Sherlock and Dr Watson receive a visit from Mary Morsten, who offers up a particularly cryptic puzzle for them to solve. Her father went missing six years ago and since then she has received a pearl for every year he has not re-appeared. Now, the treasure's sender has requested a meeting and she would like Sherlock and Watson to accompany her.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. He trained as a doctor at Edinburgh University and it was during this time that he witnessed methods of diagnosis that would later inspire Sherlock Holmes' astonishing methods of deduction. A Study in Scarlet was Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes novel, published in 1887, but it was The Sign of Four, published in 1890, that catapulted him to worldwide fame. From 1891 he wrote short stories about the immortal detective for The Strand magazine. He attempted to kill off Sherlock Holmes in 1893, in The Final Problem, but was forced to revive him after thousands of complaints. Conan Doyle died in 1930 having written two more Sherlock Holmes novels, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear, both serialized in The Strand, and a total of 56 short stories. Not only the master of popular crime fiction, he also wrote the best-selling science fiction novel, The Lost World from the Professor Challenger series.