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Not so elementary

The week's news at a glance.

Ipplepen, U.K.

A forensic pathologist this week said he could prove whether Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, murdered the true author of The Hound of the Baskervilles. The pathologist belongs to an unofficial team of writers, scientists, and law-enforcement officials who believe that Conan Doyle got the idea for the book from his friend Bertram Fletcher Robinson, and murdered him to cheat him out of royalties. Conan Doyle did acknowledge that Robinson, a journalist, helped create the basic story of a wicked squire and the hellhound that killed him. But the investigators believe Robinson demanded money—and that he also had an affair with Conan Doyle’s wife. They have asked the Diocese of Exeter for permission to exhume Robinson’s corpse to check for traces of laudanum. “This is being taken seriously,” said Dr. Gyan Fernando, a forensic pathologist who’s on the team of investigators.

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