‘A most interesting popular biography of a great Victorian police detective’

The Sherlock Holmes Society



Born to immigrant parents, in the slums of the 19th century Manchester, Jerome Caminada overcame the odds to become one of the city’s finest detectives. A master of disguise with a keen eye for detail and ingenious methods of deduction, Detective Caminada pursued notorious criminals through the seedy streets of Manchester’s underworld. Known as ‘a terror to evil-doers’, he stalked pickpockets and thieves, ruthless con artists and cold-blooded killers. Through his groundbreaking detective work, he captured an escaped political prisoner, confronted his own Professor Moriarty, played a pivotal role in the nationwide hunt for the Fenian dynamite conspirators and even exposed a cross-dressing ball.

At the peak of his dazzling career and using methods worthy of his fictional counterpart, Detective Caminada solved his most famous case, the Manchester Cab Mystery, which established him as one of the most formidable detectives of the Victorian era and a real-life Sherlock Holmes. His fascinating casebook bears all the hallmarks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Inspired by the author’s own family history, The Real Sherlock Holmes is the first-ever biography of Detective Jerome Caminada. It is published by Pen and Sword Books.


Available in hardback and ebook

From Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and iBooks. Also, direct from Pen & Sword Books.


Reviews and Quotes


‘A biography of Caminada out this month reveals a series of striking similarities between him and the fictional character, in terms of their unorthodox methods and character. It also establishes strong echoes between the real detective’s cases and plot lines used by Doyle.

The author, Angela Buckley, has even established that Caminada’s casework involved tackling an alluring and talented criminal, similar to Irene Adler, and that the detective even had a Moriarty-like nemesis who plagued him over the course of several cases until a final, dramatic confrontation.’

The Telegraph


‘A Victorian detective who was a master of disguise and had his own long-running Moriarty nemesis has been identified as a real-life Sherlock Holmes who may have been the inspiration for the celebrated detective.

A new biography, The Real Sherlock Holmes, by the historian Angela Buckley, highlights striking similarities between the fictional detective and Jerome Caminada, a police constable in Manchester who gained national fame in the 19th century for his crime solving.’

The Times


‘This is a compelling read – a vibrant account of an extraordinary man, written with a verve that brings the nineteenth century to life in all its grimy detail. Buckley claims that Inspector Caminada deserves to be as well-known as Sherlock Holmes, and this book goes a long way to achieving that aim.’

Dr Nick Barratt, historian and author


‘Using Caminada’s own words, newspapers and other contemporary sources, Angela Buckley has written a well researched, detailed and readable book which effortlessly brings this period of history to life. I was captivated by the stories of poverty and crime she has woven into the narrative, and of the descriptions of Manchester’s crowded, grimy streets.’

Michelle Higgs, author of A Visitor’s Guide to Victorian England


‘A biography of Jerome Caminada reveals a series of striking similarities between him and the fictional character. It also finds strong echoes of the real detective’s cases in plot lines used by Doyle.’

Irish Independent


‘The story of Manchester’s Sherlock Holmes is set to be revealed in a gripping new book being launched to celebrate the centenary of his death…Now a new book by Manchester-born historian Angela Buckley…dusts off the detective’s case files and brings them to life.’

Manchester Evening News


‘The first full-length biography on Caminada…brings to life not just his own work but the wider world of crime and society in Manchester’

Your Family Tree magazine


‘The Real Sherlock Holmes is a very absorbing study of a police detective writing his own rules and tackling crime in a much more criminal and dangerous time…Caminada predates Holmes, but could have inspired his famous talent for disguise, infiltration and sheer dogged persistence.’



‘The Real Sherlock Holmes sees a chronological and detailed account of the life of Victorian detective Jerome Caminada, Manchester’s first Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Superintendent…Each chapter flows with ease, charting different cases or years in Caminada’s life…The Real Sherlock Holmes not only narrates the life of Caminada, but provides an interesting insight into the general and criminal history of Manchester in the Victorian period. Buckley provides great context to Caminada’s story, educating the reader of how it was possible to rise from financial hardship to wealth in inner city Manchester. The book is thoroughly interesting – a leisurely, yet well informed read. After decades of silence, Buckley has certainly voiced Caminada’s story again.’

The Manchester Historian


‘Angela Buckley has used the memoirs and other published and archive sources to produce a rounded account of Caminada’s life before, during and after his police career…His success was real, not fictional, and is well worth reading about.’

Police History Society


‘Jerome Caminada is remembered because he wrote his memoirs and it is refreshing to see a book about a detective that is not London-based. The book uses material from the Greater Manchester Police Museum, newspaper sources and other material, and is well written…It does give insight into how criminals operated in the Manchester of those days, and those reflections of everyday life are always valuable.’

History By the Yard


‘In her fast-paced and informative book, Angela Buckley recounts his adventures, giving the reader a detailed view of the 19th century slums and the criminals that they spawned…The author believes that Sherlock Holmes must been, at least in part, based on Jerome Caminada. Not wishing to spoil her book for the reader, I will say no more than that she makes a very good case. A highly enjoyable book that deserves a place on the shelves of every student of Victorian criminal history.’

The Whitechapel Society


‘A treat for inquisitive readers’

The Crime Readers’ Association


‘Buckley captures Caminada’s exploits with accuracy and visor, but she also does more. The Real Sherlock Holmes is also a moving portrayal of a city beset by unimaginable hardship and a compelling journey through the colorful landscape of Victorian crime.’

Society Nineteen

The Real Sherlock Holmes