Arthur Conan Doyle became interested in Spiritualism as early as 1886, inspired by the writing of the US High Courts Judge John Worth Edmonds, and confessing his belief in the supernatural in various publications, including The Coming of the Fairies, "a collection of facts" about the Cottingley Fairies, published a year after the start of an odd friendship. In 1920, Doyle received the book The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin from none other than Harry Houdini, the renowned magician turned resolute skeptic, yet the two became friends, discussing spiritualism in terms of faith and frauds, respectively. [more inside]
In 1923, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his shortest Sherlock Holmes story and one that is considered "non-canon" or "self-parody": "How Watson Learned the Trick". [more inside]
We are to be led by some kind of Victorian reverend, except not. In fact, the parson is Moriarty dressed in a new costume; though, of course, he’s not really Moriarty, or a parson, or Victorian. Via The Hairpin.
Professor James Moriarty is a mathematician and criminal mastermind, who appears in The Final Problem, the story in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes. Colonel Sebastian Moran is a colonial cad, who appears in the Adventure of the Empty House, the story in which Holmes returned. Together the commit crime. Kim Newman talks about Professor Moriarty: Hound of the D’Ubervilles, his novel in which they star as a reverse Holmes and Watson (review here), and lists his 10 best villains in literature. Previous team ups of the diabolical duo include the movie Silver Blaze / Murder at the Baskervilles (youtube), which features Ian Fleming as Dr. Watson, (not THE Ian Fleming), and Neil Gaiman's A study in Emerald (pdf) (Previously), as well as a brief appearance together in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
While there has been quite a few pastiches, parodies, and new stories by fans of Sherlock Holmes over the years, there has been no new works to be placed in the canon of Sherlock Holmes since the final collection was published in 1927. But that is going to change in 2011: Anthony Horowitz has been chosen by Arthur Conan Doyle's estate to write an official Sherlock Holmes novel. Horowitz is the author of the Alex Rider series of young adult spy novels, The Power of Five series of fantasy suspense novels, and a number of TV writing credits. Until then, enjoy digital copies of the Sherlock Holmes canon, and then some. [more inside]