Arts and Entertainment John and Sherlock look pensive in 'The Sign of Three'

The third series of Sherlock has become the most-watched drama run in over a decade, the BBC said today.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (12A)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Jared Harris

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (12A)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Jared Harris

A case of identity: Jude Law (left) and Robert Downey Jr as a
very different Watson and Holmes to the traditional duo in Guy Ritchie’s second big budget 'Sherlock Holmes' movie

The return of Sherlock Holmes

Even his creator failed to kill off the world's greatest detective, so it's no surprise that he is back in the new series of the BBC's acclaimed updating. Gerard Gilbert goes on set with stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

Two's company: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson in 'Sherlock'

The case of the amazing reinvention: On set with the stars of TV’s Sherlock

Even his creator failed to kill the world's greatest detective, so it's no surprise that he is back, most notably in the new series of the BBC's acclaimed updating. Gerard Gilbert goes on set with its stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

Matthew Macfadyen and Hayley Atwell in Channel 4’s Any Human Heart

Audiobooks: Let them tell you a story (dodgy accent optional...)

Christmas books of the year

The House of Silk, By Anthony Horowitz

American novelists make surprisingly few attempts to breathe new life into Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, but two equally venerable British heroes enjoy regular revivifications. Ian Fleming's unkillable agent 007 has had numerous new chroniclers, with Jeffery Deaver's staid contemporary version the latest. At the time of Deaver's James Bond book, it was announced that the novelist Anthony Horowitz would be dusting off a hansom cab for Arthur Conan Doyle's great detective. Here, finally, is The House of Silk: is it an audacious reimagining of Sherlock Holmes – or a safe pair of hands taking care not to rock an established franchise?

Between The Covers: 04/09/2011

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

Natalie Haynes: Sometimes a movie is just a movie

Start the week ...

Diary: Gaddafi daffy for Cartland

At time of writing, Colonel Gaddafi's fate and whereabouts remain unknown. During the final, frantic hours in his compound, however, it seems not unlikely that he might have turned for solace to the pages of a good book. And where better to escape than into one of the 723 tomes by Dame Barbara Cartland, reputedly the Libyan dictator's favourite writer? In 1990, Gaddafi placed an order with Foyles bookshop in London for a large consignment of the late Dame Barbara's cloying romances, as well as a selection of Sherlock Holmes and John le Carré titles. "I am the Colonel's favourite author," Dame Barbara claimed before her death in 2000, "He's read all my books and I think that's helping him become a more peaceful man." She also boasted a large Iraqi fanbase in her lifetime. Sadly, the admiration was not entirely mutual: Dame Barbara tended to refer erroneously to her biggest fan as "Colonel Godolphin".

Darwin the Writer, By George Levine

To come up trumps on the evolutionary scale is a doddle compared with publishing a book - let alone one that does not slumber in the warehouse. Triumphantly, George Levine's latest Darwinian study shows why both men should be read, and enjoyed - by those who deny evolution, and those who take it for granted. Rarely is textual analysis so exhilarating.

Herbert Eisner: Physicist with specialist expertise in fires and explosions

Herbert Eisner was for many years the director of the Safety in Mines Research Establishment in Buxton, Derbyshire. As a physicist with expertise on explosions in confined spaces, he was instrumental in developing the use of high-expansion foam for extinguishing fires in mines and he headed the Health and Safety Executive's flame and explosion laboratory. After the King's Cross fire in 1987 he served on the inquiry panel; and he appeared on TV as a commentator regarding this disaster and the later Channel Tunnel fire. He was also the author of several plays and stories.

Letter from the editor: Appreciating a detective series

Do you have to be a certain age to appreciate detective series?

The BlueBook, By AL Kennedy

The Costa Prize-winning novelist AL Kennedy plays some neat psychological games in this disturbing novel – but don't expect to enjoy being deceived

Actress Anna Massey dies

Veteran actress Anna Massey has died at the age of 73, her agent said.

Joan Smith: Farming out forensic science is criminal

Sherlock Holmes used a magnifying glass, while Hercule Poirot relied on his little grey cells.

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Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

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But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

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International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

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With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

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The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

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Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

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Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

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Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

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Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable