Following the death of his wife, Louisa, Conan Doyle has become a "bore and a sulk" by his own admission. All around him do their best to bolster Arthur from his grief and mourning including his beloved 'Mam' who implores him to "sink his teeth into something. If not a book then some new pursuit."
Set in 1903 in Staffordshire, Hampshire and London with the backdrop of Conan Doyle's family home, Undershaw, Sir Arthur joins forces with his trusted manservant, Alfred 'Woody' Wood with whom he has a very strong bond.
On learning of George's plight and glimpsing the headlines concerning the Great Wyrley Rippings, Conan Doyle urges Woody to arrange a meeting with George, who now at 27 is in "a state of limbo" and struggling to return to his career as "until the taint is washed from his name."