Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes and Devon (A complete Tour Guide & Companion) by Pugh, Spiring and Bhanji is quite an exemplary reference book. Rather than a dry read as so many references are, this book is written in a flowing style that keeps the readers attention. Having started it late one evening I found myself still reading in the early morning. The title fails to tell all about the true content, for not only does it cover Holmes and Doyle and their relationship to Devon but there are chapters on Dr. George Budd (whom Doyle would use as a character), Bertram Fletcher Robinson (who impacted the stories) and Sir George Newnes (owner of the Strand magazine).
The authors’ in depth study of the ties to Devon were aided by an abundance of period photographs of all the principals and their surroundings.
The second half of the book (chapter 5 technically) contains a walking/driving tour guide of the places in Devon relevant to Doyle and Holmes. Unlike many tour guides which leave one wondering if you’re on the right trail, this guide provides not just detailed maps but a combination of period and contemporary photographs of the sites so you know what you’re looking for. It also provides a treasure of anecdotal information. Lastly, for you of the 21st Century the authors have even provided latitude and longitude so you can plug into your GPS and be sure to find the pub on time! All in all, a wonderful book.