From "A Scandal in Bohemia," in which Sherlock Holmes is famously outwitted by a woman, the captivating Irene Adler, to "The Five Orange Pips," in which the master detective is pitted against the Ku Klux Klan, to "The Final Problem," in which Holmes and his archenemy, Professor Moriarty, face each other in a showdown at the Reichenbach Falls, the stories that appear in "The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" bear witness to the flowering of author Arthur Conan Doyle's genius. "The plain fact," the celebrated mystery writer Vincent Starrett asserted, "is that Sherlock Holmes is still a more commanding figure in the world than most of the warriors and statesmen in whose present existence we are invited to believe.
About the Author
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a Scottish physician and prolific writer most renowned for his ingenious Sherlock Holmes detective stories A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear, His Last Bow, and The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes. His collected body of work includes science fiction stories, historical novels, plays, romances, poetry, and nonfiction. Conan Doyle was knighted by King Edward VII in 1902 after writing a widely acclaimed pamphlet defending the British position in the Boer War.
The son of two writers, John Berendt grew up in Syracuse, New York. He earned a B.A. in English from Harvard University, where he worked on the staff of The Harvard Lampoon. After graduating in 1961, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in publishing. Berendt has written for David Frost and Dick Cavett, was editor of "New York" magazine from 1977 to 1979, and wrote a monthly column for "Esquire" from 1982 to 1994.
Berendt first traveled to Savannah in the early 1980s, when he realized that he could fly there for a three-day weekend for the price of "a paillard of veal served on a bed of wilted radicchio" [p. 24] in one of New York's trendier restaurants. Over the ensuing eight years his visits became more frequent and extended, until he was spending more time in Savannah than in New York.
Part of the appeal, Berendt says, lay in the city's penchant for morbid gossip: "People in Savannah don't say, 'Before leaving the room, Mrs. Jones put on her coat.' Instead, they say, 'Before leaving the room, Mrs. Jones put on the coat that her third husband gave her before he shot himself in the head." ("Entertainment Weekly," 3/11/94, p. 52)
Since the publication and unprecedented success of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Berendt has become a Savannah celebrity and was even presented with the key to the city. "I took it down to City Hall one night to see if it would work, but it didn't." ("Syracuse Post Standard," 4/5/1994)
"From the Trade Paperback edition."