accept it until he lays it out for you.  

From the list:

The best novels about hunting for a treasure that isn’t gold

Book cover of Murder for Pleasure: The Life and Times of the Detective Story

Murder for Pleasure: The Life and Times of the Detective Story

By Howard Haycraft,

Why this book?

Haycraft was an American commentator and this survey of the history of crime writing up to the Second World War is soundly written and sympathetic. Interestingly, he believed that the locked room puzzle was played out and that authors should avoid it, whereas this type of mystery has enjoyed a significant revival in recent years. Predicting how crime writing will evolve in the future is fraught with danger! Inevitably, Haycraft’s focus was mainly on American and British crime fiction. The limited number of translated mysteries in those days meant that the global reach of crime writing, and the achievements of…

From the list:

The best books about crime fiction, the world’s most popular genre

Book cover of Sherlock Holmes Complete Works - Volume 1/2: A Study In Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes Complete Works - Volume 1/2: A Study In Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Why this book?

This was one giant book I got as a gift and thought I’d never read, but when I started I couldn’t stop. These are old stories, and arguably the oldest I have ever read that ring true today. Holmes is like Thrawn, a mastermind, but he doesn’t rule Empires or command armies. Holmes works in isolation with only his trusted assistant Watson. He follows mysteries wherever they present themselves and is bored by anything else.

It’s the keen intellect that draws me to this book. The kind of stuff most people wouldn’t waste their time on because it goes over…

From the list:

The best books that defined great storytelling for me as a kid

Book cover of Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance

Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance

By Gyles Brandreth,

Why this book?

This is the first book in a series that is as witty, complex, charming, and dark as Oscar Wilde himself. (“I can resist everything but temptation.”) The author is steeped in Wilde and his world, quotes him extensively (but appropriately) and also delivers a great mystery set in the fascinating era of Victorian decline and fin de siècle artistic fervor. Arthur Conan Doyle, in a great turnabout, plays “Watson” to Wilde’s “Sherlock” in all the mysteries. A later book in the series takes on Jack the Ripper, with some surprising suspects!

From the list:

The best historical mysteries with famous people as the amateur sleuths

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