This work brings together eight Arthur Conan Doyle mystery classics. When first gathered into one volume in 1908, the book was entitled Round the Fire Stories, since the author recommended that they be read ideally "'round the fire upon a winter's night." According to Barzun & Taylor in A Catalogue of Crime, "As one reads 'The Man with the Watches,' 'The Lost Special,' 'The Jew's Breastplate,' 'The Black Doctor' and the rest, one marvels again at Doyle's natural gift of storytelling and one relishes his ingrained habit of giving clues, even when they serve narrative and are not to be used for ratiocination. These stories are worth reading even around a radiator."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born of Irish parentage in Scotland. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, but he also had a passion for storytelling. His first book introduced that prototype of the modern detective in fiction, Sherlock Holmes. Despite the immense popularity Holmes gained throughout the world, Doyle was not overly fond of the character and preferred to write other stories. Eventually popular demand won out and he continued to satisfy readers with the adventures of the legendary sleuth. He also wrote historical romances and made two essays into pseudoscientific fantasy: "The Lost World" and "The Poison Belt."