Round 2: Robert Galbraith vs Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Robert Galbraith

Special Attack: Cormoran Strike, private investigator


  • TOP SECRET identity
  • Knowledge of military-style investigation


  • Might not be real
  • No wizards

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Special Attack:Consulting detective Sherlock Holmes


  • Launched crime fiction into the mainstream
  • Has innate knowledge of weapons, poisons, disguises and beekeeping


  • Has tried to kill Sherlock Holmes once already


How we think it’d play out…

Down at the station, a clock ticked in the interrogation room. Sitting opposite the suspect were two consulting detectives: famous consultant to royalty Sherlock Holmes, and hardened war veteran-turned-private investigator Cormoran Strike. The three sat in silence.

Behind the two-way mirror stood two observers. Robert Galbraith lounged comfortably against the wall, while Sir Arthur Conan Doyle looked on intently. He turned to Galbraith.
“Are you sure this is the way we should settle this? I must say I perceived our battle to be more… battle-like. Man to man.”

“Of course,” said Galbraith, gesturing to the two detectives as they began their line of investigation. “How else will we prove who is the better of us both? Holmes may be well-established, but my detective has access to all the forensic equipment of the modern British police force. Scotland Yard couldn’t choose between them, but this way we’re certain to find a winner.”

“Yes, well,” Doyle sniffed, “That may be the case, but Strike is still wet behind the ears when it comes to deduction, you know. Equipment is all very well, but detection is an exact science. A science which relies on human perception, not artificial means.”

“Really?” Galbraith stood upright, and pointed at Holmes, “then why is your great detective currently injecting himself with cocaine?”

They watched as Holmes put the syringe back in the little leather wallet, appearing not to notice Strike’s look of contempt. Doyle turned back to Galbraith.

“It helps him think. Clears his head, as they say.”

“Well I hardly think that’s allowed in today’s modern police force. You should be forfeited for that!”

“Be quiet. Look, they’re standing up. And they’re… coming this way?”

Both detectives stepped up to the mirror. Strike spoke first.

“We believe we have come to a conclusion. Together.”

“What?!” Galbraith said, “You can’t do that! We need to determine a winner! We…”

That’s enough, Mr. Galbraith” Holmes interrupted. “Or should I say… Ms Rowling?”

Galbraith sagged, a defeated look passing across his face as his features slowly transformed into beloved author J.K. Rowling. “How did you know? And… what does this have to do with the crime in question?”

“Well you see Ms Rowling, there was no crime. This was a battle to determine the world’s greatest writer. I think we may have found a winner. You’re not the only one who can keep a secret identity – and I’ll wager my detective can do a better job than you.”

“He’s right,” said Strike, “Sorry about this ma’am.” The three of them watched as Doyle dropped his cane, reached up and removed the moustache from his upper lip, immediately exposing the features of… Sherlock Holmes! At the same time, the detective next to Strike was removing his hat and pipe, revealing the face of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself.

Rowling stared at them for a moment before swearing loudly and storming out of the room. The three men looked quizzically at each other as she marched down the hallway, shouting something about Polyjuice Potion. Nodding to each other, detective to detective, they went their separate ways – Doyle stopping for a moment to attach the fake moustache before exiting the observation room.




Cast your vote below and tell us what you think in the comments

Don’t forget to vote in our other author face-offs

What do you think?