A GP has been delving into the many diseases woven into the Sherlock Holmes stories and has brought out a book of his own titled: "The Medical Casebook Of Sherlock Holmes And Dr John Watson".

Bentham GP Dr Nick Howlett, born on the south coast but working as a doctor in North Craven for 20 years, said: "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a general practitioner before he became a writer. He uses his medical knowledge widely in the Sherlock Holmes stories. He bases the deductive skills of his hero detective on the diagnostic techniques a GP uses with a patient. He even gives Sherlock a GP sidekick. This all contributes to the enduring popularity of the Sherlock Holmes stories, over 130 years after the first story was published.

"An amazing 52 diseases feature in the Sherlock Holmes stories. This includes many that remain significant parts of a GP’s workload today - diabetes, asthma, depression, stroke. There are then other diseases that have largely died out in the UK due to advances in medical science – diphtheria, brain fever, rickets, tetanus."

Nick's book, 'The Medical Casebook of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson' takes a definitive look at how Conan Doyle weaves these diseases into the stories. It also gives an historical perspective on the Victorian understanding of the diseases, using the textbooks Conan Doyle would very likely have had sitting on his consulting room shelves."

Nick added: "I grew up in Portsmouth, which is where Dr Arthur Conan Doyle first set himself up as a GP. He grew up in Edinburgh, but his father had alcohol problems, and his mother, Mary Conan Doyle, left him.

Conon Doyle had connections to the Masongill area, near Ingleton, when his mother moved to a cottage on the Masongill Hall estate. Arthur Conan Doyle's marriage, to Louise Hawkins, took place at Thornton-In-Lonsdale church, in 1885.

"He even wrote a short story set in the area - “The Surgeon of Gaster Fell”. Sadly this is not, however, a Sherlock Holmes story.

The legendary detective's name was said to be inspired by the stained glass Sherlock Window in the tower of St Mary's Parish Church, Ingleton. It had been dedicated to Randal Hopley Sherlock who had been struck and killed by lightning at Ingleton Railway Station in 1875, while visiting his son, Thomas Dod Sherlock, the vicar at St Mary's.

The Medical Casebook of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson is available from Amazon, or from the publishers MX publishing.

It is 412 pages and is available in hardback £24.99, paperback a£17.65 and Kindle £9.99.