You'd think an author would have been proud to be the creator of the most famous (and popular) character in literature. Not so. Dr. (later Sir) Arthur Conan Doyle came to despise Sherlock Holmes even though the good doctor kept banging them out until he had fifty-six short stories and four novels. Sherlock was light fiction, Sir Arthur thought, a fun read, but soon he felt the detective had become a literary albatross. Time devoted to the famous detective kept him from writing his serious literature which he was sure would build his literary reputation. Those books, we need not point out, virtually no one reads.
So what's the story (no joke intended)? A simplistic, but not incorrect answer is that like all writers, Sir Arthur was best when he stuck to what was familiar to him. Writing about London in the latter part of the Nineteenth Century, he was an author without peer. When he strayed from that path, his writing, quite frankly and at least by modern standards, stinks.
For more on Sir Arthur, click here.