The most famous fictional detective in the world is Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. However, Doyle was, at best, ambivalent about his immensely successful literary creation and, at worst, resentful that his more "serious" fiction was relatively ignored. Born in Edinburgh, Doyle studied medicine from 1876 to 1881 and received his M.D. in 1885. He worked as a military physician in South Africa during the Boer War and was knighted in 1902 for his exceptional service. Doyle was drawn to writing at an early age. Although he attempted to enter private practice in Southsea, Portsmouth, in 1882, he soon turned to writing in his spare time; it eventually became his profession. As a Liberal Unionist, Doyle ran, unsuccessfully, for Parliament in 1903. During his later years, Doyle became an avowed spiritualist. Doyle sold his first story, "The Mystery of the Sasassa Valley," to Chambers' Journal in 1879. When Doyle published the novel, A Study in Scarlet in 1887, Sherlock Holmes was introduced to an avid public. Doyle is reputed to have used one of his medical professors, Dr. Joseph Bell, as a model for Holmes's character. Eventually, Doyle wrote three additional Holmes novels and five collections of Holmes short stories. A brilliant, though somewhat eccentric, detective, Holmes employs scientific methods of observation and deduction to solve the mysteries that he investigates. Although an "amateur" private detective, he is frequently called upon by Scotland Yard for assistance. Holmes's assistant, the faithful Dr. Watson, provides a striking contrast to Holmes's brilliant intellect and, in Doyle's day at least, serves as a character with whom the reader can readily identify. Having tired of Holmes's popularity, Doyle even tried to kill the great detective in "The Final Problem" but was forced by an outraged public to resurrect him in 1903. Although Holmes remained Doyle's most popular literary creation, Doyle wrote prolifically in other genres, including historical adventure, science fiction, and supernatural fiction. Despite Doyle's sometimes careless writing, he was a superb storyteller. His great skill as a popular author lay in his technique of involving readers in his highly entertaining adventures.
Judith Kerr was born in Berlin, the daughter of a distinguished German writer. She left Germany with her family in 1933 to escape from the Nazis and they arrived in England in 1936, having spent the intervening years in Switzerland and France. She was married to the writer Nigel Kneale.Their daughter Tacy is an artist, and their son Matthew is an acclaimed novelist.In 2012, Judith was awarded an OBE for her services to children's literature and Holocaust education
Matt Jones is a professor and Head of Department of Computer Science, Swansea University. His research work focuses on human-centered computing with particular emphasis on mobile and ubiquitous computing and resource-constrained communities in regions such as India and South Africa. His work in these contexts has been recognized by an IBM Faculty Award and, from 2014, by a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. Matt has had many active collaborations and interactions with industry, NGO and Governmental stakeholders including Microsoft Research, Nokia Research and IBM Research. In his spare time he tries to live life face-on with his energetic family, and enjoys nothing more than an exhilarating early morning cycle ride to the glorious beaches of the Gower.