On 17 July 1904, an intimate group of like-minded gentlemen sat down to dinner in London's Great Central Hotel. They were united by one shared interest: a fascination with crime and the workings of the criminal mind. This meeting, occurring in the golden age of literary dinners and good fellowship, marked the birth of the Crimes Club, a concept that quickly developed into a professional and academic society boasting members of the legal and literary elite, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, and gregarious bon viveur at its heart.
Until now, the exclusive nature of the club meant that little has been divulged about these aficionados of murder, but Conan Doyle and the Crimes Clubgives readers a thrilling insight into the previously veiled lives of these celebrated men of the time. Recounting their detective investigations, spying escapades, and 'criminous' journalism that no doubt inspired Doyle’s own literary feats, Stephen Wade explores all manner of criminal activities that were examined and discussed by the club, ranging from wives buried in basements, to bodies cast into the River Thames, and lovers poisoned with arsenic.
A lively and compelling read, Conan Doyle and the Crimes Club provides a unique window into the Edwardian clique of criminologists and gentleman sleuths. Welcome to the club.
234 x 156 mm
15 February 2013
30 black-and-white photographs
Stephen Wade has published several works of crime history and true crime, his latest being Criminal River – A History of the Thames River Police. Conan Doyle and the Crimes Club is his first book for Fonthill Media.