Reader Reviewed Artie Conan Doyle and the Vanishing Dragon by Robert J. Harris

Artie Conan Doyle and the Vanishing Dragon

Written by Robert J. Harris
Part of the Kelpies Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a nutshell: enthralling new mysteries for a young Holmes

Artie Doyle can’t resist the temptation offered by a mysterious invitation to an evening of magic, and, fresh from their adventures solving crimes committed by the creepy Gravediggers Club, he and his best friend Ham are soon caught up in more intrigue and adventure. Young Artie is based on the young Arthur Conan Doyle of course, and the stories are a clever mix of puzzle, conspiracy and history – late Victorian Edinburgh is brought to vivid life. Satisfying adventure stories in their own right, with a good helping of humour to ease and then emphasise the tension, these are also excellent introductions to the works of the great man himself.

Readers fascinated by Holmes will also enjoy Elizabeth Eulberg’s The Great Shelby Holmes series, which is another clever and engaging tribute to the great detective. ~ Andrea Reece

**How much do you know about Arthur Conan Doyle? Put your detective skills to the test with this fun quiz!

And you can find an interactive Google map showing all the sites of events in the book and in Arthur Conan Doyle's life here

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review the first title in the series, Artie Conan Doyle: The Gravediggers Club. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Zoe Basson, age 10 - 'I found this book intriguing, exciting and unexpected.'
  • Ellen Hall, age 8 - 'I loved this book and couldn't put it down. It has mystery and suspense, which is my favourite type of book!'
  • Isaac East, age 11 - 'It is a gripping read that makes you don’t want to put down.'
  • Lewis Briggs, age 11 - 'A great adventure full of excitement, thrills and chills....but will the mystery be solved?'
  • Llew Harrison, age 11 - 'AMAZING! A great balance of description, action, adventure and mystery while still being jam packed full of awesomeness. Harris is an amazing author and I will definitely read more of his books.'
  • Hector Davey, age 12 - 'It was funny exciting and every page was thrilling. It had the right amount of humour and thriller. I would recommend this book to every one!'
  • Nico Spahia, age 11 - 'This great book is an interesting mystery story which has many twists and turning points including some scary parts! You'll want to finish the book straightaway!'
  • Ross O'Gorman, age 11 - 'In this thrilling mystery, we meet the author of Sherlock Holmes, as a young boy. Artie and his friend Ham are soon caught up in an adventure that involves villains, eerie graveyards and treasure.... I will definitely read Artie's next adventure.'
  • Sue Wilsher - 'The first in a series of stories about the young Artie, The Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries are sure to be very popular with those looking for a fun and exciting read.'
    Harsh Budhdeo, age 10 - 'Captivating and a great adventure.'
  • Bea Whithear, age 10 - 'It's a great mystery that only unravels at the end. Each chapter ended with me wanting to read on. I would give it a 9/10.'
  • James, Year 7, Thorp Academy - 'What really kept me reading was the setting/mood of it. I would give this book a rating of 5/5 and it is a fairly long read so there are plenty of pages to read and enjoy!'


Artie Conan Doyle and the Vanishing Dragon by Robert J. Harris

One day Arthur Conan Doyle will create the greatest detective of all -- Sherlock Holmes. But right now Artie Conan Doyle is a twelve-year-old Edinburgh schoolboy with a mystery of his own to solve. Artie and his friend Ham are hired to investigate a series of suspicious accidents that have befallen world-famous magician, the Great Wizard of the North. It seems someone is determined to sabotage his spectacular new illusion. When the huge mechanical dragon created for the show vanishes, the theft appears to be completely impossible. Artie must reveal the trick and unmask the villain or face the deadly consequences. The cards have been dealt, the spell has been cast, and the game is afoot once more! Robert J. Harris, author of The World's Gone Loki series and Will Shakespeare and the Pirate's Fire, brings the young Conan Doyle to life in the second book of this ingenious new detective series.


Praise for Artie Conan Doyle and The Gravediggers Club:

'The ingenious plot is rich enough to keep you guessing until the very end. A great series to snatch the attention of reluctant readers away from screens and get them reading.' Carousel

'A hugely enjoyable crime mystery which this huge Holmes fan absolutely loved.' Lara Mieduniecki, Blackwell

'As soon as you turn the page, you find yourself instantly transported back to 19th century Edinburgh . . . a very enjoyable detective story consisting of some brilliant dialogue. It has a fantastic ending which makes a good impression for the rest of the series. ' Mr Ripley

'An entertaining story'. -- The Sherlock Holmes Journal 'A 19th century crime story, which weaves historical detail and interest into its plot to create a fast-moving and well-written novel' School Library Association

About the Author

Robert J. Harris

Robert J. Harris was born in Dundee and now lives in St Andrews with his wife, sons, and his dog. He is the author of many children's books, including Will Shakespeare and the Pirate's Fire, and Leonardo and the Death Machine; and he is the creator of popular fantasy board game Talisman.

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Book Info


192 pages
Interest Age: From 8 to 12 years


Robert J. Harris
More books by Robert J. Harris


Kelpies an imprint of Floris Books

Publication date

22nd March 2018




Publisher Profile

Kelpies an imprint of Floris Books is an imprint of Kelpies


Kelpies Books celebrate quality children’s books with brilliant authors, engaging stories and a Scottish twist! They create books that capture children’s imaginations at all ages. Under 6s will have loads of fun with Kelpies picture books, 9 to 12-year-olds will be whisked away by Kelpies and young teens will be gripped by KelpiesTeen novels.

Follow @DiscoverKelpies on Twitter or find them on Facebook at

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