Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
As one of the pioneers of mystery writing, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created one of the most famous crime sleuths of all time with Detective Sherlock Holmes. Alongside his faithful sidekick, Dr. John Watson, Holmes used his powers of deductive reasoning and incredible analytical skills to solve any number of heinous crimes. Covering 56 short stories and four full-length novels, Doyle captivated the reading public in the 19th century with the many adventures of Sherlock Holmes with <i>A Study in Scarlet</i> (1887) and <i>The Sign of the Four</i> (1888), only to infuriate his readers by supposedly killing him off in the short story "The Final Problem" (1893). Following a detour into historical novels and a growing fascination with the Spiritualism movement, Doyle finally bowed to public pressure and brought Holmes back to life in "The Adventure of the Empty House" (1903), which was actually published after the prequel novel <i>The Hound of the Baskervilles</i> (1902). In the following decade, Sherlock Holmes became one of the most popular characters to play on the screen with film and television adaptations permeating the landscape, and numerous actors from Christopher Plummer and Peter Cushing to Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Lee Miller all played the role. Despite being relatively limited to mystery writing, Doyle created one of literature's most lasting and often portrayed characters.