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Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 18:19 GMT
Mystery of 'missing' Holmes books solved
Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as the screen Holmes and Watson
Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as the screen Holmes and Watson
Police launched an international search for books written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when they were reported missing by his sons in 1946, according to London's Metropolitan Police papers made public on Wednesday.

Denis and Adrian Conan Doyle called in the police over the missing books when they were removed from storage, according to a report of June 1946 by an Inspector T Symes.

"The sons are positive that their father would not have disposed of the books before his death, and they have not since authorised any such disposal," Inspector Symes wrote.

But unbeknown to the sons, the author of Sherlock Holmes had actually sold them at auction shortly before his death 16 years earlier.

The matter was reported to police after the brothers had seen an article saying several of the most spectacular volumes had been displayed at an American college on loan from the highly reputable Rosenbach Company.

The FBI was alerted and the company said they had bought the books at Sotheby's in London on18 June 1930, less than a month before Sir Arthur died.

The Metropolitan Police then confirmed that the books had been placed in the sale by Sir Arthur himself.

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22 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Homing in on Sherlock
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